THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE, written by one of Shakespeare’s most popular contemporary playwrights named Francis Beaumont, is a play about a company of actors trying to put on a play. Their performance is interrupted by members of the audience and a great deal of comic chaos ensues as they try to adjust to the disruption. The play is also the very first dramatic adaptation of Don Quixote, written and performed on the English stage only two years after the famous novel was first published in Spain.
This week, the Ithaca Shakespeare Company will be presenting The Knight of the Burning Pestle at the Community School of Music and Arts this November. Performances will be held November 11th through the 14th and again the 18th through the 21st at 7:30 p.m., with additional matinee performances on Sunday, November 14 and 21 at 3 p.m.
After eight seasons of successful outdoor Shakespeare productions at Cornell Plantations, this production of The Knight of the Burning Pestle represents a new initiative for the Ithaca Shakespeare Company. According to Artistic Director Stephen Ponton, “Shakespeare, and outdoor Shakespeare in particular, will always be at the heart of what we do. But there are so many exciting plays written by other playwrights of Shakespeare’s time, and we also consider it part of our mission to introduce these plays to a wider public – with the same care and enthusiasm that we bring to Shakespeare. The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a spectacularly entertaining play and a brilliant riff on Don Quixote. It feels very contemporary, despite having been written in 1607, and it definitely deserves to be better known.”
The production is being directed by Ponton and features many returning actors from this past summer’s production of Macbeth. ISC productions feature theatre professionals, members of the community, and students and staff from Cornell, Ithaca College, and other area schools working together to make exciting, high-quality classical theatre available to everyone.
The Ithaca Shakespeare Company is committed to making its productions accessible to everyone. A limited number of “Pay What You Can” tickets will be available at the door for Thursday evening and Sunday matinee performances. For more information, visit the Ithaca Shakespeare Company’s website at www.ithacashakespeare.org.
Performances will be held in the Third Floor Auditorium at CSMA (330 E. State St.). Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Tickets are available now at Ticket Center Ithaca (607-273-4497) and online at IthacaEvents.com. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.