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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: May ::
May Highlights from ESU Washington
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0333  Tuesday, 15 May 2007

From: 		John F. Andrews <
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Date: 		Friday, 11 May 2007 14:11:23 -0400
Subject: 	May Highlights from ESU Washington

We're pleased to call your attention to several upcoming events, among 
them (a) an ESU Washington gathering on Sunday afternoon, May 20, at which 
Lord Watson of Richmond will talk about connections between the 400th 
anniversary of Jamestown and the global proliferation of a language that 
was introduced to this "brave New World" in 1607, and (b) a  British 
Embassy reception on Monday evening, May 21, at which Sir David and Lady 
Manning will join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other notables in a 
salute to Artistic Director Michael Kahn of the Shakespeare Theatre 
Company.

We're also happy to provide links to several online attractions, among 
them (a) a C-SPAN presentation by journalist Walter Isaacson about the 
Einstein biography that now tops the best-seller list for nonfiction 
books, (b) a three-part public-radio documentary from the Folger about 
Shakespeare in American Life, (c) a Tea with Heather feature on Maryland 
Public Television that offers vignettes about such performers as Dame Judi 
Dench, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Dame Diana Rigg, and (d) a 
Lincoln Center presentation by Gracie Terzian, a sophomore from Oakton 
High School who made it to the finals of this year's National Shakespeare 
Competition in New York.

Please feel free to share this information with others who might find if 
of interest.

With best wishes,
John Andrews

_________________________________________________________________
Shakespearean Films at AFI's Silver Theatre

AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER
8633 Colesville Road in Silver Spring
Admission $9.25 ($7.50 for ESU and Shakespeare Guild Members)

In one of its contributions to a January-June 2007Shakespeare in 
Washington festival, the AFI Silver Theatre and Culture Center is 
presenting features with Bardic themes. On April 21-22, for example, you 
could have seen Akira Kurosawa's Ran, an acclaimed Japanese adaptation of 
King Lear. Meanwhile on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, you had 
a chance to watch Shakespeare Behind Bars, an moving and prize-winning PBS 
documentary about the work a director named Curt Tofteland has been 
undertaking with convicts in a maximum-security prison in Kentucky. Coming 
soon are My Own Private Idaho (May 12-13), Laurence Olivier's 1948 Hamlet 
(May 19, 20, 22), and Tom Stoppard's film version of Rosencrantz & 
Guildenstern Are Dead (June 23, 25, 27). The AFI has kindly extended a 
$1.75 discount on these attractions to those who identify themselves as 
constituents of either the English-Speaking Union or the Shakespeare 
Guild. For details about these and other movies at the American Film 
Institute's beautiful Silver Spring facility, please see 
www.esuwdc.org/calendar.html for a link to the cinema's Shakespeare page.

Those who love Shakespeare on film will also be pleased to hear that 
another institution, the Library of Congress, is now exhibiting Bardic 
material and showing classics from its vast archive of cinematic 
treasures. Visit www.loc.org and navigate from there for information about 
a series that runs April through August in the Mary Pickford Theatre.

________________________________________________________
ESU Washington's Annual General Meeting

SUNDAY, MAY 20
1:30-3:00 p.m.
THE WESTCHESTER - Dining Room
4000 Cathedral Avenue NW
$20 Donation Suggested to Cover the Costs of Light Refreshments

Thanks to the hospitality of Graham Down, an ESU board member who resides 
in a lovely apartment at the Westchester, we'll hold our Annual General 
Meeting for 2007 in a dining room at that stately complex's Main Building, 
the third entrance on the right. The primary purpose of this get-together 
will be to review the ESU's activities and achievements over the last 
twelve months, discuss objectives for the year ahead, and elect officers 
to fill several important positions. Those who join us will have the 
pleasure of hearing and meeting recent recipients of the branch's Helene 
Gladstone Williams Award. They'll also meet Gracie Terzian, the winner of 
our annual Shakespeare Competition for the National Capital Region and a 
finalist at the National Shakespeare Competition, which took place Monday, 
April 23, at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater in New York's Lincoln Center. The 
highlight of the gathering, however, will be an address by Lord Watson of 
Richmond, an international ambassador for the English-Speaking Union and a 
leader of the Jamestown 2007 commission that has been making arrangements 
for this month's state visit to the United States by Her Majesty the 
Queen. We're delighted that Alan Watson will be joining us, and we look 
forward to remarks about his new book on the connections between the first 
permanent English colony in the New World and the proliferation of a 
language that has become increasingly global in its influence. This event 
was originally announced for Saturday, May 19, at 10:30 a.m.; it was 
rescheduled to take advantage of a trip that Lord Watson was taking in 
order to participate in the Jamestown anniversary festivities.

_______________________________________________________________
A British Embassy Toast to Director Michael Kahn

MONDAY, MAY 21
Reception 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW
$125 per Attendee

As the centerpiece of its participation in a broad-ranging celebration of 
Shakespeare in Washington, the English-Speaking Union and the Shakespeare 
Guild are pleased to join Sir David and Lady Manning in a British Embassy 
salute to the director and producer who, more perhaps than anyone else in 
the last two decades, has positioned our metropolis as a major center for 
the performance of classical drama.

Michael Kahn had garnered accolades on Broadway, and had overseen such 
artistic institutions as the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, 
Connecticut, and the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, before he 
came to Capitol Hill in 1986 to rescue an embattled troupe which was on 
the verge of extinction. Benefiting from his experience not only as an 
artist but as a gifted teacher (he'd helped establish the Drama Division 
at Lincoln Center's prestigious Juilliard School, and he had collaborated 
with John Houseman and Margot Harley to create an itinerant Acting Company 
to launch the careers of such students as Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone), 
Mr. Kahn transformed what had begun in 1969 as the Folger Theatre Group 
into what is now regarded as one of the foremost classical ensembles in 
the world.

To recognize Mr. Kahn's accomplishments and thank him for all he's 
contributed to the cultural life not only of our region but of our nation, 
we're pleased to announce that such notables as Landon Butler (chairman of 
the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and a leader who has overseen a campaign 
to augment the organization's range and expand its operations into a 
spectacular new Harman Center for the Arts), Supreme Court Justice Ruth 
Bader Ginsburg (a fervent supporter of all that Mr. Butler and his 
colleagues have done), award-winning actors Helen Carey and Ted van 
Griethuysen (one of the many dedicated performers who've helped Mr. Kahn 
realize his lofty aspirations for the STC) will take part in a ceremony at 
which this indefatigable visionary becomes the first non-actor to receive 
a laurel that has been bestowed upon such previous honorees as Kenneth 
Branagh, Zoe Caldwell, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Kevin Kline, Ian 
McKellen, Christopher Plummer, and Lynn Redgrave. Also on hand for the 
festivities will be Lord Watson of Richmond, a distinguished London 
broadcaster who is now an international envoy for the English-Speaking 
Union. Alan Watson has been a U.K. leader in the Jamestown 400 
celebration, and he'll remind us of the significance of a venture that 
introduced the language of Shakespeare to what The Tempest was soon to 
immortalize as a "brave New World."

Past winners of the Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts will 
be represented at this gathering by means of messages to be shared with 
Mr. Kahn and his admirers. And every attendee at what promises to be a 
sparkling revel will have a chance to talk both with the awardee and with 
those who'll bestow the accolade he accepts. As they do so, patrons will 
enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that their generous support of this 
benefit will provide indispensable sustenance for such educational 
endeavors as ESU Washington's annual Shakespeare Competition for the 
National Capital Region, an event which is co-hosted by the STC and is 
mounted each spring on the Lansburgh stage. They'll also know they're 
making it possible for ESU Washington maintain the assistance it offers to 
the STC's Academy for Classical Acting through an annual Walter L. Wright 
III Award for Exceptional Promise in the Dramatic Profession. This prize 
is presented each March to a talented young professional in the ACA, and 
it is now underwritten by Mr. Wright's widow, Dr. Marjorie Williams. Along 
with the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Dr. Williams supplies 
major programmatic funding for the branch of the English-Speaking Union 
that serves our metropolitan area.

For additional details about this special evening -- including information 
about corporate and individual sponsorships, about potential foundation 
partnerships, and about options for congratulatory or promotional 
expressions to be printed in a handsome keepsake to commemorate the 
occasion -- call (202) 234-4602 or e-mail 
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 .

____________________________________________________________
Programs on C-SPAN

We're pleased to note that a luncheon program in which we had a hand, a 
presentation at which Walter Isaacson talked about his new best-selling 
biography of Albert Einstein at the Woman's National Democratic Club on 
Thursday, April 12, was telecast over C-SPAN 2's weekend Book TV service 
Sunday, April 29, at 12:00 noon and again at 8:00 p.m. That program can 
now be watched online, and it will be repeated again on Monday, May 14, at 
12:30 a.m. See www.esuwdc.org/calendar.html for a link to that feature and 
for information about earlier ESU Washington events that have been covered 
by C-SPAN.

_______________________________________________________________________

Programs on Public Radio & TV and on the Web

In one of the most ambitious of its many contributions to this spring's 
Shakespeare in Washington festival, the Folger Shakespeare Library has 
produced a three-part public-radio series about Shakespeare in American 
Life. These fascinating programs are narrated by actor Sam Waterston, and 
they can now be downloaded and listened to online. See the www.folger.edu 
for links to the series. And if you're interested in the playwright's role 
in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, see www.esuwdc.org/calendar.html 
for a link to the page that features John Andrews and his remarks about 
the most dramatic moment in American history.

For another conversation with Mr. Andrews, this time as part of an 
afternoon Tea with Heather program on Maryland Public Television, see 
www.esuwdc.org/calendar.html for a link to the MPT page that offers 
snippets from a chat he had with hostess Heather Sanderson about Dame Judi 
Dench, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Dame Diana Rigg.

We're pleased, too, to inform you that Gracie Terzian, the ESU Washington 
entant in the National Shakespeare Competition at Lincoln Center, can be 
seen in a video recorded on April 23, 2007, by the New Globe Theatre as 
she joined nine other finalists on the stage of New York's Mitzi Newhouse 
Theater. For a link to that performance, visit www.esuus.org.

_______________________________________________________________________

To obtain more detail about any of these attractions, and to place orders 
for events you wish to attend, please contact

John F. Andrews, OBE
Executive Director, ESU Washington
President, The Shakespeare Guild
1604 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009-2512
Phone 202 234 4602   Fax 202 234 4639
http://www.esuwdc.org  
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