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The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.167  Wednesday, 8 April 2015


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

Date:         April 2, 2015 at 4:49:24 PM EDT

Subject:    RE: SHAKSPER:  Lear Films


I have not seen the Mendes Lear, so cannot comment on that, but I must take strong issue with Charles Weinstein’s claim that “there hasn’t been a successful screen version of King Lear.”  I think that the Peter Brook film of 1971 and the Kozintsev film of the same year are both masterpieces—the latter possibly even greater.  I think they are both among the greatest Shakespeare movies ever made (along with Ran).  Lear seems to me one of the Shakespeare plays that has been best treated in film.  Kozintsev wrote a book about making his Lear film (The Space of Tragedy), to which Brook wrote a preface, since the two of them were working simultaneously, corresponded, and strongly shared some elements in their visions of the play (bleak northern landscape especially).  What Kozintsev especially captured was the social and political dimensions of the play, and his Lear was very different from the more conventional one of Brook.  Brook’s Lear was huge and ponderous (Paul Scofield); Kozinstev’s was fey, small, and expressive—an actor that most directors would have cast as the Fool, but who Kozintsev particularly wanted for his lead, even though this fabulous actor (Jüri Järvet) spoke no Russian and so couldn’t communicate directly with the director and had to memorize the Pasternak translation phonetically.  Both movies are masterpieces, but I would especially recommend the Kozintsev (and his book about it, his last film).  Finally, let me add that the music in the Kozintsev is by Shostakovich, and is brilliant, and gave rise to the brilliant music in Ran (as well as to the epic photography—through Eisenstein through Kozintsev).


Richard Strier

Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus

Editor, Modern Philology

Department of English

University of Chicago

Future Learns: Paired Production of LLL and MAAN

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.166  Wednesday, 8 April 2015


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

Date:         April 7, 2015 at 10:23:26 PM EDT

Subject:    Future Learns: Paired Production of LLL and MAAN


Recently the Future Learn MOOCs have been featuring on-line mass free courses in Shakespeare. Thus far the best of those (four) I’ve seen was Jonathan Bate’s Shakespeare and his world. I wonder if others have followed any of these. Among them I watched 4 “weeks” (or sets of videos, lectures, texts) on Much Ado About Nothing in Performance: the focus was on specific “dark” versions of the play, 4 over a couple of decades at the RSC, Shakespeare Re-done (a film version where language modernized and concepts changed), and two on the recent production by Christopher Luscombe. That one came with LLL to the Folger Shakespeare Theater via HD:


Ellen Moody

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

Speaking of Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.165  Wednesday, 8 April 2015


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

Date:         April 7, 2015 at 3:05:48 PM EDT

Subject:    Speaking of Shakespeare



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, its leaders have founded such prestigious organizations as Actors’ Equity, ASCAP, and the Screen Actors Guild. Hal Holbrook offered Mark Twain Tonight to his fellow Lambs before taking that celebrated show public. So it’s hard to imagine a better setting for Estelle Parsons and Naomi Liebler to reprise their dramatic exploration of Shakespeare’s Old Ladies, a dialogue that received sustained ovations when it was first presented in 2011 at the New York Public Library. A member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame and a former director of The Actors Studio, Ms. Parsons has been nominated for five Tony Awards and earned an Oscar as Blanche Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde (1967). Dr. Liebler, a professor at Montclair State, has published such acclaimed volumes as Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy (1967). After their program, they’ll engage in a wide-ranging conversation with attendees.



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 important 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 a dialogue moderated by John Andrews, who has published articles about that traumatic event 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.      


Daniel J. Watermeier Discusses American Tragedian: The Life of Edwin Booth


Monday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m. 

The Lambs

3 West 51st Street, New York

Members $5, Non-Members $10


In the aftermath of what his younger brother did on Good Friday in April of 1865, Edwin Booth feared that his own career might be over. But he found a way to prevail over the infamy that John Wilkes Booth had brought not only to his family but to the theater profession. And over the decades that followed, Edwin established himself as his era’s leading actor, with special distinction in such classic roles as Brutus and Hamlet. In 1888 he founded The Players, and it was there that he died in 1893. To learn more about a fascinating artist and his many struggles, please join us for a gathering at which biographer Daniel J. Watermeier introduces American Tragedian: The Life of Edwin Booth, a long-awaited volume that is being described as definitive. After his conversation with John Andrews, Dr. Watermeier will be happy to inscribe copies of his latest publication.



Visit for details about these and other gatherings, among them a May 8 event at the University Club in Washington with Diana Owen of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who will talk about recent developments at New Place in Stratford. 


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. 


John F. Andrews, President

The Shakespeare Guild

5B Calle San Martin

Santa Fe, NM 87506-7536

(505) 988-9560 (Office)

(505) 670-9815 (iPhone)

SHAKSPER and Hardy Are Back

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 26.164  Wednesday, 8 April 2015


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

Date:         Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Subject:    SHAKSPER and Hardy Are Back


Dear faithful subscribers,


I am back from a marvelous time on retreat at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre. MA. It snowed the first four days, and there was a couple of feet of snow still on the ground when I arrived, but most of it had melted by the time I left. So back in Maryland, I hope that I have seen the last snow of this winter.


On another note, Ron Severdia will be redoing the SHAKSPER web site soon, which will take about a week to complete. So there will be another upcoming hiatus. I will announce it in plenty of time, but keep those postings coming. The Erne discussion is active as today Newsletter will demonstrate, and I would like it to continue as long as it lasts.


I hope to catch up today with as many submissions and announcements as I am able.


Thanks for everyone’s on-going support and understanding.



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