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Widener Celebrates the Bard’s 450th, Renaissance Style

In celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, Widener University's Lone Brick Theatre Company hosts the campus's First Annual Renaissance Festival on Sunday, April 27. The festival runs 2-6 p.m. on Widener's Main Campus in Chester on Memorial Field and in Alumni Auditorium.

Bringing together the creative talents of more than 60 students and faculty members, the festival blends entertainment and education through performance, sports, food and crafts. Among the events are:

The Calcio Fiorentino Tournament in which teams of students compete throughout the festival in a Renaissance precursor to modern football, soccer and rugby.
"Skewered!" an interactive fencing demonstration in which Dr. Annalisa Castaldo, associate professor of English, touches on the duel and its role in the Renaissance.
Fair Ophelia's where visitors can discover the meanings of the maid's flowers and make floral head wreaths of their own (jumping in the water afterward is optional).
New World Drums where visitors can sate their appetite for America's greatest contribution to Renaissance Festivals: the turkey leg.

Instrumental in the process of organizing the festival has been the Festival Planning Committee comprised of Widener students. Robert Reutter, director of Lone Brick Theatre and senior lecturer of English, molded his PRWR215: Effective Communication in the Digital Age course into this committee and tasked his students with various components of the preparation applying theoretical coursework to real-world application.

"It is my hope that festivals like these will help not only Widener come together but Chester come together as a community. If we can rally together and support one another, only good things can follow," said Michele Hanley, a member of the Festival Planning Committee and sophomore at Widener.

Entrance to the event is free, and the festival is open to the public. Some individual attractions, food and activities carry fees.

For more information or to contact Lone Brick Theatre regarding participation in the event, e-mail Reutter at or visit

Lone Brick Theatre is Widener University's resident theatre company dedicated to producing non-traditional theatre through innovative scripts, staging, directing and performance. Drawing from the talent and ingenuity of Widener's students, faculty and staff alike, the company also seeks to give a creative voice to the rich diversity of the campus community while broadening the traditional role of theatre as a humanities discipline by actively seeking venues for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website,