Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Richard Waugaman, MD, releases updated ebook


The erudite and accessible Richard Waugaman, M.D. has published a second and expanded edition of his first book, Newly Discovered Works by "William Shake-Speare": a.k.a. Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, now available as a Kindle edition from Amazon.


Waugaman said:
Two new chapters add 30% more material, and I've made other revisions throughout. Both new chapters attribute translations from Latin into English to de Vere -- the Metamorphoses traditionally attributed to his uncle; and a 1570 translation of Johann Sturm's short work on rhetoric. 
In both of these new chapters, I present detailed philological evidence for de Vere's authorship, including unusual spellings; word coinages including "to coin" a word and words starting "un-"; and especially the highly Shakespearean use of hendiadys -- "the figure of twins," as de Vere called it in the Arte of English Poesie

UPDATE Jan. 28, 2017: You can get the second edition of Richard Waugaman's ebook for free now through February 1, 2017. Click on https://www.amazon.com/Newly-Discovered-Works-William-Shake-Speare-ebook/dp/B00PEBGSLK

Monday, January 16, 2017

Joyrich will speak at Interlochen's "Shakespeare Authorship Symposium" April 22, 2017


by Linda Theil

Oberon chair Richard Joyrich, MD, will speak at the  "Shakespeare Authorship Symposium" hosted by Interlochen Center for the Arts at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 22, 2017 in the Harvey Theater at Interlochen. Oberons plan to attend the day-long event, as well as the Interlochen production of Cardenio, attributed to John Fletcher and William Shakespeare, and directed by Interlochen instructor Dr. David Montee.

Montee said:
In honor of the Interlochen Theatre Division’s production of Cardenio, a “lost” play by William Shakespeare, and Shakespeare’s birthday/death day on April 23, we invite you to join us for a special day-long symposium on Saturday, April 22 to examine the authorship issue surrounding Shakespeare’s works. A distinguished panel of invited Shakespeare scholars, including Dr. Sabrina Feldman, author of The Apocryphal Shakespeare and The Shakespearean Glass Slipper, and Dr. Richard Joyrich, founding member of the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group, will join moderator, Academy Theatre Instructor, and director of Cardenio, Dr. David Montee, to provide a glimpse into the authorship controversy and different schools of thought. 
Panelists will examine the mysteries and controversies and will also explore the mechanics of playwright collaboration in the Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre. Symposium participants will come away from the session with new insights on the revered bard that will be of benefit to both educators and enthusiasts alike. To conclude the day, participants will have an opportunity to enjoy a special 30-minute “behind-the-scenes” pre-performance introduction to Cardenio, as presented by Interlochen’s production designers. The day is sure to delight and stir the imagination of those in attendance.
The cost of attending the "Shakespeare Authorship Symposium" is $25; our readers may register for the symposium online. Tickets for Cardenio -- which is running the entire weekend of April 21, 22, and 23, 2017 -- must be purchased separately, but are also available online at the same site as the symposium tickets.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rey Perez' final word to Oberons

by Linda Theil


Mara Radzvickas and Reinaldo Perez at Beau's in Bloomfield Twp. MI, June 26, 2015.

The obituary of our colleague Reinaldo Perez (1944-2016) has been published at Legacy website and will appear in the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press today, January 15, 2017. Although no information regarding memorial services is yet available, Perez' obituary informs us that his cremated remains will be interred in Orlando, Florida.

Perez' obituary was compiled by his longtime friend, Terry Shaw, who is also known to Oberon members. In her memorial essay, Shaw relates a story of Rey's final day before entering St. Joe Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor on October 26, 2017 where he passed away on December 12, 2016 due to complications from heart surgery. Shaw said:
The night before his surgery [Rey] spent several hours writing a vigorous response to a recent book about Shakespeare, resulting in only four hours of rest before he entered the hospital. He never spoke or wrote again.
Before departing for the hospital that morning, Rey sent us all an email of his heartfelt response to the news that the Oxford University Press new edition of Shakespeare’s complete works credits Christopher Marlowe as co-writer on Shakespeare's Henry VI plays -- a topic that we Oberons had been sharing emails about. (See more information on this news in the Oberon weblog posting "New Oxford Shakespeare adds Marlowe as co-writer".)

Because we value his voice and miss his presence, we share Rey Perez' final communication with us, here:
10/26/16
Hello Oberons, 
Wanted to share a few preliminary comments ("preliminary" is a euphemism for "might be wrong and I might need to take them back after reading more on the matter") about Marlowe as co-author with Shakespeare of the Henry VI plays. 
-- rightly or wrongly that Marlowe is being given credit as co-author with Shakespeare of the three Henry VI plays, as published by a major publisher such as Oxford University Press, is a major development. 
-- I agree with Richard [Joyrich] that it seems an attempt to bridge the gap between the lack of literary evidence connected with William Shaksper of Stratford and the works of Shakespeare the writer. We heard some mention of collaboration in brief comments made by Paul Edmondson at the Stratford, Ontario lecture that some of us attended. 
-- The [Oct 24, 2016] New York Times article writes:

"Speculation on whether Marlowe collaborated on the plays stretches back to the 18th century. About two dozen scholars contributed research for the new volume. They used the latest tools in text analysis to investigate the works. 
For the New Oxford Shakespeare scholars ran tests to determine whether authors like Marlowe could be reliably identified by the ways they used language — like frequent use of certain articles, and certain words commonly occurring in a row, or being close to each other in the text. Once this was determined, researchers applied these patterns back to texts, to see if they suggested an author other than Shakespeare. If results came out positive, further tests were run."
That is, they looked at Marlowe's writings and compared them to the works of Shakespeare.  As Tom [Townsend] mentions, there are no writings by the Stratford Man!
-- So, if we were to accept the conclusion of the textual study, namely that there are textual parallels between the plays and poems of Shakespeare and the writings of Marlowe, we Oxfordians can therefore conclude that this could be the result of collaboration between Oxford (aka Shakespeare) and Marlowe, or that one or the other borrowed or was influenced by the style of the other. That there are parallels between Marlowe's writings and the plays and poems of Shakespeare does not by itself depend on the identity of who Shakespeare was. Is there any evidence that Oxford and Marlowe met or knew each other?  As playwrights they likely would have known each others' works.
-- Might the text patterns identified as comparable between the works of Shakespeare-Oxford (de Vere) and the works of Marlowe be evidence of Marlowe's borrowing, imitating, or being influenced by the works of Shakespeare?  Shakespeare-Oxford (de Vere) was 14 years older that Marlowe. When there are textual similarities between works of two authors who overlapped in time how does one determine which is the author and which the co-author of specified passages? (This point could be invalidated if the diagnostic textual patterns are common and widely found throughout the works of one of the authors, but only found in one or a few passages among the works of the other. Hence the need to read the original study and not just the NYT article!)
-- Nevertheless, again, if we were to accept the results of the textual study, then we can indeed propose that it is Shakespeare-Oxford who should be listed as co-author of some of the works of Marlowe. Haven't eminent, tenured, published scholars identified textual patterns present in some works of both? I mean, what else can we laymen do but accept the truth from on high? 
Suggested future headline:"New Marlowe Edition Credits Shakespeare as Co-Author". 
Rey [Perez]

Monday, December 19, 2016

Reynaldo Perez memorial will be held January, 2017


Reinaldo Perez, 1944-2016

Our long-time friend and colleague Reinaldo Perez (1944-2016) passed away December 12, 2016 at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor due to complications from heart surgery performed October 26, 2016. Rey is deeply mourned by his Oberon friends.

Rey was retired from the University of Michigan where he taught in the language department at the Dearborn campus. A memorial gathering will be held in January 2017. More information will be added as it becomes available.

UPDATE January 14, 2017: The obituary of Reinaldo Perez has been published at Legacy website and will appear in the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press on January 15, 2017. No information is yet available regarding memorial services.

Pam Verilone and Rey Perez enjoy conversation during the Oberon party at Stage Deli -- annual holiday party on January 4, 2013 at the Stage Deli in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Rey Perez with his mother in his homeland, Cuba, where he
lived before moving to New York City at the age of 14.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Oberons met Nov. 19, 2016


Oberons met Nov. 19, 2016 at Bloomfield Twp. Library: Richard Joyrich, Robin Browne, Mara Radzvickas, Rosey Hunter (back) and Sharon Hunter (back). Photo credit: Linda Theil

by Linda Theil

Oberon's met on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at the Bloomfield Twp. library for the first time in several months. We were delighted to enjoy the company of Sharon Hunter, Robin Browne, Mara Radzvickas, Rosey Hunter, and our chairperson Richard Joyrich, MD for an afternoon of companionship. We missed our good friend Reynaldo Perez who suffered complications from surgery on October 26 2016 and is currently being cared for at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital at  5301 McAuley Dr, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. We send our love and support.

Joyrich reported on the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship's Nov. 3-6 conference in Boston where he retained his first vice-president position on the SOF board of trustees. 

Joyrich gave a PowerPoint review of our Oberon colleague Tom Townsend's conference presentation, "DeVere's Lesser Legacy: The Legal Compact of Equity" on the topic of equitly law and common law in Shakespeare's work and milieu. He enjoyed dinner in Boston with Tom and Joy Townsend, now relocated to Seattle. We send our hearty congratulations to Townsend on his intricate study of this topic.

Joyrich also told us that the upcoming 2016 edition of the SOF journal, Brief Chronicles edited by Roger Stritmatter and Michael Delahoyde, will be the final edition of that publication. He also said that the latest edition of SOF journal The Oxfordian, Vol. 18, is available to SOF members online. Because the newest edition is published, volume 17 is now available to the public online.

Oberon chairperson Richard Joyrich, MD, sports new SOF logo totebag 

Chairperson Joyrich returned from the conference with a nifty new tote bag embellished with the SOF logo now available to the public from Zazzle. Read more about SOF swag on their weblog post "Show your SOS support with style" by Theresa Lauricella.

Friday, October 28, 2016

New Oxford Shakespeare adds Marlowe as co-writer

        
Christopher Marlowe, 1564-1593
by Linda Theil

Oxford University Press raised a storm of major media coverage this week with the announcement that their new edition of Shakespeare’s complete works credits Christopher Marlowe as co-writer on Shakespeare's Henry VI plays. OUP editor Gary Taylor and others have recently devoted themselves to the notion of Shakespearean “collaboration”, but this is the first time that an academic publisher has broken the authorship taboo by admitting there may be unanswered questions about the origin of Shakespeare’s works.

Taylor, a staunch Stratfordian, doesn't realize that an emphasis on Shakespearean “collaboration” invites investigation of the entire Shakespeare authorship question by validating the search for authentic attribution. 

Oberon asked Dr. Ros Barber -- who wrote her 2012 doctoral dissertation and her award-winning novelThe Marlowe Paperson the topic of Marlowe writing Shakespeare -- what she made of the news from Oxford.

Oberon: Did you know this was coming?

Barber: No, not in such a formal manner regarding co-author attributions in the new Oxford Shakespeare. But I've been aware of some of the work that led up to it -- Craig & Kinney's work on Henry VI Part 2, John Nance's follow-on work. In addition, some of my own and Peter Farey's research on specific Kentish knowledge in Part 2 which I wrote up in Shakespeare: The Evidence is suggestive of Marlowe's authorship. 

Part 1 has long been considered co-authored (since the nineteenth century), but several hands have been suggested -- not just Marlowe but Kyd and Nash. Possibly Peele. Have they been written out of the equation? It is too patchy a play to be solely a Marlowe-Shakespeare project, especially when put up against Parts 2 and 3 (both of which were written earlier, scholars think). Part 3 was more of a surprise, and I haven't yet seen the underlying scholarship for giving Marlowe a co-authorship attribution on this play, but since Parts 2 and 3 are stylistically very similar and they were published very much as a pair, that doesn't feel very surprising.

Oberon: Do  you feel vindicated?

Barber: Certain scholars deciding that Marlowe co-authored three Shakespeare plays is not the same -- as I'm sure they would point out! -- as entertaining the idea that Marlowe might be the chief author of the Shakespeare canon. It's good that it raises Marlowe's profile and highlights his importance to the Shakespeare 'project' -- if I can call it that. It emphasises how close Marlowe's style is to 'early Shakespeare' -- something that other scholars have noted but not formalised with an attribution, generally explaining away (parallelisms, for example) as 'influence'.

But Gary Taylor et al are suggesting their methodologies can tell the difference between the hand of Marlowe and the hand of Shakespeare-influenced-by-Marlowe. If this were so, it would put paid to any wider authorship claims for Marlowe. However, nearly all the stylometric methodologies I've investigated are unconvincing:
  • They do not conform to proper scientific (or statistical) methods. 
  • They do not take into account, for example, the purpose of a particular scene (a court scene, for example, will have more formal language than a scene involving 'commoners').
  • They do not take into account genre when setting baseline standards (lumping the Shakespeare canon into one, rather than breaking it out into histories, comedies etc).
  • They do not consider that we have no 'clean' text that has not passed through several hands (including scribes).
  • And most important of all, they do not consider the fact that a single writer's style and word usage changes over time. 


Consider this from Peter Farey:

Suppose that there are two bodies of work, one which we will ascribe to playwright A and the other playwright B. 
We work out that the frequency with which they each use the words 'most' and 'then' differs greatly. In fact, if we add up the total for both words in a play by either of them and find what percentage of them are 'most' we can be fairly sure that:
* if it's less than 40%, it's by playwright A
* if it's more than 40%, it's by playwright B
(In fact this works for all of A's 21 plays bar one, and all of B's 16 except two. You would need to get a bit more complicated to get 100% in each case!)
Now let’s imagine that we have a play where we suspect collaboration between the two playwrights. We find that Acts 1 & 2 are well below 40% (so probably playwright A) and Acts 3 & 5 well above (playwright B). Act 4 is more doubtful at 43%. 
So does this tell us anything at all about whether the two playwrights are different people? No. In fact playwright A is Shakespeare before 1600, and playwright B is Shakespeare after 1600. And Twelfth Night (1601?) was the play in question, if you were wondering. 
What we can see, therefore, is that to claim that this tells us they were different people is circular reasoning. If you start with an assumption that they are two different people, and take no account of time, then it’s hardly surprising that this is just what the figures will seem to show.
Oberon: Are you surprised Gary Taylor was involved?

Barber: Not at all. He has been at the forefront of the co-authorship movement for many years. However, his attempts to gift 200 lines of Macbeth to Thomas Middleton, and give Middleton credit for parts of Measure for Measure have been entirely dismantled by other scholars, and I imagine the Marlowe attribution will be ripe for dismantling too.

Oberon: How does this data fit into your thesis?



Barber: It isn't data so much as an argument around that data, and that argument is entirely disconnected from my PhD thesis, which was looking at the relationship between Early Modern biography (Shakespeare and Marlowe biographies in particular) and fiction. I did mention in passing the fact that certain early Shakespeare plays (including the Henry VI trilogy) were sometimes attributed to Marlowe right up until 1920, and the similarity of 'early Shakespeare' stylistically to Marlowe. But the work of Gary Taylor et al is claiming they can distinguish between the two. 

Oberon: Do you plan to write about this?

Barber: When the underlying research is published, I'll take a good look at it and decide from there. 

Oberon: Are you excited, or is this not as important as we, here, think it is?


Barber: I have seriously mixed feelings about it (as you can probably tell). I need to drill down into the underlying research before make up my mind one way or another.  As you can tell, I don't have a lot of faith in stylometry, and I suspect that reducing Marlowe to co-author on three early and minor plays will be seen as destructive to the theory of his wider involvement. This announcement is important just because of the amount of press interest it has generated, but unfortunately that can have the detrimental effect of cementing something as 'true' that is actually unproven or even false. And I'm always against that, no matter what the subject area.

We are grateful to Dr. Barber for sharing her insight with us at Oberon. We also thank Richard Waugaman, PhD and Elizabeth Waugaman for their assistance with this article.

Additional information:

New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition: The Complete Works edited by Gary Taylor, et al, will to be published Dec. 27, 2016.

Download Ros Barber thesis, "Writing Marlowe as Writing Shakespeare" from the British Library EThOS system at http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=1&uin=uk.bl.ethos.554887
EThOS registration is free.

Media reports on OUP announcement:

Peter Farey citation: "Stylometrics and Edward II by Peter Farey" The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection weblog, Sept. 18, 2014.

Note: Because this article includes a written interview, we have left the authentic British spellings in place, Ed.

UPDATE 11/4/16: "How Statistics Solved a 175-Year-Old Mystery About Alexander Hamilton" by Ben Christopher, published Oct. 31, 2016 on the Priceonomics website, is an excellent explanation of the statistical methods used to determine the Marlowe attribution of the Shakespeare Henry VI plays. Well worth reading!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tired, weak, pathetic, desperate Shakespeare Live! celebration

"Shakespeare Live!" from by Royal Shakespeare Company, April 23, 2016


By guest blogger Catherine Hatinguais

About two weeks ago, I went with friends to the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, MA, one of several Boston cinema venues for Shakespeare plays:

All have telecast events there and worldwide. We wanted to see the re-broadcast of the joint BBC and Royal Shakespeare Company celebration entitled "Shakespeare Live!" which promised a feast: extracts from various plays as well as music, operas and ballets inspired by Shakespeare. The place was packed, largely but not exclusively, with grey heads.

The performers -- actors, musicians and dancers -- were all good to excellent. With Miren, Dench, Suchet, Cumberbatch, McKellen, Fiennes, and more; how could it go wrong? the short scenes were alternatively funny and moving, but the hosts, David Tennant and Catherine Tate, were uninspired and as predictable as show hosts at one of those self-congratulatory, Hollywood, fund-raising galas, or life-achievement award ceremonies. And the guide on the obligatory and reverent walk through Shakspeare's birth room and courting cottage -- evoking Will’s and Anne’s “sweet nothings”, I kid you not! -- was pure cant.

The presence of Prince Charles in the audience and -- briefly and somewhat awkwardly -- on stage, was a reminder of the might and imperviousness of the Stratford establishment, especially when they cunningly enlisted John of Gaunt's stirring "sceptered isle" speech to defend the fortress.

It occurred to me then and there that challenging the identity of the Bard meant also challenging the identity of the English nation. I shuddered at the enormity of the task.

Not everything was as intimidating, though. We were treated to a huge neon portrait of the Bard -- based on Droeshout, of course -- lighting up bright and blue at the back of the stage, toward which the performers all pointed and bowed at the end, in worship. It was embarrassing to watch.

And also obnoxious: we were so transparently being admonished “This is the man; don’t you ever doubt it!”. But then, why the urge to admonish if there is really no doubt?


Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare rendered in fireworks at Shakespeare Live! April 23, 2016. Image courtesy BBC.

The same outline Droeshout portrait lit up with fireworks outside at the closing of the broadcast. Who needs Disneyland when we have Stratford?

Overall, this show left me with a weird sense that the Stratford story is dying and that the Stratfordian organizers dimly know it. Whatever power the performance had for me came from Shakespeare's words; the fluff around them was corny and kitsch.

It was tired. It was weak. It was pathetic. It was desperate.

I don't think it is only wishful thinking on my part: one of my friends had the same visceral reaction -- halfway between a cringe and a chuckle. Both the Stratford and Boston audiences clearly seemed to enjoy the various performances; it is impossible to know if they experienced the same unease.

Reviews from the United Kingdom were predictably laudatory:
But, I left the theater vaguely nauseated and embarrassed for the actors, nagged by the sense that something was amiss in the celebration, by a silent undercurrent, a dissonance I cannot quite name, and almost sad for the ordinary Stratfordians-by-default who don't know yet their man is already dead, who can’t see what's coming and are missing all the fun and excitement of the hunt for the true author.

Did any other masochist among you see that show? Am I the only one who heard the bells toll? Am I deluded in seeing a feeble last hurrah where others saw a triumph?


Catherine Hatinguais was born in France and lived in NYC, where she worked as a translator at the UN. She now lives in the Boston area. See also, "Catherine Hatinguais: How I became an Oxfordian".


Resources:



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Oberons met at Paisano's June 25, 2016

Rosey Hunter, Richard Joyrich, and Pam Verilone at Paisano's in Ann Arbor June 25, 2016

by Linda Theil

Oberons met June 25, 2016 in the private "wine room" at Paisano Restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI. Oberon chair Richard Joyrich, Rosey Hunter, Pam Verilone, Rey Perez and guest, and Linda Theil attended the luncheon get-together.

At our meeting, Oberons committed to participating in a Shakespeare symposium on April 23, 2017 at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI. We are grateful to Interlochen instructor of theater, David Montee, for his invitation to participate in the event.

All Pam Verilone's Oberon friends congratulated her on her natal day, and on her successful teaching career at her recent retirement from Southfield Public Schools.

Our group sends good thoughts and best wishes to Oberon members Sharon Hunter and Robin Browne who are recuperating from illness, and unable to join us in Ann Arbor. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Report from May 14, 2016 Oberon meeting

Rosey Hunter at after-meeting dinner at Beau's in Bloomfield Hills, MI May 14, 2016.

Oberons send hugs to our friend Robin Browne who is recuperating after surgery at Beaumont Hospital May 11. Get well soon, Robin!

On June 18, 2016 several Oberon members will attend author James Shapiro's talk on the topic of "The Scottish Play"at 10:30 a.m. in the Studio Theatre as part of the Festival Forum series of lectures in Stratford, Ontario.

We discussed the Oberon blog, particularly the Mark Twain Project Online (MTPO) article titled “Mark Twain’s Benighted Book”  and the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship's letter of protest to the Bancroft Library at UC/Berkley and the National Endowment for the Arts that is partially funding the MTPO. An article titled "SOF responds to omission of authorship book from Mark Twain Project" appears on the SOF News weblog online

We urged Oberon members to sign up for email notification of Oberon posts on the Oberon blog page to get information and links regarding interesting topics such as the MTPO, the Rylance/Jacobi interview on NPR, etc. Just enter your email address in the box below the words: "Follow Oberon by email:" (see photo below)
Sign up online for email notification of Oberon blog posts.
Just enter your email address under the words "Follow Oberon by email:"

Several members: Richard, Pam, Mara, and Sharon plan to attend the "Shakespeare Live" film on Monday, May 23 at the Livonia theater at 7 p.m. Please see more information in Richard Joyrich's report below.

We discussed our "Reasonable Doubt about Shakespeare" event at UM-Flint on April 24, 2016 and agreed Matthew Wyneken and Richard Joyrich’s presentations were masterly. Matt will investigate the possibility of presenting a reprise event at UM-Flint this fall.

Although chairperson Richard Joyrich was unable to attend the meeting, he sent us information about other Shakespeare events available to us in Southeast MI. Richard Joyrich reported:
DETROIT: Mosaic Youth Theatre’s new production: A Midsummer SOULstice looks interesting. Here is the description from their website (mosaicdetroit.org)
“A mash-up of Soul hits from the 60’s and 70’s and one of the funniest plays ever written, A Midsummer SOULstice is a non-stop, hilarious musical romp through the woods on the longest day of the year.” This will show at the Detroit Film Theatre at:4 PM today (may 15),10 AM May 19,PM May 20-21, andPM May 22. The Detroit Mosaic Youth Theatre is a wonderful institution. Get more info about them show and this particular show by reading the story from the Play section of today’s Detroit Free Press at: http://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/2016/05/11/shakespeare-gets-soul-makeover-new-mosaic-production/84151814/ 
STRATFORD: On Sunday, May 29, at 3 PM there will be a showing of the HD film of last year’s Stratford, Ontario production of The Taming of the Shrew. Unfortunately, the closest theater to us where it is showing is the Celebration Cinema in Lansing. We have already missed the showings of Hamlet and The Adventures of Pericles. Eventually, these will be released on DVD so you will have to wait for them. (I saw all of these productions live in Stratford and they were all great.)
LONDON: Another cinema experience (at many closer theaters) coming up, on Monday, May 23, is The Shakespeare Show. Here is the description from the Royal Shakespeare Company website: Recorded live from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon on the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the event known as Shakespeare Live, will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of Shakespeare’s plays and their enduring influence on music, dance, opera, musical theatre and comedy. 
As part of a year-long celebration of the Bard, this star-studded show was conceived and directed by Gregory Doran and will be hosted by David Tennant and Catherine Tate and features Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, David Suchet, Joseph Fiennes, Rufus Wainwright, Tim Minchin, Al Murray, Meera Syal, Alison Moyet, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Paapa Essiedu, Pippa Nixon, Alexandra Gilbreath, the Royal Ballet, the Orchestra of the Swan and many more. Don’t miss this spectacular cast for a unique tribute to one of the most influential storytellers of all time.
This movie will be shown at 7 PM on Monday, May 23 at the Quality 16 in Ann Arbor, the Livonia 20, and the Commerce Township 14. Tickets are $15. More info available at fathomevents.com/event/the-shakespeare-show/more-info/details

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kietzman and Gifford join reasonable doubters


New Declaration of Reasonable Doubt signers Mary Jo Kietzman, PhD and UM-Flint archivist Paul Gifford join Oberons at "Reasonable Doubt about Shakespeare" presentation April 24, 2016 at UM-Flint. In photograph back row: Paul Gifford; Matthew Wyneken, PhD; (Declaration of Reasonable Doubt) Richard Joyrich, MD; Pam Verilone; front row: Sharon Hunter, Rosey Hunter (almost invisible behind Sharon), and Mary Jo Kietzman, PhD.
by Linda Theil

University of Michigan -- Flint, Shakespeare professor Mary Jo Kietzman, PhD and her husband UM-Flint archivist Paul Gifford joined the ranks of Shakespeare authorship "reasonable doubters" yesterday at the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group presentation, "Reasonable Doubt about Shakespeare" organized as part of a worldwide project by the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition.

Matthew Wyneken, PhD, welcomes attendees at "Reasonable Doubt about Shakespeare"
April 24, 2016 at UM-Flint
Oberon member and University of Michigan--Flint associate professor Matthew Wyneken, PhD organized the local event at UM-Flint and welcomed guests to the program, saying: "I feel it is incumbent on academia to study and investigate the matter [of the Shakespeare authorship]." 

Richard Joyrich, MD, gave a talk on the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition's
Declaration of Reasonable Doubt at the "Reasonable Doubt about Shakespeare" presentation
at UM-Flint April 24, 2016.
Oberon chairperson Richard Joyrich, MD, gave a talk explaining the SAC's Declaration of Reasonable Doubt and the new evidence that makes the Shakespeare authorship question "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" to a small audience in the Happenings Room of the University Center Building. Joyrich said:

"I think [the Shakespeare authorship] is  question of evidence. As a physician thats what I do -- investigate evidence -- and the same is true of lawyers. I think thats why there are so many doctors and lawyers interested in the issue."

Shakespeare scholar Mary Jo Kietzman, PhD, signs the SAC's
Declaration of Reasonable Doubt April 24, 2016.
After his presentation, Shakespeare scholar Mary Jo Kietzman and her husband, archivist Paul Gifford engaged Joyrich and others in a wide-ranging discussion of aspects of the authorship debate including the topics of Hamlet's sources, dating Macbeth, and Roger Stritmatter's work on deVere's Bible. When Kietzman suggested Shakespeare's attitude toward the common man is admiring, Joyrich disagreed saying the works derive from an aristocratic point of view and the only wise servants are representative of commedia dell'arte influence on some of the plays. Kietzman said that the authorship angle that would most persuade her would be the Italian connections. 

"I'm not personally invested in the man from Stratford," Kietzman said. "I think we should look into [the authorship question] further. I'm kind of convinced that its good to have the possibility opened."

Archivist Paul Gifford signs the SAC's 
Declaration of Reasonable Doubt April 24, 2016.
Archivist Paul Gifford's interest had been piqued by the PBS Frontline program "The Shakespeare Mystery". "It does bring up interesting questions," Gifford said. 

Kietzman is currently working on a book with the working title, Shakespeare's Covenantal Theater and its Biblical Muse of Fire about how the Old Testament view of covenant informs Shakespeare's plays.

"I chanced upon [the topic] when I began reading the Bible and could not help but apprehend all the ways Shakespeare was weaving the stories into the subtexts of the plays to give them more ethical resonance," Kietzman said. 

Of her work, she said:

Covenant is, in my view, the biblical beating heart of Shakespeare’s secular-seeming drama, central to its content and form. By subtly yoking his characters and their struggles to the flawed yet chosen men of the Bible, Shakespeare gives them a sublime or spiritual dimension. . . .It is the biblical component which I believe lends Shakespeare’s alienated others like Aaron, Shylock, Hamlet, Othello, Falstaff, Caliban, and the mad kings their grandeur: no matter how flawed or troubled, they are in touch with another reality and struggle to trust that reality enough to say “Here I am” in response to it. 
A chapter of Kietzman's Shakespeare's Covenantal Theater. . . titled "The Merchant of Venice:  Shylock and Covenantal Interplay", has been accepted for the journal, English Literary History, published by Johns Hopkins.


Oberons Sharon Hunter, Richard Joyrich, Matthew Wyneken, and Rosey Hunter confer
after "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" at 501 Bar and Pub in Flint, MI.