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Hiatus and Web Site Announcement

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.151  Monday, 23 March 2015

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         Monday, March 23, 2015

Subject:    Hiatus and Web Site Announcement

 

Dear SHAKSPER Subscribers,

 

This is to announce that I will be on retreat from Thursday, March 26, until Wednesday, April 8 without Internet access. Therefore, there will be a hiatus in receiving Newsletters between those dates. 

 

Keep the postings coming and I will catch up with them when I return from the wilds of Massachusetts. 

 

While I am at it, let me also announce that Ron Severdia of PlayShakespeare.com (host of SHAKSPER.net), CTO at Metrodigi (www.metrodigi.com) an eBook software and development company in the San Francisco Bay Area, actor, and author of Using Joomla, will soon be redesigning the SHAKSPER web site. The new site will have many state-of-the-art features. Ron will be using the Osmosis Rockettheme I have recently purchased: http://demo.rockettheme.com/joomla-templates/osmosis/. Every SHAKSPERean owes Ron a vote of thanks for his gratis design work for the current and future SHAKSPER web site.

 

-Hardy

 
 
Conference on Shakespeare’s Kings

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.150  Monday, 23 March 2015

 

From:        Richard Waugaman < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 21, 2015 at 11:33:37 AM EDT

Subject:    Conference on Shakespeare’s Kings

 

Washington & Lee University is offering an alumni college, open to all, on “Shakespeare’s Kings.” It takes place July 12-17. The registration fee of $795 includes 10 meals, and the option of free housing on campus. It will include lectures every morning, with other activities and entertainment in the afternoon and evening. There will be daily lectures by Ralph Cohen (founder of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA) and by W&L Ballangee Professor of English, Marc C. Conner. Professor Conner has created a terrific Teaching Company Course, “How to Read and Understand Shakespeare.” 

 

http://www.wlu.edu/special-programs/alumni-college/campus-programs/shakespeares-kings

 

Here is their website’s description of the program—

 

William Shakespeare flourished under the reigns of Elizabeth and James, for each monarch was a great patron of the theater. It is no surprise, then, that Shakespeare became the great imaginative chronicler of the English monarchy, as kingship became a profound source of inspiration for him and a vexing problem upon which he turned his limitless imagination. Beginning with perhaps his very first play in the early 1590s, he dramatized and anatomized the great kings and queens of English history, attempting not merely to render their historic lives on the stage, but also to probe what it means to be a king, how the king’s private life influences and even defines his public life, and what happens when the king is found unworthy of the crown. Shakespeare’s plays constitute as profound an engagement with the concept of kingship as any political or historical treatise ever penned.

 

In this program, we’ll examine three of Shakespeare’s most famous and most powerful depictions of kingship. In Henry IV, Part 1, we’ll see how the madcap Prince Hal evolves from a rascal thief into the very model of a Christian king-and yet what this transformation will cost Hal as a man, a son, and a ruler. In the figure of Falstaff, Shakespeare’s greatest comic creation, we’ll see both the spirit of joy and revelry that so attracts Hal, but also the “devil” who will tempt the young prince from his responsibilities- what Hal calls “the debt I never promised.” In Macbeth, we’ll see how Macbeth descends from faithful hero and obedient subject to King Duncan into a traitor and regicide as he embraces the ambition urged on him by his remarkable wife. Yet even as we are appalled at Macbeth’s cruelty and violence, we cannot help but be moved by his fierce pride, his indomitable will, and most of all by his magnificent poetry. Finally, in Antony and Cleopatra, we’ll meet a man who must choose between his earthly ambition and political responsibility on the one hand and, on the other, a love that cannot be contained by all the earth can offer. And in the remarkable figure of Cleopatra, we’ll see a monarch who, like Shakespeare’s own Queen Elizabeth I, could use her intellect, sexuality, and political savvy to hold at bay even the greatest rulers of the world. This program promises to engage not just three of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, but also the most profound questions of history, politics, and human destiny posed by the European Renaissance.

 

Faculty will include Marc Conner, the Jo M. and James M. Ballengee 250th Anniversary Professor of English and associate provost; Holly Pickett, associate professor of English; and Ralph Cohen, retired professor of English at James Madison University and co-founder of the American Shakespeare Center.

 

Richard M. Waugaman, M.D.

Training & Supervising Analyst Emeritus, Washington Psychoanalytic Institute

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Faculty Expert on Shakespeare for Media Contacts, Georgetown University

email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
Adventures in Original Punctuation

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.149  Friday, 20 March 2015

 

[1] From:        Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 19, 2015 at 3:09:37 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: OP 

 

[2] From:        William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         March 19, 2015 at 11:11:26 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: OP 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Gabriel Egan < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 19, 2015 at 3:09:37 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: OP

 

Gerald E. Downs writes that Lukas “Erne’s books are fantasies” and asks “what evidence Egan is talking about”.  I was referring to the copious evidence in those two books by Erne: ‘Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist’ and ‘Shakespeare and the Book Trade’. If Erne’s claim that Shakespeare wanted to be a published author is a fantasy, one would expect his argument to have been effectively refuted by now.

 

I’ve been expecting such a refutation since the first book came out more than 10 years ago, and the closest thing I’ve found to one is David Scott Kastan’s essay “’To Think These Trifles Some-Thing’: Shakespearean Playbooks and the Claims of Authorship” Shakespeare Studies 36 (2008): 37-48. In the second edition of ‘Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist’ (Cambridge University Press, 2013) Erne adds a new preface dealing specifically with Kastan’s essay and, in my view, satisfactorily dismissing it.

 

Has any SHAKSPERian seen a refutation of Erne that I may have missed that they would recommend?

 

Gabriel Egan

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        William Blanton < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 19, 2015 at 11:11:26 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: OP

 

It will surprise no one to learn that I am an amateur. I have studied only one play in depth: MV. I have nothing to say about Lear or any other play. However, I would hope that at least some higher caste professionals recognize that amateurs can sometimes offer observations that are of value.

 

It may surprise some to learn that I am also a lower caste professional, holding a JD with honors from the University of Texas School of Law. I was a litigator in Houston for 20 years. I originally began researching and writing about the Trial Scene in MV, and created a website for my article on the subject, www.shylocke.org.

 

To my knowledge no higher caste professional has ever analyzed the trial scene as a trial (which it assuredly is not). I believe that I am the first qualified trial attorney to educate himself or herself in sixteenth century English law and procedure and to attempt such a thing. I consulted with Dr Neil Jones at Cambridge on matters of sixteenth century English law and procedure, and with the Honorable Mark Davidson, a distinguished Texas trial judge, on matters of trial strategy.

 

Somebody changed the spelling of “precedent” in Q1 to “President” in F1. I would suppose that a change of that magnitude would have to be done either by the author or at his direction. The version of MV that Hemings and Condell included in F1 was probably prepared for the two performances before the Court of James I in February 1605. I addressed in my article why I believe that Shakespeare made this change. 

 

Bill

 
 
Do we have to be so disrespectful?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.148  Friday, 20 March 2015

 

From:        Graham Watts < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 19, 2015 at 5:40:55 PM EDT

Subject:    Do we have to be so disrespectful?

 

Hi All,

 

I recently joined this site as I thought it would enable me to interact with fellow lovers of Shakespeare. I have to say that the level of bitterness and lack of respect has dismayed me. As a director of Shakespeare I come from a different perspective and am happy to discuss my experiences of staging the plays. I’ve recently had a book published by McFarland “Shakespeare’s Authentic Performance Texts” in which I argue that - for performers - a modern edited text is next to useless and the Folio should be used as a starting point in rehearsals, although not rigidly adhered to. That’s a controversial view and I welcome engagement with those who think differently.

 

What I find disturbing is the rudeness and abuse on this site towards those who express contrary opinions. The recent assault on Charles Weinstein is a prime example. He has raised something very important that shouldn’t be dismissed. For the record I LOVE Baz Lehrman’s “Romeo + Juliet,” think that Ethan Hawkes “Hamlet” is one of the most ridiculous Shakespeare movies I’ve ever seen, and find Marjorie Garber’s books very lightweight to say the least. The sad thing is that I suspect she knows in her heart that she’s seriously out of her depth and has little to say of any relevance.  I’m not anti-Garber because she’s female - a thread on promoting the pioneering and truly outstanding work of Porter and Clarke is surely needed? Charles is correct that Harvard University - especially with its links to Shakespeare and Stratford - ought to be a little more rigorous in their choice of films for an academic course.

 

The list of movies on Harvard’s list (which I’m grateful to Charles for pointing out) demonstrates a notable lack of cultural diversity. I taught a class up in Alaska about Shakespeare on film and used a range of material from across the world. The base text was “Othello” and I screened an early German silent movie (where Cassio looks like a woman and seems about to kiss Othello,) the London Globe production from a few years ago, and the Indian “Omkara,” to name just a few. India has a distinguished record when it comes to Shakespeare and their various film adaptations are amazing. Having watched scenes from about a dozen films of “Othello” I asked the class of adults to vote for their favorite. “Omkara” was the one they all chose.

 

Despite our collective views on the quality of the films shown at Harvard I think it would be fair to say that Harvard and Garber display a distinct lack of imagination and insight (no surprise if you’ve read Garber’s books.) And the American white - centric choice of movies surely can’t be healthy when teaching the next generation?

 

These are simply my views, based on Charles’ excellent post. You have every right to disagree with them and I respect your point of view. I’d hoped this site might be a forum to share a love of Shakespeare and not for people to be mean and belittle those who aren’t tenured in some lofty tower. Many of the posts on this site seem to end with a dubious quote from Shakespeare’s plays, taken out of context, to support their view. This is a bit pathetic so I won’t join in and prefer instead....

 

Respectfully,

Graham Watts

www.grahamwattsdirector.com

 
 
Speaking of Shakespeare with John Douglas Thompson, Naomi Liebler & Estelle Parsons, and Terry Alford

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.146  Friday, 20 March 2015

 

From:        John F Andrews < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 19, 2015 at 7:46:56 PM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare with John Douglas Thompson, Naomi Liebler & Estelle Parsons, and Terry Alford

 

A Conversation with John Douglas Thompson  

 

Monday, March 23, at 6 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, New York

No Charge, but Reservations Requested

 

In 2009, when John Douglas Thompson garnered acclaim for the title roles in both Shakespeare’s Othello and O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones, the Times asserted that “there may well be no better classical actor working in the New York theater right now.” That assessment was reinforced in an enthusiastic New Yorker profile by Alec Wilkinson in 2012. Two years later Mr. Thompson earned the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance in Satchmo at the Waldorf. And a few weeks back, Times critic Ben Brantley bestowed fervent praise on Mr. Thompson’s portrayal of the protagonist in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine. That show was produced by Theatre for a New Audience and directed by Michael Boyd of the Royal Shakespeare Company. So what’s next for Mr. Thompson? Please join us for an evening that will shed light on that and other topics.

_________________________________

 

Estelle Parsons & Naomi Liebler Explore “Shakespeare’s Old Ladies”

 

Monday, April 13, at 7 p.m.

The Lambs

3 West 51st Street, New York

Members $5, Non-Members $10

 

For this special gathering, the Guild is delighted to join forces with The Lambs. A venerable theatrical society, founded in 1874, its members have started such prestigious organizations as Actors’ Equity, ASCAP, and the Screen Actors Guild. Hal Holbrook offered Mark Twain Tonight to his fellow Lambs before taking his show public. So it’s hard to imagine a better setting for Estelle Parsons and Naomi Liebler to reprise a dramatic exploration of Shakespeare’s Old Ladies, a dialogue that received sustained applause when it was first presented in 2011 at the New York Public Library. A member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame, Ms. Parsons has been nominated for five Tony Awards, and she earned an Oscar as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Dr. Liebler, a professor at Montclair State, has given us such critically acclaimed volumes as Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy (1967). After their program, they’ll engage in a wide-ranging conversation with the audience.     

___________________________________

 

Terry Alford Introduces Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth

 

Tuesday, April 14, at 6 p.m.

The National Arts Club

15 Gramercy Park South, New York

No Charge, But Reservations Requested

 

To mark the 150th anniversary of what has been described as the most dramatic moment in American history, we’re pleased to announce a special event with Terry Alford. A prominent Civil War historian who has an article in this month’s Smithsonian, Dr. Alford will be introducing his long-awaited biography of an actor who co-starred with his  two brothers in a November 1864 production of Julius Caesar, and who restaged a “lofty scene” from that tragedy five months later when he interrupted a rollicksome comedy at Ford’s Theatre. Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth will be launched during a dialogue that will occur on the same date as that notorious act, and in a setting adjacent to the final home of the assassin’s older brother. After his dialogue with John Andrews, who has published articles on the same topic in The Atlantic and the New York Times, Mr. Alford will be happy to sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase.      

_________________________________

 

Visit www.shakesguild.org/events.html for details about these and other gatherings, among them a May 11 dialogue with Diana Owen of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who’ll talk about recent developments at New Place in Stratford, and a May 12 program with Daniel Watermeier, who’ll introduce American Tragedian: The Life of Edwin Booth

 

Email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call (505) 988-9560 to register for these events. 

 
 
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