Sunday, July 22, 2007

Oberon report from Jackson

Dear Oberon,

Another wonderful day at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson yesterday (Saturday, July 21). We saw two excellently produced and acted plays (with some reservations from our ever perceptive group), Henry V and Macbeth. But then we knew that. The work by the Festival troupe has been reliable in the past and continues to be so.

We picnicked behind the Ruth Day Theatre Building, munching on Linda’s delicious VG fried chicken and watermelon, various treats from Rosey, and our picnic lunches. The theatre office was kind enough to send out a welcoming ant. The good news was that he was very small and that there was only one of him. Linda led a planning session for our Oct 25 meeting featuring Lonnie Morley, the Shakespeare herb lady, who describes how her research into Shakespeare’s use of herbs in his plays and poems leads us to Edward De Vere as the true author.

We dined together between plays at a local restaurant suggested by Mary Matthews, the festival’s managing director. What we didn’t know at the start of the day was that Mary would be our guest. She very generously, comfortably, and engagingly told the nine of us in attendance about the history of the festival, about some of the experiences she has encountered, and about her plans for next year in which Oberon could very well have a presence. She welcomed any support we could provide in terms of the substance and organization of the kickoff to the 2008 season which she wants to make a very special event for Festival supporters and the acting and production company. We very much look forward to taking a role in making Mary’s plans a success.

Sadly, our brief business meeting was without a treasurer’s report. Tom Townsend’s father passed away last week, so Tom and Joy were involved with the family and the funeral. The suggestion that Oberon do something to recognize Tom’s loss met with an immediate opening of our members’ hearts and wallets, the result of which Rosey and I will bring to Tom and Joy this afternoon at the funeral home for one of the family’s charities. The donation could never be enough considering the regard we hold for Tom and Joy.

Linda also put a plug in for the Oberon blog. To participate, you must sign up. Check with Linda for details. Richard reminded us that those attending the Carmel conference in October should be making preparations. Hotel rooms are going fast.

I had two brief announcements. The first was that Holly Ogburn-Martin, Charlton Ogburn’s daughter, is appearing on eBay to sell the remaining stock of the last printing of Ogbun’s landmark Oxfordian work, The Mysterious William Shakespeare. This is an opportunity to get a good copy of the book if you do not have it already and to contact Holly via eBay. She wrote to me: “I am the only family member continuing Charlton’s crusade at all...very small family. I am not writing about Shakespeare, though I find opportunities to involve the authorship question in my work as an educator.” The second was that a production of Hamlet in California has Ophelia as pregnant based on herbs she talks about which were used to induce abortion. A question for Lonnie Morley? A possible Oxford connection for our Hamlet project? Stay tuned. There is more to heaven and earth, dear Oberon, than is dreamt of in our philosophies.

Tom

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