Thursday, March 24, 2011

Canadian iconoclasts repelled at US border

Canadian Monster Theatre troupe that was to have presented the anti-Stratfordian comedy titled The Shakespeare Show: Or, how an illiterate son of a Glover became the Greatest Playwright in the World by Ryan Gladstone on March 24-26, 2011 at the Portland Mini Fringe Festival will not be performing. Dan Wright, PhD -- director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon -- reported today:
I am sad to announce that due to some complications at the US-Canadian border, the troupe that was to perform The Shakespeare Show Friday night at Theatre! Theatre! as part of the Portland Mini Fringe Festival has been turned away and denied US entry. Hence, the play is cancelled. Perhaps we'll find some occasion for another get-together this Spring.
For more information on this event see Oberon post: 
The Shakespeare Show plays at Portland's Mini Fringe Festival March 24-26, 2011

March 25, 2011 UPDATE:

Oberon received this communique from Monster Theater Artistic Producer Tara Travis regarding the troupe's cancelled performance:
We're quite devastated that we were unable to perform this weekend. After all our efforts and the efforts of others to reach out and engage the community that would most enjoy this production, it came down to a simple detail in our paperwork at the border crossing. We did extensive research to make sure we had everything required for such an engagement, and the presenting company, FUSE ensemble, supported us through that process, but alas, a vital piece of information that was missed made all the difference. It's frustrating and upsetting, but ultimately a lesson learned the hard way. Now that we have all our facts and requirements straight, we are looking to make another opportunity to come to the US. No date has been set, but we will certainly be in touch when that day comes. Most likely, we'll work to arrange a longer engagement, a multi-city tour on a special performer's visa. Once the appropriate visas are acquired and t's crossed and i's will be a pleasure to finally do what we set out to do!

Get discounted tickets to Propeller's Ann Arbor productions of Richard III and Comedy of Errors

Scene from Richard III

The University Musical Society has offered discounted tickets to Oberon members and readers of this blog to performances of Propeller all-male Shakespeare troupe March 30 through April 3 at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For schedule of performances and more information about the productions, see Richard III and Comedy of Errors.

Special Offer from UMS!
Members of the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group, and readers of this blog, are eligible for discounted tickets to Propeller performances – simply call the UMS Group Sales Office at (734) 763-3100 and mention the promotion code OBERON to receive up to 4 tickets for opening night of either title at $35 each and up to 4 tickets for any other performance during the run at 25% off per ticket!  This offer applies to both Richard III and Comedy of Errors performances; offer is not available at the door or on previously purchased tickets. Don’t forget to ask about coach transportation to Ann Arbor from Oakland County!

Propeller Theater Company: FREE Public Residency Events

Shaking-up 21st-Century Shakespeare: An Introduction to UK's Propeller Company 

Monday, March 28, 7:00 pm
U-M Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Auditorium
Guitars, gurneys and gore all play a part in the all-male Shakespeare company Propeller's upcoming production of Richard III, and the company likewise reinvents and re-imagines The Comedy of Errors. Discover how Propeller creates new interpretations of the classics in a lecture led by University of Warwick Professor of English Carol Rutter. A collaboration with U-M Museum of Art and the U-M Department of English Language and Literature.

From the Bard to the Boardroom, Part II 
Tuesday, March 29, 5:30 pm
Ross School of Business, Room 2240
University of Warwick Professor of English Carol Rutter leads a practical workshop for the Ross Leadership Initiative on the connections between Shakespeare, theatrical performance, and leadership in business practice. Open to the public. A collaboration with Ross Leadership Initiative. 

Post-performance Q&A (Richard III
Wednesday, March 30, after the performance
Power Center
Audience members have the opportunity to interact with members of Propeller's artistic staff and acting company after the performance. Must have ticket to attend. 

Post-performance Q&A (The Comedy of Errors
Thursday, March 31, after the performance
Power Center
Audience members have the opportunity to interact with members of Propeller's artistic staff and acting company after the performance. Must have ticket to attend. 

Brownbag: All-Male Shakespeare in Post-Modern England 
Friday, April 1, 12:00 noon
U-M Lane Hall, Room 2239 (204 S. State Street, Ann Arbor)
Panel discussion with University of Warwick Professor Carol Rutter, University of Michigan Professor Barbara Hodgdon, Propeller Artistic Director Edward Hall, and other company members on gender roles in contemporary performances of Shakespeare. What are the challenges, questions, and opportunities when playing both male and female roles within an all-male cast? The panelists will also discuss Propeller's overall post-modern approach to interpreting these classic texts. A collaboration with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, U-M Department of Women's Studies, and U-M Institute for the Humanities.

Propeller Welcome Reception 
Friday, April 1, after the performance
U-M Alumni Center
Join UMS in welcoming Propeller Theater Company to Ann Arbor! Complimentary light appetizers and cash bar provided.

Shakespeare Behind the Scenes: Unlocking the Magic of Propeller Theater Company

Saturday, April 2, 5:15 pm
Audiences get the chance to observe the changeover of the set from Richard III to The Comedy of Errors. Members of the company discuss their technical process, their design, and how theater magic really happens!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Shakespeare Show plays at Portland's Mini Fringe Festival March 24-26, 2011

Daniel Wright, Ph.D., director of the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland Oregon reports that Monster Theatre will present an anti-Stratfordian comedy titled The Shakespeare Show: Or, how an illiterate son of a Glover became the Greatest Playwright in the World by Ryan Gladstone on March 24-26, 2011 at the Portland Mini Fringe Festival. The festival is hosted by the Fuse Theatre Ensemble in the Theater! Theatre! space at 3430 SE Belmont, Portland, Oregon. 

The Calgary- and Toronto-based Monster Theatre proclaims its mission as "Repackaging history and mythology for today's audiences". Playwright and Monster Theatre artistic director Ryan Gladstone describes his play on the festival website as follows: 
Based on the greatest theatrical debate of all time The Shakespeare Show investigates the theory that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually penned by Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.  The play is a fast-paced physical comedy in which actors Tara Travis and Ryan Gladstone play dozens of roles. The production is minimal with only two props – a massive Queen Elizabeth Wig, and a Puppet of the Three Witches!
He comments on the genesis of The Shakespeare Show on the Monster Theatre site:
The idea for this play was brewing in my mind for about ten years.  It is loosely based on a Woody Allen movie called ‘The Front’ which takes place during the Hollywood blacklist, where a series of writers find themselves on the blacklist and use some idiot to Front for them.  I wrote the play in Iambic Pentameter, which, once started, was way easier than I thought. As far as the authorship question itself goes – when I started researching it, I was convinced that Shakespeare wrote the play, now I am on the fence.  I believe it is possible Shakespeare wrote the plays… I just think Oxford is more likely!
Professor Wright invites playgoers to a late-night reception at the Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre following the Friday, March 25 performance of the play.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Brilliant young director of RII seeks funding for new project

Jim Manganello is raising money for his Chicago production of War and Peace. Supporting Manganello's project is quick and easy using Kickstarter -- and how often do you get a chance to personally affirm artistic brilliance? See our reviews of Manganello's production of Shakespeare's Richard II at: and at:

March 25, 2011 UPDATE
Oberon will financially support this project and encourages readers to do the same. Jim Manganello sent this message on March 23, 2011:

Many thanks for promoting War and Peace on Kickstarter. I've been telling everybody, W&P really started with Richard II -- we're growing on relationships forged there and ideas that stewed around. And it's another grand epic in which humanity pushes through the surface of power. We need whatever help we can get.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kositsky awarded $25,000 grant by Canada Council for the Arts

Lynne Kositsky

Shakespeare authorship researcher and novelist Lynne Kositsky has been honored by the Canada Council for the Arts with a $25,000 grant. The funds were awarded to help Kositsky finish her young-adult novel with the working title of A Scattering of Stars. Kositsky said:
Every year, in October, Canadian authors can write applications to the Canada Council for the Arts for grants to help them finish their new books. I entered last year, enclosing about 15 pages of my new young-adult novel -- all I'd written of it at the time. I added some pages from one of my published novels, as allowed. There are, obviously, a limited number of grants available, and fierce competition for them. Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from the Canada Council telling me that I'd been awarded a $25,000 grant -- the maximum given -- to help me finish my book. The grant covers living, research, and travel expenses. It's very welcome and I'm totally thrilled. 
Kositsky has also been awarded $3000 in grants from her home province of Ontario to support her work. A Scattering of Stars is her second young-adult novel about the Holocaust. Her acclaimed novel The Thought of High Windows was awarded the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Youth in 2006. The new novel will follow the life of a German girl who escapes the Nazis by traveling to Shanghai. The working title of the new novel is inspired by a quote from Georg Buchner, “The stars are scattered through the night like glistening teardrops; what a terrible grief must be behind the eyes that dropped them.”

Commenting on the award, Kositsky said:
The Canada Council for the Arts grant will make a tremendous difference to me. It will allow me to travel, interview survivors, and do further research. Part of it can be used for living expenses while writing. And the recognition of my work is very exciting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anti-Strat adolescent solves Shakespeare authorship mystery -- in new novel

Like James Shapiro's Contested Will and Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, Arthur Phillips' novel The Tragedy of Arthur provides further evidence that the Shakespeare authorship question has engaged the post-modern imagination. Phillips' pseudo memoir containing a pseudo pseudo-Shakespeare play will be released in hardcover by Random House on April 19, 2011. An excerpt of Phillips' novel on describes the narrator's anti-Stratfordian sib:
Back in 1979, a month after my father began serving that ten-year sentence, fifteen-year-old Dana finally staged her only adolescent rebellion, expressing her pain at Dad's incompetent wonder-working and abandonment ofher. Her attack may not impress anyone who's given their parents a truly rought ride, but you have to judge her act in context. Considering that her own personality (gay) was already an unwilling blow against parental expectations, she had never felt the need to "act out," all rebellious energies spent on navigating a world that contained a fair amount of hostitlity to her. But now she agressively struck at our father, harder than I could have, because she was braver and more honest, because he loved her more, and because what she did was so piercingly fired at him and him alone. 
She became an anti-Stratfordian. 
She consciously chose to believe, or tried to believe, or at least pretended to believe -- and then feigned amazement at Dad's anguish -- that the author of the works of "William Shakespeare" could not conceivably have been William Shakespeare, the semieducated, part-time actor/part-time real estate speculator son of a provincial glove-maker from Stratford-upon-Avon, that no such person could have composed the greatest works of English literature, embodying the finest of all psychology, storytelling, artistry, linguistic brilliance, and so forth.
Read more of Dana's adolescent literary rebellion and her unique solution to the Shakespeare authorship question at:

Random House provides an overview of the novel on their website:
The Tragedy of Arthur is an emotional and elaborately constructed tour de force from bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Arthur Phillips, “one of the best writers in America” (The Washington Post).
Its doomed hero is Arthur Phillips, a young man struggling with a larger-than-life father, a con artist who works wonders of deception but is a most unreliable parent. Arthur is raised in an enchanted world of smoke and mirrors where the only unshifting truth is his father’s and his beloved twin sister’s deep and abiding love for the works of William Shakespeare—a love so pervasive that Arthur becomes a writer in a misguided bid for their approval and affection. 
Years later, Arthur’s father, imprisoned for decades and nearing the end of his life, shares with Arthur a treasure he’s kept secret for half a century: a previously unknown play by Shakespeare, titled The Tragedy of Arthur. But Arthur and his sister also inherit their father’s mission: to see the play published and acknowledged as the Bard’s last great gift to humanity. . . . Unless it’s their father’s last great con.
By turns hilarious and haunting, this virtuosic novel—which includes Shakespeare’s (?) lost King Arthur play in its five-act entirety—captures the very essence of romantic and familial love and betrayal. The Tragedy of Arthurexplores the tension between storytelling and truth-telling, the thirst for originality in all our lives, and the act of literary mythmaking, both now and four centuries ago, as the two Arthurs—Arthur the novelist and Arthur the ancient king—play out their individual but strangely intertwined fates.
Update: April 27, 2011
Shapiro weighs-in at The Daily Beast on The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips

Malim book out this summer

The Earl of Oxford and the Making of Shakespeare: The Literary Life of Edward de Vere in Context by DeVere Society Secretary Richard Malim will be published by McFarland & Company, and will be available from Amazon on July 5, 2011 at a cost of $45 in paperback. DeVere Society newsletter editor Elizabeth Imlay said:
The main argument of the book is that the Renaissance happened earlier in England than is usually supposed and that Oxford was a leading light in promoting this and in wreaking the transformation of English into a tongue capable of eloquence. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dale Priest gives Shakespeare authorship presentation to Conference of College Teachers of English

Professor Dale Priest of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, addressed the annual joint meeting of the Conference of College Teachers of English and the Texas College English Association on March 5, 2011 at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. A March 9, 2011 press release from Lamar U. reported:
Professor Dale Priest earned special honors in being selected to speak at the association’s breakfast and to select his topic: “What’s in a Name? The Shakespeare Authorship Debate Revisited.” Known as a Shakespeare scholar, Priest has been a member of the conference for more than 30 years.
We asked Professor Priest why he chose the Shakespeare authorship as his topic; he said:
That controversy has been a favorite diversion for me ever since 1987, when I helped bring to our campus the satellite-TV coverage of the Supreme Court debate about that issue. That was interesting and fun. Chief Justice Stevens -- now retired -- is a long-time Oxfordian in that battle. . . . (My paper) was well-received and we had a lively discussion afterward.
Priest's presentation was synopsized by a conference attendee on Dr. Davis' Teaching College English weblog in a post published March 9, 2011 titled "TCEA: Breakfast -- Reassessing Shakespeare". Commenting on Priest's reference to the work of Roger Stritmatter on the annotated Geneva Bible owned by Edward deVere, Davis said:
One-quarter of the (marked) Bible (verses) were direct references to Shakespeare's plays. Among them one-hundred Bible verses had not been previously noted by Shakespeare scholars. This is HUGE, to me. If one-hundred Bible verses were not previously noted, does that mean all the rest might also fit? I find this very persuasive.
Note: DeVere's Bible will be on display as part of the tour of the Folger Shakespeare Library included in the events at the 2011 joint conference of the Shakespeare Fellowship and the Shakespeare Oxford Society Oct. 13-16, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Davis' Teaching College English weblog March 9, 2011 "TCEA: Breakfast -- Reassessing Shakespeare" at:
Lamar U. press release at:
TCEA conference report at:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

LA Phil LIVE on March 13, 2011 plays Shakespeare-inspired Tchaikovsky

Notice from the Los Angeles Philharmonic regarding an all-Shakespeare-inspired concert to be broadcast live nationwide on March 13, 2011:
LA Phil LIVE - Dudamel conducts TchaikovskySunday, March 13, 2011 (5PM ET / 2PM PT)Expected Running Time:  2 hours, 30 minutes 
LA Phil LIVE is an immersive sight and sound experience, featuring full concert performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by its dynamic music director Gustavo Dudamel, broadcast live from Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
This all-Tchaikovsky program features his three Overture-Fantasies inspired by Shakespeare plays – Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and The Tempest. Preceding each of these powerful symphonic poems are selections from the Bard’s immortal works performed by the cast of actors (Orlando Bloom as Romeo, Malcolm McDowell as Prospero, and Matthew Rhys as Hamlet). Kate Burton, the prolific Tony-nominated stage and screen actress and daughter of the late Richard Burton, directs this all-star cast and also serves as host for the LA Phil LIVE broadcast.
Los Angeles PhilharmonicGustavo Dudamel, conductorTCHAIKOVSKY:Romeo and JulietHamletThe Tempest
In-theatre audiences will experience up-close and dramatic views of Dudamel and the orchestra in action, captured with multiple cameras and in thrilling 5.1 surround sound. The broadcast will transport audiences behind the music for an exclusive “backstage pass” look at the LA Phil – including interviews with Dudamel, world-renowned guest soloists, and the Orchestra's musicians.

The event will be broadcast to several Michigan sites including theaters in Ann Arbor, Walled Lake, Livonia, Lansing, Saginaw and Grand Rapids.

Enter your zipcode on this page to see local theaters that are broadcasting this event: