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Professor Terri Bourus and her Theatre Encounters class featured in Shakespeare Bulletin

Published November 9, 2021

The cast of The Merry Wives of Windsor (2018).In 2019, Dr. Terri Bourus and her Theatre Encounters class staged The Merry Wives of Windsor. This performance has been reviewed in Shakespeare Bulletin (Volume 38, Number 4, Winter 2020, pp. 675-678).

The class and cast featured Jessi Martin, Jordan Whitley, Rachel Weaver, Alexa Roddenberry, Ryon Eberhard, Caitlin Kirk, Grant Brecheisen, Andii Sajid, Lillian Jones, Jared Brock, Abigail Carlisle, Zac Philbeck, Lexie Lewis, Emy Herrera as Slender/Boy, Simple/Fenton/Servant, Sir Hugh Evans, Justice Shallow, Master Page, Mistress Ford, Sir John Falstaff, Mistress Page, Mistress Quickly, Master Ford, Anne Page/Host, Dr. Cayus/Pistol, Nym/John Rugby/servant, and Bardolfe, respectively (as pictured, left to right; photo by Megan Mowery).

Reviewer Deneen Senasi, Professor of English at Mercer University, described the production’s re-interpretation of Falstaff:

Costumed like a cross between a fraternity boy on a bender and an awkward beach goer, with baggy shorts, a gaudy tropical shirt, socks, and camo Crocs (perhaps a nod to his experience as a soldier?), [Grant] Brecheisen’s minimally padded Falstaff offered a portrait of the fat old knight as a slightly paunchy young man. Such ‘translation’ could have complicated Falstaff ’s responsibility for his behavior. Yet, Brecheisen’s nuanced performance revealed not a feckless youth but a self-aware player (pun intended), one whose charisma was combined with an unabashed sense of self-interest.

Professor Bourus is a faculty member in the English and Theatre departments and one of three General Editors of the New Oxford Shakespeare.