Shakespeare: Activated

As part of SHAKESPEARE: ACTIVATED, actor and educator, Thomas Varga, brings his classical training, teaching, and performance experience to students and Shakespeare enthusiasts in an engaging and active event. While concurrently working as a professional actor, he also frequently visits college classrooms, Shakespeare centers, libraries and community organizations. In a combination of lectures, live performances, and Q & A sessions, Thomas synthesizes his performing and teaching experience to activate Shakespeare’s text in a new way for readers, while giving his unique insight into an actor’s process of reading and analyzing these classic plays. Thomas earned his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in acting from UC Irvine, and has performed and taught with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New Swan Shakespeare Festival, UC Irvine, Cypress College, and the Actor’s Studio of Orange County. He has performed in over 10 Shakespeare productions.

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“We have seen [Thomas] … several years now … We love watching [him] perform. Along with [his] delivery, [his] movement is riveting [and] so memorable. [His] students are lucky to have [him] as a teacher. We look forward to seeing more of [him].”
-Carol and Phil Tipper , Shakespeare festival patrons

“The students got a lot out of hearing [his] interpretation in action. It was informative and worked well with the goals of the course in terms of getting them to think about language on stage. I hope [he] can work with Core in the future.“

-Rodrigo Lazo, Ph.D., Director, Humanities Core Program, UCI

Response:

Thomas Varga is a gifted actor and a natural teacher. I have watched him demonstrate his craft in theater talk-backs, community settings, and university classrooms. Every time, I have learned something new from Thomas’s artistry and eloquence. Engaging, funny, tremendously adroit, and always real, Thomas Varga brings a wealth of knowledge about Shakespeare and the art of theater to English and drama students at all levels.”

- Julia Lupton, Ph.D., Professor of English & Director of the UCI Shakespeare Center

“In performance, Thomas Varga is a riveting Caliban--heretical, explosive, poetic.  But Varga is also a gifted, articulate, imaginative teacher who is unafraid to get down on the ground with young Shakespeare students. He complements his theatrical interpretation … with a fascinating and accessible meditation *on* that interpretation … After hearing it--and seeing Varga in action--our students gain an insider's perspective not just on Caliban and THE TEMPEST but on the Shakespearean theater as a life form. “

- Jayne Lewis, Ph.D., Professor of English, UC Irvine

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