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Encore troupe offers up mask-acting lessons


When a New York theater company comes to Hays Thursday, residents can expect more than a good show.

They'll also have an opportunity for hands-on experience. Professional actors will offer free mask acting lessons to the community.

"I think it's going to be fascinating," said Vince Bowhay, assistant director of Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union and organizer of the university's Encore Series.

Aquila Theatre will present Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling (785) 628-5306 or online at

The acting workshop will begin at 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union ballroom.

The events are part of a program called "Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives." The initiative aims to educate about how classical literature continues to influence American culture.

There is no cost to attend and no need to RSVP.

Veterans in the community especially are encouraged to attend, Bowhay said.

"They really focus on veterans and their families and what they can learn from that first-hand experience and apply to those historical battles we talk about," he said.

In addition, a scholastic presentation about the Shakespearean play is set for 6:30 p.m. in the union's pioneer room. As many as 50 people can attend, Bowhay said.

The initiative is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The educational opportunities associated with the performance made it an easy one for FHSU to select when planning this year's entertainment series, Bowhay said.

And with grant funding for the arts waning, the workshop and related events are a valuable opportunity for the community, he said.

"That's why it's so important we do celebrate when we have opportunities like this," he said. "They're so few and far between."

For more information about the workshop or to RSVP for the scholastic presentation, contact Bowhay at (785) 628-5801.