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"Romeo and Juliet"; "Mother Courage and Her Children"; "Agnes of God"

Rising Stars

Looking for some live entertainment that won't break the bank? Look to area universities. Rising young talent, veteran actors, award-winning directors and ambitious set and costume designers are queuing up to present some innovative theater in the area. Many shows are about the price of a movie ticket, and some are free. Check out the often-overlooked productions at local universities and colleges, but don't dawdle. Most shows run only a week or two — some only a few days — and limited budgets mean advance publicity is generally limited, too.

Roll over, Bill Shakespeare. Guest faculty member and director Kelly Morgan plans a contemporary spin on the classic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" at Theatre VCU. Clifton Duncan and Erin Ailstock will play the star-crossed lovers; a robust cast of 40 students fill the supporting roles and ensemble. Morgan has amassed a slew of directing credits and acting roles on television and major stages including the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Cleveland Playhouse and the Kennedy Center. He is founder and producing artistic director of the AmeriCulture Arts Festival, for which he has received the Massachusetts Commonwealth Commendation from the Massachusetts Senate.

Nov. 14-17, 7:30 p.m.
Raymond Hodges Theatre, 922 Park Ave.
Tickets: $10 adults; $8 faculty, staff.
Free to VCU students with ID.
Box Office: 828-6026

Upcoming at the University of Richmond is Bertolt Brecht's "Mother Courage and Her Children," touted as one of the great masterpieces of modern theater. The University Players production offers a searing condemnation of war and a moving testimony to the indomitable human spirit. Under the direction of Dorothy Holland, equity actors Linda Livingston and Daryl Clark Phillips will play Anna Fierling and the Cook.

Nov. 15-17, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 18, 2 p.m.
Alice Jepson Theatre, Modlin Center
Tickets: $8 adults; $7 seniors
Box Office: 289-8980

"Agnes of God," the dramatic tale of a young nun who gives birth, will be performed at Randolph-Macon College. The baby's mysterious death, the conflict between the novice's psychiatrist and mother superior make for a gripping story line. Maria Scott will direct the Drama Guild's production.

Nov. 15-17, 8 p.m.
The Cobb Theater
Tickets: $5
Box Office: 752-7316

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