Juliet is the Sun


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0415  Wednesday, 17 October 2012


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

Date:         October 16, 2012 2:37:33 AM EDT

Subject:     Juliet is the Sun


I found Larry Weiss’s comment interesting because “natural philosophers” of the Renaissance such as Giordano Bruno were positing the existence of tiny sub-visible particles (building on the work of some ancient Greek philosophers). “Romeo and Juliet” also shows exquisite scientific awareness. Thus when Romeo returns to the Capulet house after the mask, he says (to himself) “Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out”. This is a reference to the contemporary debate surrounding heliocentrism, which Giordano Bruno was involved in as well. In fact, “ Romeo and Juliet” expresses the latest heliocentric science of the Renaissance, since people were just beginning to understand that the relationships and dependencies involved in the new cosmic framework implied that the sun and only the sun was available, ultimately, to power the earth. In other words, the heliocentric idea was starting to have a thermodynamic dimension.


Besides “atomi” we might also note that another word scientific word (“infinite”) (also associated with Giordano Bruno and his new conception of an infinite cosmos) of the Renaissance appears in “Romeo and Juliet” when Juliet says “My bounty is as boundless as the sea/My love as deep, the more I give to thee, /  the more I have, for both are infinite.” Of course, this imagery of a boundless bounty also fits in nicely with a non-depleting energy source.


The Thing’s the Plays: The Public Theater Gets a Shakespeare Machine


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0414  Wednesday, 17 October 2012


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

Date:         October 16, 2012 7:55:20 AM EDT

Subject:     The Thing’s the Plays


The Thing’s the Plays: The Public Theater Gets a Shakespeare Machine


Adorning the newly refurbished lobby of New York’s venerable Public Theater is a steel contraption loaded with 37 blades, 3,072 high-efficiency white LED emitters, and every word from Shakespeare’s plays. Ben Rubin’s Shakespeare Machine is at once artwork, chandelier, brain-teaser, and literary tourist attraction. Read more at artnews.com


[Editor’s Note: Below is the link to the interested article with many photographic illustrations. I have excerpted from the story following:




The Thing’s the Plays: Public Theater’s New Shakespeare Machine

BY Robin Cembalest POSTED 10/16/12


Brush up your Shakespeare—start quoting him now.


Or, have a machine do it for you.


You rogue. You knave. You leave. You villain. You rascal.


These are phrases you might encounter over your cocktail at the Public Theater, the Lafayette Street landmark, now that an elegant new bar has taken up residence in its lobby.


They won’t stay long, because other phrases, all selected by algorithms from each one of Shakespeare’s plays, soon take their place, passing in a manic, poetic, vaguely familiar, and increasingly hypnotic stream—37 streams, actually, because that’s the number of nearly four-foot-long blades, each embedded with 3,072 high-efficiency white LED emitters, dangling from the steel, elliptical-conic contraption at the center of the room. The effect is as if all the characters from Shakespeare’s plays were talking to each other at once.


The Shakespeare Machine is the creation of Ben Rubin, a local media artist with the spirit of a mad inventor and a passion for data. Commissioned by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs as part of the Percent for Art program, which funds site-specific pieces in city-funded construction projects, Rubin’s device is at once artwork, chandelier, brain-teaser, and literary tourist attraction.


[ . . . ]


The artwork has been in the works for almost five years; the building has been around since 1854. Originally a library funded by John Jacob Astor, it became a receiving station for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and then a theatrical success story when Joseph Papp restored it, staged the world premiere of Hair there in 1967, and made it the home base for the Shakespeare Workshop as well as for a roster of new plays and musicals. 


[ . . . ]


Each blade contains a whole play. Once a cycle, for about two minutes, the blade streams its play in its entirety. Then selections from its text will appear–terms selected for grammatical, contextual, rhythmic, or semantic attributes, like a verb followed by the word it, a noun phrase containing a part of the human body, and adjective-conjunction-adjective.


Rubin plans to add more categories this week, and to continue the process indefinitely. His fantasy is to have longer blades that will accommodate bursts of iambic pentameter and other complex phrasings.


Columbia University professor James Shapiro, one of several Shakespeare experts (including scholar Stephen Greenblatt and theater director Barry Edelstein) who advised Rubin on the project, pronounced himself transfixed–with the unfamiliar combinations of familiar words, the patterns within each blade, the challenge of looking at the blades in progression. “The word that came to my mind was mesmerizing,” he says.


“I think Shakespeare absolutely would have enjoyed this,” Shapiro adds. During the quarter century the author was writing, “these words were swimming around in his head.”]


Juliet is the Sun


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0413  Monday, 15 October 2012


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

Date:         October 12, 2012 5:39:21 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Juliet is the Sun


Actually, Shakespeare preferred nuclear power, as he made clear earlier in the same play:  I.iv.57 (“Drawn with [propelled by] a team of little atomi”).

Speaking of Shakespeare with Irene Dash, Nagle Jackson, and James Shapiro


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0412  Monday, 15 October 2012


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

Date:         October 15, 2012 10:20:26 AM EDT

Subject:     Speaking of Shakespeare with Irene Dash, Nagle Jackson, and James Shapiro


Speaking of Shakespeare


After a memorable conversation on Monday, September 17, with JOHN LAHR, senior theatre critic for the New Yorker magazine, The Shakespeare Guild is pleased to announce three upcoming programs that will continue its focus on the classical tradition in the dramatic arts.


On Monday, October 22, we’ll enjoy a fresh look at Shakespeare and the American Musical with Hunter College’s IRENE DASH, a scholar who has given us pioneering studies of gender roles in early-modern culture. 


On Monday, November 19, we’ll talk with NAGLE JACKSON, an actor, director, and playwright who has earned renown for his work on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, and in such settings as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Princeton’s McCarter Theatre.


On Monday, December 17, we’ll be treated to a preview of The King and the Playwright, a new BBC documentary for which Columbia University’s JAMES SHAPIRO has been nominated to receive a major television award in the United Kingdom.


All three gatherings are open to the public and free of charge and will commence at 7:30 p.m. at the NATIONAL ARTS CLUB (15 Gramercy Park South) in Manhattan.   


Looking ahead, we’ll soon be announcing plans for a special GIELGUD AWARD gala to take place on Sunday, April 14, at the GIELGUD THEATRE in London. This 90-minute benefit will feature many of the luminaries who participated in the Guild’s April 2004 GIELGUD CENTENARY GALA, which occurred in the same venue and which was co-sponsored by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Our April 2013 presentation will honor three eminent artists, and it will pay tribute not only to the legacy of Sir John but to that of the playwright he did so much to keep vibrant for modern audiences.


Shakespeare and the American Musical


Monday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m.   

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South 

No Charge, but Reservations Advised


Have you ever wondered how a poet whose 450th birthday is less than two years away continues to supply material for films, TV screenplays, Broadway hits, and other forms of popular entertainment? If so, you’ll want to join us for a chat with Hunter College’s IRENE DASH, who’ll talk about Shakespeare and the American Musical, copies of which will be on hand for purchase and inscription. Russell Jackson, a consultant for several of Kenneth Branagh’s cinemas, has praised Professor Dash’s new book for its “lively and expert understanding of the theatrical medium” and for its “thorough and scholarly” grounding in plays that have inspired classics like Kiss Me, Kate and West Side Story. A pioneer in early-modern gender studies, Irene Dash is widely admired for such groundbreaking volumes as Wooing, Wedding, and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s Plays (1981) and Women’s Worlds in Shakespeare’s Plays (1997). 


A Conversation with Director Nagle Jackson


Monday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m.   

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South 

No Charge, but Reservations Advised


Not only has he earned acclaim on Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, and in other settings around the nation; NAGLE JACKSON was the first American to be invited to direct in the Soviet Union. As a producer he has enjoyed lengthy artistic directorships at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre (1970-76) and at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre (1979-90), which has been recognized with a regional-theatre Tony Award. He has seven productions to his credit at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, along with shows in such settings as the Hartford Stage Company, the Seattle Repertory Company, San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, and San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. Mr. Jackson is also a dramatist and actor, and his roles have included Autolycus (The Winter’s Tale), Bertram (All’s Well That Ends Well), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Feste (Twelfth Night), Lucio (Measure for Measure), and Octavius (Antony and Cleopatra).


James Shapiro’s BBC Series on Shakespeare


Monday, December 17, at 7:30 p.m.    

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South 

No Charge, but Reservations Advised


As the author of such award-winning volumes as Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), Oberammergau (2000), 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), Columbia University’s JAMES SHAPIRO has established himself as one of today’s most prominent scholars and reviewers, with frequent appearances on the Charlie Rose Show and other television and radio programs, and with numerous articles in periodicals such as the New York Times. On this occasion he’ll preview a riveting segment from his latest endeavor, a three-hour BBC documentary, The King and the Playwright, which has been shortlisted for a major TV award in the UK. After Mr. Shapiro screens his fascinating account of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot against James I and his court, and its impact on the chief dramatist for the theatrical company that profited from the monarch’s own patronage, he and the Guild’s John Andrews will join the audience for an engaging discussion of the episode.


For additional detail about these and other offerings, and for information about membership in The Shakespeare Guild, visit the website below or contact


John F. Andrews

The Shakespeare Guild

5B Calle San Martin       

Santa Fe, NM 87506


Redcrosse in Coventry


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0411  Monday, 15 October 2012


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

Date:         October 15, 2012 9:52:13 AM EDT

Subject:     Redcrosse in Coventry


British Shakespeare Association

On the evening of Saturday the 17th of November the RSC will be performing Redcrosse, the new poetic liturgy for England and St George which BSA member Professor Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute) wrote with the major poets Jo Shapcott, Michael Symmons Roberts and Andrew Motion, and the theologian Andrew Shanks, as part of a multi-grant-winning Religion and Society project.  Redcrosse got considerable national press last year, in The Guardian, on radio and television, and even in The Daily Star, when it was performed in Windsor Castle and Manchester Cathedral.  Its RSC production in the modernist masterpiece of Coventry Cathedral will be its most dramatic and exciting instantiation to date.  Don’t miss it.  For further details and tickets, please see the link below.


http ://www . coventrycathedral . org . uk/goldenjubilee/EVENTDETAIL2 . php?event_id_choice=19400


Dr Rowan Williams on Redcrosse:

‘How do we think about identity in ways that don’t reflect anxiety, fear of the other, uncritical adulation of our past and all the other pitfalls that surround this subject? The Redcrosse project manages to negotiate these difficulties with immense imaginative energy and honesty: no sour notes, no attempt to overcompensate by desperately overapologetic rhetoric, simply a recovery of deep roots and generous vision. As much as it takes its cue from Spenser, it’s a contemporary working out of some of the great and inexhaustible legacy of Blake, a unique contribution to what is often a pretty sterile discussion of who we are in these islands.’


Dr Rowan Williams

Archbishop of Canterbury


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