Robert Duha, managing director of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, was our special guest for the second meeting in a row Thursday, Feb. 19, to follow up with us on certain issues pertaining to the Festival. Mr. Duha brought with him Laura, his marketing assistant.
Robert has given Oberon the use of a table at all Festival productions this year for getting out information about the authorship issue especially as it may relate to the productions at this year’s Festival.
Robert also stated that the Festival newsletter needs articles and invites Oberon members to submit articles on authorship issues or on anything else of interest about Shakespeare or especially The Tempest or As You Like It, the two Shakespeare plays being performed by the Festival this year.
He added that there will be a final print edition of the newsletter this year, after which it will continue life via e-mail.
He also asked Oberon’s assistance with finding groups of 20 or more to attend the plays since those groups can receive significant discounts on tickets. This is one area of research in which volunteers can help the Festival.
Ultimately, Robert would like to extend the season to the school year and make Shakespeare available to students for free.
Finally, he promised to send details of the Festival’s opening night dinner. Artistic Director John Neville-Andrews will discuss the plays being presented this year and answer questions about the productions.
We are looking forward to seeing both Robert and Laura at future meetings. They and all of the hard workers who are striving to build a successful Michigan Shakespeare Festival will always be welcome guests.
The brief thoughts we shared with Robert and Laura about how such issues as the dating of The Tempest extend to the identity of the true author were meant for Mr. Neville-Andrews since he will be directing that play for the Festival this summer. But Robert good-naturedly promised to take the message back to Mr. Neville-Andrews. Perhaps the subject will be one which we submit to the Festival newsletter. Look for more on this in the near future.
Oberon also welcomed Prashant Andrade to Thursday’s meeting. Prashant runs the Shakespeare Reading group which Richard Joyrich and Linda Theil have attended to their great enjoyment. Prashant is welcome back to share with Oberon his Shakespeare experiences. Next reading will be March 22 at the Plymouth Library in downtown Plymouth. Most appropriately to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, the group will be reading The Tempest.
Finally, we were able to get started in planning our Shakespeare UNbirthday party to be held at our April 23 meeting at the Farmington Library. More about that in a separate e-mail soon. The best development is that Joy volunteered herself, Rosey and others to dress up for the event. That could be the most fun of all, even more fun than Ron Destro’s UNShakespeare program and the UNbirthday cake, and I just can’t wait.