Julius Caesar / Himself


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0282  Thursday, 5 July 2012


From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 1, 2012 7:53:39 PM EDT

Subject:     Julius Caesar / Himself


I have just come across Garry Wills’ recent book “Rome and Rhetoric: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar” [Anthony Hecht Lectures in the Humanities] (Yale, 2011). It was reviewed in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, of all places - quite possibly by mistake.


Anyway, Wills believes that whoever played Julius Caesar also played Cicero. What do people think? (I would be particularly interested in Steve Sohmer’s opinion.)


Wills thinks Burbage played Cicero/Caesar - which is nonsense, of course, as Burbage played Brutus (it is unlikely that Burbage ever doubled roles.) It is very probable that Shakespeare himself played Caesar - but did he also double as Cicero?


John Briggs


Shakespeare Theater Company and Lansburgh Theater


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0281  Thursday, 5 July 2012


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

Date:         Thursday, July 5, 2012

Subject:     Shakespeare Theater Company and Lansburgh Theater


[Editor’s Note: The following is from today’s New York Times. –Hardy]




JULY 4, 2012, 11:25 AM


In Rent Dispute, Shakespeare Theater Company Fights to Stay Put

By Theo Emery


Washington—Shakespeare Theater Company, one of the premiere ensembles in the nation’s capital and the recent winner of a Tony award for excellence in regional theater, has gone to court to fight its threatened eviction from its home of 20 years.


The Lansburgh Theater, a nonprofit that serves as the landlord for one of the sites where Shakespeare Theater performs, last year told the company that its annual rent there would jump to $480,000 from $70,000. When Shakespeare Theater refused to pay the increase, Lansburgh demanded that it vacate the site and that its managing director, Christopher Jennings, resign from the Lansburgh board. (The 451-seat Lansburgh space is where the company puts on its more intimate productions; its 774-seat main stage is now Sidney Harman Hall, which opened a few blocks away in 2007.)


After a testy back-and-forth between Shakespeare Theater and Lansburgh, Mr. Jennings and the company together sued the landlord on June 12 to stop the eviction, asserting that its actions are contrary to its mandate to support the company.


Lawyers for Lansburgh did not respond to phone or e-mail messages. In a March letter to Irvin B. Nathan, the District of Columbia attorney general, a Lansburgh lawyer, John K. Graham, said the landlord had “negotiated in good faith” with Shakespeare Theater but had been frustrated by the company’s unwillingness to pay more to keep the site viable.


“We do not know whether the parties will be able to resolve their differences,” Mr. Graham wrote.

Journal ‘Shakespeare’ goes ‘Online First’


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0279  Thursday, 5 July 2012


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

Date:         July 2, 2012 7:08:32 AM EDT

Subject:     Journal ‘Shakespeare’ goes ‘Online First’




The Routledge journal Shakespeare (ISSNs 1745-0918 Print, 1745-0926 Online) appears online every three months with an annual printed volume of four issues. The electronic issues are identical to the printed volume, including in their pagination. Because the journal has a considerable backlog of accepted articles waiting for an available slot in an issue, it can take some time before they appear even in the electronic form.


The journal has decided to adopt a publication method known an ‘Online First’ in which articles are made available electronically even before they are assigned to an issue. In this method, articles are copy-edited, typeset and corrected as normal. They don’t have their final pagination, but are in every other respect identical to the article that will eventually be published in an issue. Once online, the articles can be cited by their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (a unique code findable online that remains the same throughout the life of the article), and when it comes time to publish the issue, the ‘Online First’ articles are replaced with the fully-paginated versions.


This means that authors’ work is accessible sooner than before. Feedback from authors shows that it is increasingly important to publish quickly and ensure that articles are widely available.  Publishing articles online earlier also increases the citation window, so it has a positive effect on impact factors. For the purposes of the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) appearance in the ‘Online First’ stream counts as publication

and such an article is returnable in the census.


Information on the journal and a link to the online submission system can be found at <http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rshk20/current>.


Gabriel Egan

Co-editor, Shakespeare

Globe to Globe


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0280  Thursday, 5 July 2012


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

Date:         Thursday, July 5, 2012

Subject:     Globe to Globe


[Editor’s Note: The following is from today’s New York Times. –Hardy]




July 4, 2012


Shakespeare in Slang and Serbian

By Patrick Healy


London — The names of the three couples were familiarly foreboding — Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Ophelia, Othello and Desdemona — but almost everything else about them felt fresh and disorienting.


To the beat of electronica and pulsing lights, they gyrated lustily on a dance floor in a circular brick chamber ringed by a subterranean labyrinth of narrow passageways. As an audience stood and watched like voyeurs at a rave, they would shout above the music, mixing Shakespeare (“never doubt I love”) with more modern cries about “caring too much.” Hamlet and Othello, holding their ladies, were sweeter than usual, and Ophelia seemed happily sane — for a time, at least, until their revels ended, and fate took its usual toll.


Turning doomed classical lovers into heartsick club kids, and weaving lines from the original plays with improvised slang from its 15 teenage actors, this production, called “The Dark Side of Love,” is one of the more experimental outings of the about 70 shows in the World Shakespeare Festival, a major cultural component of the London Olympic year. Yet this work, a collaboration of Brazilian and British artists running through Sunday at the Roundhouse Theater here, is also squarely representative of the aim of the festival: “to treat Shakespeare as the world’s playwright,” according to its director, Deborah Shaw.

“Rather than simply stage Shakespeare’s 37 plays we wanted to look at how artists shine light on their countries and societies through the prism of Shakespeare,” Ms. Shaw said. Noting that only 5 percent of the dialogue in “Dark Side” is Shakespeare’s, she added, “If not all the words are his, or the plots veer off in new directions, that’s all the better.”


Perhaps the most logistically ambitious part of the festival was Globe to Globe, in which leaders of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater spent nearly two years lining up 37 international theater companies to mount one of the plays in their native languages at the Globe over six weeks this spring. The shows included a new “Balkan trilogy” with theaters from Serbia, Albania and Macedonia each performing one of the three parts of “Henry VI” — not coincidentally a play about civil war — as well as productions of “The Comedy of Errors” from the Afghan troupe Roy-e-Sabs and “The Merchant of Venice” from the Habima theater company of Israel (which drew protesters waving Palestinian flags).


The Globe projected English supertitles that described the action of scenes but did not translate the dialogue — an effort to push the English-speaking audiences to try to understand, on their own, the emotions and intents of the characters.


Dominic Drumgoole, artistic director of the Globe, said that “making marriages of plays and cultures” included extensive diplomacy (many theaters lobbied to bring productions of the ever-popular “Macbeth”; a gangland version from Poland won out) and struggles to find companies for lesser-known plays like “King John” (an Armenian theater, it turned out, had a long devotion to that drama). Globe to Globe went off with few hitches, rain and last-minute visa headaches aside, and now some of the companies are preparing to mount the productions back home.

More traditional productions are also in the festival this summer, including a “Timon of Athens” starring the Shakespearean actor Simon Russell Beale here at the National Theater that starts next week and runs into October. Despite the Athens connection to the Olympics, the National did not time the production to coincide with the Games, and the production itself is hardly intended to be a crowd pleaser, Mr. Beale said in an interview.


 [ . . . ]


SHAKSPER Tempest Interruption


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0278  Thursday, 5 July 2012


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

Date:         Thursday, July 5, 2012

Subject:     SHAKSPER Tempest Interruption


Dear SHAKSPER Subscribers,


I live in that backward part of the world—the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area.


Washington, DC, has one of the worst electric utility companies in the United States—PEPCO. 


My power always seems to get knocked out for 3 to 7 days after a fierce storm like the one that hit the DC area on Friday. At about 10:30, as I was trying to get to sleep, I heard LOUD thunder in what was probably lightening strikes on the trees in my backyard, my brick house seemed to shake, and as I found out in the morning 4 or 5 large tree limbs came down in my backyard but not on my house ten or fifteen feet away. Oh, yes, and my power when out. I did not get my power back until Wednesday afternoon suffering during one of the longest sustained hot weather periods of the summer (104 F. on Friday). Well over a million homes were initially without power, and some are still out.


I haven’t been able to get back to work on my computer before now, but I am back online and SHAKSPER digests follow.


Hardy M. Cook


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