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Presbyterian Church offering class on Shakespeare, Bible

May 14, 2011
The Inter-Mountain

As part of its adult education program, Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church will offer a series of four classes on William Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," led by Robert McCutcheon, professor of English and chaplain at Davis & Elkins College. This course, open to the community, will culminate in a trip to Staunton's Blackfriars Theater to see a production of the play.

According to McCutcheon, "Shakespeare's plays are saturated with Christian theology, and especially 'Measure for Measure,' the only one with a biblical title." Its plot is a tangle of moral complications: A novice nun must decide whether she should sleep with a newly appointed ruler in exchange for a pardon for her brother, who is guilty of premarital sex - which this ruler has just declared a capital crime. The play tries to strike a balance between mercy and justice in this atmosphere of extreme psychological stress. It makes for great theater anywhere, but productions at the Blackfriars, a replica of Shakespeare's indoor theater, are always innovative and interactive, McCutcheon said.

The course will prepare students for the performance, but people are welcome to take either the trip or the class or just a class here and there. A fee of $30 will cover a ticket and transportation to the play. The classes are free and will be Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. May 18 and 25 and June 1 and 8. The performance is June 11. Participants will leave Elkins at 10:30 a.m. for a 2 p.m. matinee and will return around 7 p.m. To register, call the office at DMPC at 304-636-2788.



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