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Monday, February 5, 2001

"Pfeiffer's Apology Opens February 15"

SALISBURY, MD---Michael Mundell who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and directed for the British Broadcasting Corporation will be at Salisbury State University this week to direct Dr. Paul Pfeiffer’s one-man production of “Apology for the Life of an Actor.” 

The play­–written by Pfeiffer for his dissertation–is about the life of a Colley Cibber, a 73-year-old retiring actor on the last night of his career. 

The life of Cibber, as chronicled in Apology, is one of remarkable tenacity and determination set against the overwhelming prejudices and social obstacles of the 18th century.  

Mundell a highly experienced English director who used his expertise in a recent production of Apology done for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, was excited to direct Pfeiffer’s performance. Mundell’s work on Apology in England was a critical success.

Mundell’s interest in directing the production was peaked after he read Pfeiffer’s script and researched the time period. He was impressed with the playwright’s ability to weave 18th century texts into a dramatic work about Cibber, a retiring actor reflecting on his life. 

The play will bring to life a period in theatre history often overlooked. It was during this period that theatre developed as a profession and business, Pfeiffer said. However, many in the 1700s continued to view actors with contempt.

Cibber is the social-climbing son of a Danish immigrant whose own narrowness and insensitivity often brought on him much ill will. The script allows the audience to catch a glimpse inside the 73 year-old Cibber’s world as he reflects upon his life, the theatre and the price of his overweening vanity, Pfeiffer said.

He added Cibber’s life is not that different from our own today and there is much to learn much from the retiring actor. 

Pfeiffer will perform Thursday-Sunday, February 15-18, in Fulton Hall Theatre. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, with matinees also at 2 p.m. Saturday and on Sunday.

Tickets are $8 general admission and $6 for senior citizens and students. SSU identification card holders are admitted free. For reservations call the Theatre Box Office at 410-543-6628.


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