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MARLOWE VS. SHAKESPEARE to Feature James Shapiro, John Douglas Thompson & Matthew Rauch on 11/9

The Shakespeare Society will host an evening entitled MARLOWE VS. SHAKESPEARE: RIVALRY, IMITATION, & INFLUENCE, which will be held at the Kaye Theatre on November 9th. The evening will feature Broadway's John Douglas Thompson and Matthew Rauch, as well as Columbia University professor James Shapiro. The evening will be a discussion of the Elizabethan authors, Marlowe and Shakespeare, and their works.

The night will be a look at two giants of the Elizabethan stage. Born in the same year as Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe died at the age of 29, having revolutionized English dramatic poetry with a series of dark, exuberant and wildly theatrical plays. The rivalry between these two great poets and Marlowe's influence on Shakespeare's work will be the subjects of this evening, which will feature readings from the works of both playwrights and commentary by one of the world's greatest Shakespeare scholars.

Last season, John Douglas Thompson electrified Off-Broadway audiences with his performance as Othello (Theater for a New Audience), winning critical acclaim as well as an OBIE and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. Mr. Thompson's Broadway credits include CYRANO DE BERGERAC with Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner and JULIUS CEASAR, opposite Denzel Washington. Other notable Off-Broadway credits include WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN (Red Bull Theatre) and Classical Theater of Harlem's KING LEAR, for which he received an AUDLECO nomination. Thompson is currently starring in THE EMPEROR JONES at the Irish Repertory Theatre.

Matthew Rauch Broadway: Prelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway: Edward the Second (Red Bull), 1001 (Page 73), Expats (New Group), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (New Group), In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Keen Company), The Revenger's Tragedy (Red Bull), Hurlyburly (New Group), Book of Days (Signature). Theatre: plays at the El Portal in Los Angeles, Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown, Long Wharf, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Hartford Stage, American Repertory Theatre, and many others. TV: "Without a Trace", "Criminal Intent", "Jonny Zero", "Navy NCIS", "Leap of Faith", "The DA", "Law and Order", "Metropolis" (pilot). Film: Order of Redemption, No Reservations, Invitation to a Suicide, Frankenfish, Future Imperfect, Balkanization. Graduate of both the ART Institute at Harvard and Princeton University.

James Shapiro is currently Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. He the author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991), Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play (2000), and 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), which was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book published in Britain in 2005. His next book, out in April 2010, is Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? He has been awarded fellowships from the NEH, the Guggenheim Foundation, and The New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He works regularly with theaters and acting companies in the US and Britain and is a member of the Board of Governors at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The evening will take place at the Kaye Theatre at The Playhouse at Hunter College. Tickets for the event are available through the box office at 212-772-4448.

RED BULL THEATER is an Off Broadway theater dedicated to the presentation of vital and imaginative productions of heightened language plays and to the development of new plays written in a similar vein. With a special focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Red Bull Theater aspires to challenge the intellect and engage the imagination of today's theatergoers through language-based, company created, resonantly provocative stagings of great classic stories.

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