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Shakespeare comes to Buford

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Special Photo James DeVita performs his one-man show "In Acting Shakespeare" at Buford Community Center.

If you go

• What: “In Acting Shakespeare”

• When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday

• Where: Buford Community Center’s Sylvia Beard Theatre, 2200 Buford Highway, Buford

• Cost: $10 to $40

• For more information: Visit www.bufordcommuni...

BUFORD -- This weekend, you don't need to drive to Atlanta for your Shakespeare fix.

As the third production in the Gainesville Theatre Alliance Southern Stage series, the Buford Community Center is hosting James DeVita as he presents his "In Acting Shakespeare" today through Sunday.

DeVita, a former New Jersey longshoreman turned Shakespearean actor, wrote this one-man show about his life. He was inspired to create this piece after seeing Sir Ian McKellen's "Acting Shakespeare" in 1983. He asked McKellan if he could adapt his play into his own creation -- and McKellen said yes.

"I had very little expectation of an actual reply, so I was thrilled when I received Mr. McKellen's blessing to move forward with the idea," DeVita said.

"In Acting Shakespeare" is a compilation of DeVita's own life story (which wasn't part of the original drafts), select writings by McKellen and some of the most influential passages from the legendary British poet and playwright, Shakespeare.

"With each new draft, the director, John Langs, kept encouraging me to push myself to make the play more personal, and not hide behind the mask of McKellen's play," DeVita said. "I began to substitute more of my own personal experiences in acting Shakespeare for those of McKellen's, and that was when the story became its own play."

Residents with a Buford address are eligible to purchase front row tickets at half price. A valid ID is required.