The Ashland Conference starts on Thurs of this week. It’s not too late to sign up! The following Hamlet in Ashland article was in today’s Star:
Fest out west reminds us what Hamlet can be
September 10, 2010
Dan Donohue finds every laugh as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet.
ASHLAND, ORE.—“There is a world elsewhere.”
That line of Shakespeare’s from Coriolanus kept echoing through my head during a recent visit to this attractive town where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary season.
Back in Ontario, we tend to think of our own Stratford Shakespeare Festival as the king of the hill and, in most ways, it is.
Although it’s only finishing its 58th season, it certainly leads the field numerically in all other ways, presenting 654 performances to 509,195 people on a budget of $58.8 million during the 2009 season.
Oregon, on the other hand, presented 784 shows to 410,034 audience members on a budget of $25.5 million (Cdn.).
Artistically, as well, it’s more than mere provincial pride that leads me to say that under Des McAnuff and Antoni Cimolino, particularly this season, Stratford consistently presents the best work of its kind on the continent.
But, but, but.
When the chips are down, I have to say that the production of Hamlet at the OSF that I recently attended was, all in all, the finest piece of theatre I’ve seen this year…
"The man that has no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treason, stratagems, and spoils,
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted: mark the music.”
Lida McGirr will present "Margaret’s Wars," a brief study covering successive stages of Margaret’s career throughout the three Henry VI’s and Richard III as she takes on each of the archetypal roles Jung later described for the life cycle of a woman as virgin, wife, mother, wise old woman. Scenes from each of the scripts will be read and/or acted out, to chronicle these changes: i. Margaret & Suffolk, ii. a scene with Henry and Margaret, iii. scene where her son is killed, iv. either the prophecy scene in Richard III or the scene with Margaret, Elizabeth and the Duchess towards the end of Richard III.
"Absent thee from felicity awhile/And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain/To tell my story"
-Hamlet - 5.2: 350
9:00 –10:30: Presentation & Conversation:
An Uncommon Noble Tells All:
Oxord’s Seventeenth Earl talks with Lady Mary (Sydney) Wroth in 1604 about his life and what he feared would be forgotten about himself, his queen, his family, his writings and his times.
Joe Eldredge: Architect, Author, Editor, Critic, Poet
10:30 – 11:00: Break
11:00-12:30: Presentation & Conversation:
“Who Are You?”
Over the years the traditional identification of “William Shakespeare” with a gentleman from Stratford-upon-Avon has been extensively questioned. Often the work draws upon intensely personal details of the writer and those about him, a potential source of embarrassment if the writer’s identity were revealed. Such could well be the case for the most prominent alternate identity of “William Shakespeare” – Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford.
Richard Desper: retired scientist and independent scholar of Shakespeare authorship.
12:30 – 2:30: Lunch in Concord
“Sweets to the Sweet.”
-Hamlet Act V, Scene 1
2:30 – 4:00: Presentation & Conversation:
"Shakespeare’s Women: Why Do They Have to Die?"
In Hamlet, King Lear and Othello we witness the moving, tragic deaths of Ophelia, Cordelia, and Desdemona. Why do these young women have to die and the heroes outlive them in each play? Is there an inspirational archetype that can increase our understanding of these events?
Robert Horner: (Yale B.A.) has taught high school English and theatre for many years. Lives in the City of Brotherly Love and lectures on American literature and esoteric studies, as well as the work of the Bard.
New York actor-writer Hank Whittemore will present "Shake-speare’s Treason," an Oxfordian interpretation of the Sonnets. His story is that the sonnets, those exquisite little mysteries, have finally fallen into place when read m as being written by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, to Henry Wriothesley, the third Earl of Southampton, and Queen Elizabeth.
His production (with Ted Story, a New York writer-director) argues that Oxford not only wrote the plays of Shakespeare, a claim most literary experts reject, but that Southampton is the "fair youth" and Elizabeth the "dark lady" of the sonnets, and Southampton de Vere’s son by Elizabeth. Which is why the sonnets were suppressed when they were published in 1609. He has also written "The Monument", a 900 page analysis of the Sonnets and their place in Elizabethan history.
"All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players"
Jaques - As You Like It
8:00 into the Wee Hours: Evening Fest
Music, Merriment, Verse, Dance & Good Spirits
Friends and lovers of Shakespeare are invited step up and present their favorite sonnets, speeches, melodies, scenes from the plays, and related gems in celebration of the 400th anniversary of blessed bard’s Genius. SUNDAY MORNING:
"The purest treasure mortal times afford, is spotless reputation: That away, Men are but loam and painted clay."
-Thomas Mowbray, Richard II
9:00 – 10:30: Presentation & Conversation
Richard II: The Art and the Politics
Richard II gives us an opportunity to experience Shakespeare’s awareness of what is at work in political intrigue in a form that can only compel awe at the play’s combination of insight into humanity and dramatic and poetic mastery. Characters act upon suspicions or impulses aroused by what has been said and done by other characters in ways that, with no clear or intentional villain in sight, bear massive historical consequences for the destiny of the English people.
Charles Boyle: author, actor, and director
John Stirling Walker: poet and librettist
10:30 – 11:00: Break
11:00 – 12:30: Presentation & Conversation:
“Shakespeare/DeVere: The Monetary Backdrop”
The virtually unrecognized thread of monetary history and the economic ferment of the Elizabethan era provide a backdrop against which the life and works of the celebrated English bard (Edward DeVere?) were played out. The dramas sound with a moral timbre that is not merely behavioral, legal, or economically self-interested, but allegorical; a temporal tale of the Gods. Is this the elixir they hold for this “post-modern” era, soon to metamorphose (dare I “prophesy”) into a post-commercial age?
Richard Kotlarz: inquirer of the Economic/Social Order
12:30 - 2:30: Lunch in Concord
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on/ and our little life is rounded with a sleep"
Three Shakespeare Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
David Conte asserts that Ralph Vaughan Williams’s "Three Shakespeare Songs" represent a supreme achievement in the repertoire of twentieth-century choral composition. More-over, the songs brilliantly fulfill the original pedagogical purpose: provide a challenging and grateful work for choral singers, using texts of the highest literary and spiritual quality. David Conte will illuminate how the unique character, color and structure of Shakespeare’s language inform one composer’s musical choices regarding melody, harmony, rhythm and meter, and form as expressed in these songs.
David Conte: Professor of Composition, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, & Award-Winning Composer. David’s recent performances and commissions include: a piece composed from President Obama’s victory speech and performed at the inauguration; “Homecoming” in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., performed by Chanticleer at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City; and “Lincoln” commissioned for Concord’s Bicentennial Celebration of Lincoln’s birth.
Shakespeare in a Tarnhelm.
The “tarnhelm” was the golden helmet in Wagner’s Ring Cycle that allowed its wearer to assume any form or even become invisible; so it has been for several centuries with composers donning an interpretive tarnhelm to twist some of the great works of Shakespeare to assume a new form – along the way, some were so changed as to become nearly invisible. Brian Luedloff explores the evolution of Shakespeare’s work through the operatic form, including masterworks and rarely-performed and unknown works. Is the Shakespearean text illuminated or obscured by the element of song? How do character arcs differ in the transition to the operatic form? Discussion will include amusing anecdotes of hits and misses throughout the centuries as composers try their hand at adapting the work of the Bard of Avon.
Brian Luedloff: Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Opera Theatre for the University of Northern Colorado. He has directed operas across the country and served on the staging staff of San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera. He received his MFA in Directing from Boston University where he held a Directing Fellowship in the School of Theatre Arts and taught and directed in the Opera Institute."
ONE AND ALL ARE WELCOME
Contributions, as your fortunes allow, are invited to cover our costs, as we look ahead to the “Third Annual Concord Shakespeare Conference-Festival.”
Friday evening, May 29, at 7:00 p.m., Hank Whittemore will perform his one-man play, Shakespeare’s Treason, at the First Parish of Watertown, Unitarian Universalist, in Watertown, MA. There will be a discussion and reception after the performance.
On Saturday, May 30, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., we’ll hear presentations at the Watertown Free Public Library, also in Watertown Square. Below is a listing of our presenters and a description of their talks.
Cost: We are suggesting a donation of $10 for the Friday evening play, free to students. The Saturday event is free. Last year’s lunch was a huge hit with the group and we would like to provide lunch on Saturday at the library. If the weather is pleasant, attendees may have their lunch as a picnic in a nearby park. We are suggesting a donation of $20 for attending both Friday and Saturday events, (or $10 for either day) to offset the cost of lunch and other refreshments that will be provided throughout the weekend. You may make a donation by cash or check on the day of the event.
Saturday, May 30, 2009 at the Watertown Free Public Library: The program will start at 9:30 a.m. with coffee, and the first talk will begin at 10 a.m. Lunch will be 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. We will end by 4:30 p.m. There are restaurants in Watertown Square within walking distance of the library. People may like to go out to dinner in groups afterwards.
Alex McNeil, President of the Shakespeare Fellowship will be Master of Ceremonies for Saturday’s event. He will also lead us in a Shakespearean game after lunch.
10 - 11 a.m. Bonner Miller Cutting, "Shakespeare’s’ Will Considered Too Curiously"
When the Last Will and Testament of William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is his "notorious bequest” of his second best bed to his wife. In this presentation, Will’s will is compared with other wills of the era, and it becomes clear that there is more to lament in this document than a single unfortunate word choice.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Mark Anderson, "Overjoyed, Over Him, Overbury: The New ‘Cobbe Portrait of Shakespeare’ and what it means for the authorship question" Mark will discuss his research and recent events regarding the Cobbe portrait.
12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 - 2 p.m. - Oxfordian Shakespeare game with Alex McNeil
2:00 - 3 p.m. Marie Merkel, "Raising the Dead: Ben Jonson & The Tempest."
"Mysteriously, it seems an inaugural work…", Harold Bloom
According to most scholars, The Tempest capitalizes on hot news of the day: the 1609 Wreck of the Sea-Venture, in the Bermudas. Since the earl of Oxford died in 1604, the burden of proof has been on his supporters, either to discredit the play’s many echoes of the Bermuda shipwreck, or to find a new author. Mysteriously, The Tempest just happens to be Shakespeare’s most Jonsonian play.
3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Bill Boyle, "Shakespeare and the Succession Crisis of the 1590s"
The succession crisis of the 1590s was a result of Queen Elizabeth’s refusal to name a successor, or even to allow discussion about the succession. Yet Shakespeare’s Richard II is accepted by most scholars as a comment on Elizabeth’s weaknesses and an implicit "thumbs up" to any potential Bolingbroke-like usurpers to the throne (e.g., the Earl of Essex). How deeply involved was Shakespeare in commenting on the succession crisis? What other works of his and others —such as Willobie His Avisa— may have shared the succession agenda of Richard II?
Biographies of our presenters:
Mark Anderson is a journalist who devoted more than a decade to researching the life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. The resulting book, “Shakespeare” by Another Name, is recognized as a major document of the Shakespeare authorship discussion. Mark has published articles on de Vere in Harper’s Magazine, The Boston Globe, and on PBS.org, and has lectured worldwide on the authorship issue.
Bill Boyle is a graduate of Lake Forest College (BA, English, 1967); SUNY-Albany (Mastersin Library Science, 1973). He presently works as a cataloger at the Social Law Library (Boston, MA). Bill has been active in the Oxfordian movement for 30 years and was editor of two society newsletters about Shakespeare and the authorship issue (1995-2005). He founded several websites in the 1990s: Shakespeare Oxford Society (1995), and: The Ever Reader (1998). Bill has presented papers at the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference (Portland, OR) and the conferences of the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship over the past ten years. On the Internet he is presently maintaining a new website and blog, The Shakespeare Adventure, www.shakespeareadventure.com, a Shakespeare library with an online catalog, New England Shakespeare Oxford Library, www.shakespeareoxfordlibrary.org, and is working on a Shakespeare Authorship Resources online database, to be announced later this year.
Bonner Miller Cutting has studied the authorship of the Shakespeare Canon for several decades. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Fellowship and is the President of the Lone Star Shakespeare Roundtable in Houston, Texas. Mrs. Cutting has recently presented papers at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, the 2008 conference on authorship studies held in White Plains, New York, and the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable in Los Angeles. A Louisiana, native, Mrs. Cutting holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Tulane University and a Masters of Music Degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA.
Alex McNeil received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Boston College Law School. A non-practicing attorney, he is the Court Administrator of the Massachusetts Appeals Court in Boston. Alex became interested in the Shakespeare Authorship question after seeing the 1989 PBS Frontline program on the subject. He was one of the founding trustees of the Shakespeare Fellowship, and currently serves as its president. He is the author of Total Television, a reference book on TV programming, and can be heard on the radio as the Friday host of "Lost and Found" on WMBR-FM (88.1, Cambridge MA), a program spotlighting lesser-known pop and soul music of the 60s and 70s.
Marie Merkel’s poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly and The New Republic. She is the author of The First Mousetrap: Titus Andronicus and the Tudor Massacre of the Howards, a full-length study of the play’s links with Howard family history, and the dramatic methods used to conceal this politically explosive story.
Hank Whittemore began researching the life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford in 1987. Since then he has been involved in organizations such as the Shakespeare Oxford Society, the Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference, the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable and the Shakespeare Fellowship. In the winter of 1998-1999, after more than a decade of studying the Sonnets in relation to Oxford’s life, he discovered that the numbered verses comprise an elegant "monument" to preserve a political diary for posterity…
At the center of the structure, Edward de Vere explains his "invention" or special language (akin to the language of DNA) that determines the entire form and content of the sonnet sequence. The result is the "living record" of Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton in relation to the ever-waning life, reign and dynasty of Queen Elizabeth I of England — a genuine historical document in which Oxford tells why and how he saved Southampton’s life by agreeing to bury the truth of his own life: "Your name from hence immortal life shall have, though I (once gone) to all the world must die."
The Monument demonstrates this discovery as it applies to each line of the 154 sonnets, while placing the entire sequence within a specific framework of historical circumstance and chronology. Also see: http://www.shakespearesmonument.com/
Celebrate Shakespeare Day! Saturday, August 2, 2008
Performances and workshops from 2pm - 6pm on Boston Common, with As You Like It at 8pm.
Celebrate Shakespeare Day is a free event presented by Citi Performing Arts Center’s Education Department.
Throughout July, community partner organizations in Cambridge, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and the South End held workshops where participants discovered how enjoyable the world of theatre can be. Through performing art skills building including theater games, ensemble building, and original scene development, participants became familiar with the story line and universal themes of As You Like It. On Saturday, August 2nd, representatives from each neighborhood along with area theatre companies such as Huntington Theatre, will perform a showcase on the Boston Common as part of Celebrate Shakespeare Day.
Celebrate Shakespeare Day includes fun for all ages, interests and activity levels. All are welcome to an afternoon
of free workshops, readings, and interactive games and activities culminating in an evening performance of
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s As You Like It at 8pm at the Parkman Bandstand. Try your hand at
Shakespearaoke, die your most dramatic death, explore Elizabethan dance, use your best Shakespearean insult,
or simply watch our performances and enjoy a visit to the Town Square.
Community Partner Performances:
Community Art Center
Jamaica Plain KidsArts
United South End Settlements
Don’t Miss As You Like It Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, Boston
Tuesdays-Saturdays @ 8pm, Sundays @ 7pm
Through August 3, 2008
Also at Forest Park, Springfield!
August 8-10, 2008
Friday-Sunday @ 7:30pm
Actors Shakespeare Project, American Repertory Theatre,and Revels bring exceptional, out of the box, profoundly original
Outdoor Elizabethan Theatre toHarvard Square!
Please join us this summer for a celebration of outdoor Elizabethan theater throughoutHarvard Squarefeaturing three highly celebrated, award winning, and nationally acclaimed local theater organizations: American RepertoryTheatre,Actors’ Shakespeare Project,and Revels. Each evening performers from the respective theater groups will rotate though their repertoire of Elizabethan performances including a full scale production of Shakespeare’sLove’s Labour’s Lost. Throughout the square, restaurants, retailers and cultural organizers will participate in creating an unforgettable Elizabethan Scene.
Shakespeare in the Square Event Schedule
5:00pm - 7:30pm: CommonwealthMorris Men and Orion Sword Dancers perform around Harvard Square.
6:00pm - 6:45pm Shakespeare SLAMS - American Repertory Theatre’s A.R.T. Institute.
7:15pm - 9:45pm Loves Labour’s Lost - Actor’s Shakespeare Project.
2:45pm - 4:15pm Renaissonics Performance.
4:30pm - 5:15pm Shakespeare SLAMS- American Repertory Theatre’s A.R.T. Institute
7:30pm - 10:00am Loves Labour’s Lost - Actor’s Shakespeare Project
1:30pm - 3:30pm CommonwealthMorris Men around Harvard Square
3:00pm - 5:30pm Loves Labour’s Lost - Actor’s Shakespeare Project
5:00pm - 7:00pm OrionSword Dancers around Harvard Square
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Tapestry and Tom Zajack Trio performs
7:45pm - 8:30pm Shakespeare SLAMS - American Repertory Theatre’s A.R.T. Institute
Shakespeare in the Square Restaurant and Shopping Events from August 1st through the 3rd, please see www.harvardsquare.com for special menus and offers.
American Repertory Theatre Performs Shakespeare Slams!
Shakespeare Slamsis a modern-day, plugged-in Shakespearian mash-up featuring 18 performersfrom the American Repertory Theatre’s A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training ina multidisciplinary, electric, energetic approach to the Bard’s verse. Marrying Shakespeare with a wide range of contemporary music, movement, and culture,Shakespeare Slamsseeks to bring the lives of Shakespeare’s characters to a diverse 21stcentury audience.
When:Friday, August 1st6:00 pm, Saturday, August 2nd4:30 pm, Sunday, August 3rd at 7:45 pm.
WHERE:WinthropPark(corner of JFK andMount Auburn Street).
Actors’ Shakespeare Project will present an encore presentation of their highly successful interpretation ofLove’s Labour’s Lostin conjunction with the Harvard Square Business Associations’ Shakespeare in the Square. This production is directed by Benjamin Evett and features Steven Berkhimer*, Marianna Bassham*, Jason Bowen, Khalil Flemming, Sarah Newhouse*, and Michael Forden Walker*
Shakespeare’sLove’s Labour’s Lostis a sweet and hilarious dance of courtship. Four young lords swear an oath to give up the company of women for three years and devote themselves to study. Soon after, the Princess of France arrives with her three friends and the four lords are instantly smitten. The women decide to torment the men, and boy, are they easy marks! In ASP’s rendition of this classic comedy, six actors play sixteen roles-dancing back and forth between male and female, pursuer and pursued!
WHEN:Friday August 1st at 7:15pm, Saturday 2nd at 7:30pm and Sunday 3rd at 3:00 pm
WHERE:WinthropPark(corner of JFK andMount Auburn Street).
"…big-hearted, brimming with wit, and tinged with the quiet but sure knowledge that laughter doesn’t last forever." -Louise Kennedy,BostonGlobe
"This tiny company has huge heart, endless imagination, and gumption to burn. You can’t help but walk away from their raucously presented, but tightly organized, interpretation of Love’s Labour’s Lost already anticipating the glories their fourth season" -Killian Melloy, Boston Herald (EDGE)
REVELS REPRESENTS at SHAKESPEARE IN THE SQUARE
The area immediately around Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was filled with musicians, jugglers, dancers and other disreputable street performers. Revels is proud to represent the earthy side of Shakespeare in the Square, and under the leadership of the disgruntled former Shakespeare employee and Morris dancer, Will Kemp, will provide entertainment for the groundlings. Expect lusty music from Tom Zajac and friends, fine singing from Tapestry with Doug Freundlich, instrumental fireworks from Renaissonics, as well as Morris and Sword dancing and expert heckling of the actors.
About our Distinguished Local Performing Companies:
The AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE (A.R.T.),one of the country’s most celebrated resident theatres and the winner of numerous awards, including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize, was recently named the third best theatre in the country byTimemagazine. Over its twenty-eight-year history the A.R.T. has welcomed Major American and international theatre artists whose singular visions generate and define the theatre’s work, presenting a varied repertoire that includes new plays, progressive productions of classical texts, and collaborations between artists from many disciplines. The Company has performed throughout the country, and worldwide in twenty-one cities in sixteen countries on four continents. The A.R.T. recently inaugurated its second stage at Zero Arrow Theatre, also inHarvard Square.
The A.R.T. INSITITUE FOR ADVANCED THEATRE TRAININGwas established in 1987 by the A.R.T. as a training ground for the professional American theatre. In 1998, the Institute began an exclusive collaboration with theMoscow Art Theatre(MXAT) School. The union of the two schools has created an historic program that provides unparalleled opportunities for training and growth. Upon graduation, students receive a Certificate of Achievement from the A.R.T. atHarvardUniversityand a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree from theMXATSchool. Institute students have toured their productions throughout Europe, performing inRussia,Italy,Germany, andSwitzerland.
ACTOR’S SHAKESPEARE PROJECT:
The Actors’ Shakespeare Project was founded in 2004 by Benjamin Evett and actor-colleagues with the intention of creating a resident acting company inBostonthat would produce Shakespeare in intimate, stripped-down productions that celebrate the relationships between actors, audience and text. Since then ASP has produced 13 plays in venues all overBostonandCambridgeto critical acclaim and the company’s productions have been honored with three Elliot Norton awards. In 2006, Ed Siegel of the Boston Globe wrote, "This is Shakespeare the way it’s supposed to be performed. The troupe plays to the crowd hilariously, speaks Elizabethan verse beautifully, and posits a smart interpretation of the play. Actors’ Shakespeare Project has to be listed as a local treasure." Jeremy McCarter of New York Magazine called ASP’s King Lear "A triumph of classical acting" and in spring 2008, The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout called ASP "one ofAmerica’s finest Shakespeare troupes."
Now, in its 38th year of performances, Revels is a non-profit performing arts company producing Music Theater, recordings and educational materials.
At the heart of each Revels production are the singers, actors, dancers, and storytellers who preserve the arts and traditions of their own cultures. Through its respect for the customs of many cultures, Revels has created its own traditions.
Widely known for the annual Christmas Revels, our organization celebrates the cycles of life and the seasons through the arts. Revels’ productions of Spring Sing, RiverSing, and SummersDay Revels bring together a community of professional actors, musicians, designers, and directors, along with a volunteer chorus of children and adults. Celebration is at the core of Revels and audience participation is an organic consequence of that impulse.
According to Cutler’s own website, the video brings alive " Mark Twain’s hilarious (1909) debunking of the myth that William Shakespeare wrote the works of Shakespeare. Listing the handful of established facts of Shakespeare’s life, Twain ridicules the fantasy that an uneducated youth could have wandered into London and, with virtually none of the necessary skills, become the greatest author in English literature."
A "magnificent, witty performance!" - Winnipeg Sun
"Marshalls startling facts into an elegant and often tenacious argument that floats on a current of delicious irony."