Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 550. Tuesday, 14 Sept. 1993.
Date: Tuesday, 14 Sep 1993 08:56:38 -0400
Subject: Questions about Shakespeare reading groups
From 1988-1991, I had the good fortune to live in Cheltenham, England.
While there I joined the Cheltenham Shakespeare Society. This group of
amateur Shakespeareans gathers once a fortnight to read one of the
Bard's works. Each member takes a different character and tries to put
as much acting into their voice as possible. This was the last
surviving chapter (of which my British friends were aware) of the
British Imperial Shakespeare Society which started prior to 1900, had
chapters in various parts of the British Empire, but sadly seems to
have died around the time of the World War II.
When I returned to Washington, D.C., I was lucky enough to find another
reading group devoted to the Bard, the Washington Shakespeare Reading
Group, which follows a similar format. This one had been started by an
English major (now a pastor in NW DC) in 1990.
Now for my questions:
1. Does anyone know of any other active Shakespeare reading groups? I
would be very much interested in contacting such.
2. Does anyone know of any history of Shakespeare reading groups (and
in particular of the British Imperial Shakespeare Society)?
3. Hardy - Would it be helpful to have a list of active reading groups
(with contact persons) in your directory of Shakespearean
organizations? I can provide references to the two of which I am
Blair Kelly III