Shakespeare at the Bowers Museum

On December 10, 2016, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana announced the opening of their exclusive exhibition—“As She Liked It: The Shakespearean Roles of Madame Modjeska.” The exhibition pays homage to William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death by exploring the incredible life of one of his greatest interpreters, the legendary Polish actress Madame Helena Modjeska (1840‐1909), and her passion for Shakespearean works. The permanent collection features more than 60 objects that span across the time period from Modjeska’s early years as a stage actress in Poland, her arrival in Anaheim, CA, her renaissance traveling the American theater circuit, and her final years in her Shakespearean dream home, Arden.

Madame Helena Modjeska (Modrzejewska)—born Helena Opid in Kraków, Poland—is especially remembered for her interpretation of Shakespeare’s female roles, which appeared equally if not more prominently than male characters. Her phenomenal career lasted over a period of five decades, during which she portrayed  a variety of roles in more than 3,600 performances throughout Europe and the United States. Modjeska eventually settled in Santiago Canyon near the Bowers Museum, in a home she called Arden as a reference to her favorite Shakespearean play As You Like It.

The exhibition is going on now and currently has no end date. The Bowers Museum is at 2002 North Main Street in Santa Ana, CA. Admission: Adults $15-13; Seniors & Students $12-10; Children & Santa Ana residents FREE (Sunday only). Tickets & Info: (714) 567-3600

[Source: press release, bowers.orghelenamodjeskasociety.com]