Monday, October 31, 2011

SARC schedules "The Anonymous Colloquium" for January 28 & 29, 2012

Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre (SARC) Director Dan Wright, PhD announced that SARC and Portland Center Stage will host "The Anonymous Colloquium" on January 28 and 29, 2012 at the Gerding Theatre at the Armory in downtown Portland, Oregon. Wright said that the purpose of the colloquium is to ". . . discuss approaches to teaching the Shakespeare authorship question with the aid of [Roland Emmerich's film] Anonymous and to develop a curriculum that the SARC will publish for use in schools, colleges and universities across the USA and around the world."

Wright described the goals of the colloquium to readers of the SARC electronic mailing list:
We are going to use teacher-inspired and student-informed ideas to create options for schools, universities and lay forums to use so they can utilize [Roland Emmerich's film] Anonymous, in whole or in part, in teaching situations that are adaptable not only to audiences but to time, place and perspective as well.
Sony's corporate product* may be an option for some who want a ready-made product with application to what they assess their particular or limited needs to be, but we think that it's not the best (or should be the only choice) . . . for presenters who may be restricted by time, scope and audience and who will need alternatives that address varied situations and exigencies.
We want to see supplemental materials used in forums that allow for such variables, including the use of other films such as Shakespeare in Love and perhaps some of the forthcoming films and books that propose to supplement the attention drawn to the [Shakespeare authorship question] by Anonymous, as well as rival theories, theoreticians and candidates that do not include the Earl of Oxford as the most likely candidate for Shake-speare.
(* Note: Wright refers here to the high school and college Shakespeare authorship curricula based on Roland Emmerich's film, Anonymous, and developed for Sony by Young Minds Inspired educational resource.)

The cost of "The Anonymous Colloquium is $100; register online at

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roe's Shakespeare Guide to Italy out next week

 Richard Paul Roe's book, The Shakespeare Guide to Italy: Retracing the Bard's Unknown Travels, (Harper Collins, 2011) goes on sale November 8, 2011 at Amazon and other bookstores. The book is sold in trade paperback and ebook formats. A starred review in Library Journal said:
A fascinating look at a largely untouched aspect of Shakespeare's identity and influences. Recommended for Shakespeare enthusiasts and scholars as well as travelers looking for a new perspective, this is also particularly intriguing as a companion to specific plays.
Twenty years of meticulous research at the sites of Shakespeare plays in Italy make this posthumously published work of particular interest to those interested in the Shakespeare authorship question. According to the publisher:
Using the text from Shakespeare's ten "Italian Plays" as his only compass, Roe determined the exact locations of nearly every scene in Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest, and the remaining dramas set in Italy. His chronicle of travel, analysis, and discovery paints with unprecedented clarity a picture of what the Bard must have experienced before penning his plays. Equal parts literary detective story and vivid travelogue -- containing copious annotations and more than 150 maps, photographs, and paintings -- The Shakespeare Guide to Italy is a unique, compelling, and deeply provocative journey that will forever change our understanding of how to read the Bard . . . and irrevocably alter our vision of who William Shakespeare really was.
. . . 
In addition to executing a private legal practice for more than 40 years, Richard Paul Roe undertook a lifelong study of Shakespeare's Italian plays. A recipient of degrees in English literature and European history from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as a juris doctor summa cum laude from from the Southwestern University School of Law, he lived in Pasadena, California, until his death in 2010.
More information available at Harper Collins Publishers.

Chiljan introduces Shakespeare Suppressed

Former Shakespeare Oxford Society trustee Katherine Chiljan will discuss her new Shakespeare authorship book, Shakespeare Suppressed: The Uncensored Truth about Shakespeare and His Works (Faire Editions, 2011) at two Contra Costa County libraries in California next week. She will appear from 6-8 p.m. November 3, 2011 at the Walnut Creek Library, and will present a slide talk at 7 p.m. November 8, 2011 at the Danville Library. 

Oxfordian Hank Whittemore said in his discussion of Chiljan's book, "Shakespeare Suppressed by Katherine Chiljan -- new revelations about the Earl of Essex, King James and the Earl of Southampton", "Katherine Chiljan has written a new Oxfordian/authorship book that wipes out the Stratford man forever. I suggest it represents a new landmark book that belongs on our shelves."

More info at:

Wilson's Last Will . . . debuts Nov. 27, 2011 at the Globe

Director Laura Wilson's anti-Stratfordian Shakespeare authorship film, Last Will., &Testament, will debut November 27, 2011 at Shakespeare's Globe in London. The Shakespearean Authorship Trust and Brunel University will host this advance screening of the documentary from First Folio Pictures, Inc., directed by SAT trustee Lisa Wilson, who consulted on the set of Roland Emmerich's 2011 Shakespeare authorship film, Anonymous.
According to the SAT website:
Last Will. & Testament is a 90-minute film that explores the evolution of the authorship question since Shakespeare’s time, with particular reference to William Shakspere of Stratford and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, though other candidates are discussed. Among those defending the orthodox position are Stanley Wells and Jonathan Bate, both of whom were invited to speak at the conference. The documentary is beautifully shot and has exclusive access to footage of Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, . . .
Speakers at the event who are featured in the film include: Diana Price, author of Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, Professor Roger Stritmatter of Coppin State University in Baltimore, actors Sir Derek Jacobi* and Vanessa Redgrave*, the Chairman of the SAT, Mark Rylance, Dr. William Leahy, Head of the School of Arts at Brunel University, and Charles Beauclerk, author of Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom. (* subject to availability)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hudson replies to SBT's "Shakespeare Bites Back"

Dark Lady Players Director John Hudson posted a reply to yesterday's Shakespeare Birthplace Trust publication of "Shakespeare Bites Back" on his Dark Lady Players weblog. SBT Chairman Stanley Wells and education director Paul Edmondson authored the free 40-page e-publication in response to the opening of Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare authorship film, Anonymous.

"It's a polemical essay and is bound (we hope) to ruffle a few feathers," Edmondson said. "In this audiobook we speak together about what you might say to anyone that asks you about Shakespeare's authorship."

Hudson said, in his reply:
As a graduate of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Birmingham, of which Dr. Wells used to be the director, I am disappointed by his failure to meet normal scholarly standards of argument. I am equally disappointed that the Institute’s incoming director, Dr. Paul  Edmondson, has joined him in this biased polemic against free academic inquiry. 

Read Hudson's complete reply to "Shakespeare Bites Back" at: 

BBC Essex broadcasts from Hedingham

BBC Essex broadcast their morning radio show live from Castle Hedingham yesterday, the opening day of Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare authorship film, Anonymous. The broadcasters spent the morning ". . . asking the question, 'Was Shakespeare really an Essex man called Edward de Vere who grew up in the castle?'"  Oberon readers may listen to 180 minutes of the discussion until November 3, 2011 on the BBC Essex website at:

Castle Hedingham is also producing an Edward de Vere exhibition at the castle to run November 7, 8, 9, 2011.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anonymous opens at selected theaters Oct. 28 in SE Michigan

Roland Emmerich's film, Anonymous, about the Shakespeare authorship controversy will open in southeast Michigan theaters on October 28, 2011. SONY representative Stephanie Gonzales said the film will open at the following theaters:
AMC Livonia, Livonia (9:30a, 12:35p, 3:35p, 6:40 p, 9:45p)
Emagine Novi, Novi
Uptown 8, Birmingham
MJR Marketplace Sterling Heights, Sterling Heights
NCG Eastwood Cinemas, Lansing
Goodrich Quality, Ann Arbor (11a, 1:40p, 4:20p, 7p, 9:40p)

According to Moviefone Internet resource: MJR in Sterling Heights, AMC in Livonia and Emagine in Novi will screen a midnight showing of Anonymous at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28 (just after midnight tomorrow, Thursday, night)

Gonzales said Anonymous will open next week, November 4, at local Celebration Cinemas and IMAX, Grand Rapids.

Tickets and showtimes, click here

Listing of reviews and commentary on Roland Emmerich's film, Anonymous:

Update 09/10/11:
Hollywood Reporter "Anonymous: Toronto Review" 
Movieline "Letter from Toronto: Even killer elite can't quite rival Emmerich's Anonymous"
Guardian "Anonymous review: The shock in this expose of the Bard is that it's rather good"
Boise Weekly "Thumbs up for Anonymous . . . "
Oregonian "Concordia University becomes hub of conflict over who wrote the plays of William Shakespeare" 

Update 09/12/11:
National Post (Canada) "TIFF Press Conference Diaries: Anonymous . . ." 

Update 09/13/11:
Reuters Canada "Roland Emmerich wins over critics with new film"
Sydney Morning Harold "Shakespeare fans will hate Anonymous"
Toronto Star "The young man who would be king"

Update 09/14/11:
Metro US "Joely Richardson talks Anonymous"
RealScreen "Atlantis Films, ZDF probe 'The Shakespeare Enigma'" authorship (Marlowe) documentary directed by Eike Schmitz
ReelZ ". . . new Anonymous preview clips"
The Hindu "The Real William Shakespeare" interview w/Stanley Wells
CBC "Anonymous: A must see . . ."

Update 09/16/11:
Collider "Anonymous review" Matt Goldberg
Time Out Chicago "TIFF 2011: Anonymous . . ."
Variety Reviews "Anonymous"

Update 09/19/11:
Daily Star "Roland Emmerich wins over critics with Shakespeare film"

Update 09/25/11:
London Daily Mail "Shakespeare in love (again) . . . "

Update 09/26/11:
WhatCulture! "TIFF 2011: Emmerich's Anonymous"

Update 09/30/11:
Unseen Films "Anonymous (2011) The New Yorker Film Festival 2011"

Update 10/01/11:
American Cinematographer "Anonymous shot by Anna J. Foerster . . ."

Update 10/2011
Brooklyn Rail "A Binary Star with Anonymous"

Update 10/05/11
ABC News "Annual New Yorker Fest Had a Shakespearean Twist"
USA Today "Roland Emmerich admits award is 'gutsy call'"
Wall Street Journal "Shakespeare Center Celebrates Anonymous director Roland Emmerich"
Los Angeles Times "Anonymous: Hollywood Takes on the Shakespeare Debate"
Examiner: Baltimore "Anonymous divides Shakespeare devotees"

Update 10/09/11
The Telegraph/London "Was William Shakespeare a fraud?"

Update 10/10/11
Michigan Times "Emmerich film sparks debate" (Elizabeth LeBlanc)

Update 10/13/11
On The Box "London Film Festival Interview: Artistic Director Sandra Hebron"

Update 10/14/11
ABC News "Anonymous: New Hollywood Film Shows William Shakespeare as Someone Else"

Update 10/16/11
Daily Beast/Newsweek "The Shakespeare Shakedown"

Update 10/17/11
Moviefone "Was Shakespeare a fraud? 'Anonymous' screenwriter John Orloff sure thinks so"
New York Times "Hollywood dishonors the Bard" 

Update 10/18/11
The Australian "Film casts fresh doubt on Shakespeare's authenticity"

Update 10/20/11
Chicago Sun Times "Film asks: Was Shakespeare a Fraud?"
Santa Monica Daily Press "Movie review: the case for Edward de Vere"

Update 10/21/11
ConsortiumNews "Intriguing Shakespeare Author Mystery"

Update 10/22&23/11
New York Times "Wouldn't It Be Cool if Shakespeare Wasn't Shakespeare?"
New York Times "Roland Emmerich's Anonymous seeks to unmask Shakespeare/Brush up your Shakespeare, or Whoever"
The Atlantic "The Anonymous question: Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare?"
Orlando Sentinel "Where Rhys Ifans stands on the whole 'Who wrote Shakespeare's plays thing'"
BBC News "Vanessa Redgrave on 'Fakespeare' theory" 
San Francisco Chronicle "Ifans takes on real bard in Anonymous" Pam Grady

Update 10/24/11
BBC America "Did Shakespeare really write his plays? A few theories examined"
IndieWIRE/The Playlist "Roland Emmerich's Anonymous still manages to destroy something -- its own authenticity"
New York Magazine "Anonymous Director Roland Emmerich on doubting Shakespeare . . . "
PRI/Studio 360 "Shakespeare by Anonymous"
Digital Spy "Anonymous -- London Film Festival 2011"

Update 10/25/11
The Guardian "Shakespeare film Anonymous has lost plot Stratford says . . ."
Huffington Post "Marshal Fine movie review: Anonymous" full text at
New York Observer "Anonymous gives the mystery of who wrote Shakespeare's plays a very good name"
The Telegraph "Shakespeare authorship fantacists don't understand how plays actually get written" Allan Massie

Update 10/26/11
Movie Fanatic "Anonymous exclusive: Rafe Spall spills Shakespeare's secrets"
Crave Online "Roland Emmerich on Anonymous"
The Independent "Shakespeare movie has lost the plot . . ."
Montreal Gazette "Kier Cutler op-ed: There is method in this madness"
USA Today "Rafe Spall relishes 'idiot Shakespeare' role in Anonymous"
Chicago Sun-Times "Anonymous (review) by Roger Ebert"
Village Voice "Much ado about very little in Anonymous"
The Guardian "Out dam'd conspiracy! Shakespeare was no fraud" Michael Dobson
Cinema Blend "Explaining the concept behind Roland Emmerich's Anonymous" Orloff interview by Katey Rich
Associated Press "Emmerich and Ifans cast doubt on Shakespeare" YouTube, interview

Update 10/27/11
New York Times "Who wrote Shakespeare's plays (letters to the editor)"
Daily Mail "Pretentious, preposterous Anonymous is a Tudor turkey"
Los Angeles Times "Roland Emmerich's Anonymous shakes up Shakespeare scholars"
New York Times "How could a commoner write such great plays?" AO Scott
Slate "Anonymous, a witless movie"
Huffington Post "Q & A with Anonymous director Roland Emmerich . . ."
Chicago Tribune "Elizabethan lit intrigue proves not that intriguing in Anonymous . . . "
New York Times "Who wrote Shakespeare, who cares?"
NPR "Anonymous -- stylish claptrap by any other name" Bob Mandello
Minneapolis Post "Anonymous and Shakespeare: Who really wrote the plays?" Susan Perry
The Guardian "Our film Anonymous asks viewers to think for themselves . . ." John Orloff
Pasadena Star News "Larry Wilson: will of any other name smell as sweet?" (re: SOS VP Colum Gilfillian)
The Guardian "Roland Emmerich: appetite for deconstruction" Damon Wise (extraordinary review/interview)
The Guardian "Anonymous: review" Peter Bradshaw
Slate "Anonymous" Dana Stevens
Huffington Post "Shakespeare authorship question" John Orloff
Associated Press "'Anonymous' Shakespeare film ruffles academic feathers" Jocelyn Noveck
Minneapolis Post "Anonymous and Shakespeare: who really wrote the plays?" Susan Perry (Mark Anderson interview)
USA Today "Who wrote Shakespeare? . . . "  Maria Puente (Richard Joyrich quoted)
USA Today "Anonymous doesn't quite live up to Shakespeare's name"  Claudia Puig (review)

Update 10/28/11
Globe and Mail "Anonymous, a Shakespearean whodunnit"
Las Angeles Times "Movie review: Anonymous" Betsy Sharkey
New Yorker "Shakespearean actors on the Oxfordian theory" Michael Schulman
Hollywood Reporter "How Roland Emmerich made Anonymous on a Budget" Karsten Kastelan
BBC "Anonymous: Roland Emmerich stirs up Shakespeare debate" Tim Masters
Houston Chronicle "Plenty of poetic license in Anonymous" Amy Biancolli
CNN "Anonymous claims about Shakespeare ignore history" Stanley Wells (inadvertently hilarious)
Boston Herald "Bard flick plays the fool" 
Boston Globe "Anonymous movie review" Wesley Morris
Catholic Herald/UK "Anonymous should be ignored by all Shakespeare lovers" Francis Phillips
NPR KUCC/KUOR Shakespeare Fellowship President Earl Showerman guest on Patt  Morrison show, podcast at
Denver Post "Taking down Shakespeare" 
Rolling Stone "Anonymous review" Peter Travers

Update 10/29/11
Stage Mom "Anonymous tales" (Michael Egan speaks at SW Shakespeare Co. fundraiser)

Update 10/31/11
Box Office Magazine "Screenwriter John Orloff . . ." Vizcarrondo (interview)
Box Office Magazine "Anonymous director Roland Emmerich" Vizcarrondo (interview)

Update 11/01/11
New University "Anonymous no longer" 
Montreal Gazette "How Shakespeare could write Shakespeare" Holgar Syme (belittling the writer to make the shoe fit)

Update 11/04/11
The Guardian "Shakespeare -- a fraud? Anonymous is ridiculous" James Shapiro

Update 11/07/11
Daily Campus "A famous bard or a famous penname?"
Smithsonian "William Shakespeare - gangster" (bio of Shaxper)

Update 11/08/11
The Telegraph "Was William Shakespeare a Fraud?" (Wells/Beauclerk video debate) Zoe Dare Hall
Globe & Mail "Did Shakespeare write Shakespeare?" (Globe & Mail theater critic J. Kelly Nestruck said, "And so, we must insult and belittle the Shakespeare deniers until they get embarrassed and shut the hell up.")

Ongoing: Rotten Tomatoes "Anonymous" (2011)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kevin Gilvary named Oxfordian of the Year by SF/SOS

The Shakespeare Fellowship and the Shakespeare Oxford Society awarded the 2011 Oxfordian of the Year Award to De Vere Society Vice-chairman Kevin Gilvary in recognition of his work in editing Dating Shakespeare's Plays (Parapress Ltd., 2010) -- a book that reviews the documentary evidence and range of arguments for establishing a date range for Shakespeare's plays.

The award was conferred jointly by the Shakespeare Fellowship and the Shakespeare Oxford Society at their annual joint conference on October 16, 2011. SOS President Richard Joyrich, presented a plaque to Gilvary at the conference in the Washington Court Hotel, Washington DC.

In accepting the award, Gilvary paid special tribute to Christopher Dams who started the Dating Project over a decade ago with special emphasis on the use of documentary evidence, and to Eddi Jolly, Elizabeth Imlay and the late Philip Johnson for their help in editing the project. He also highlighted major contributions from researchers on both sides of the Atlantic and expressed the wish that such collaboration would long continue into the future.

UPDATE: 9/30/14
Elizabeth Imlay announced today that Gilvary's Dating Shakespeare's Plays (Parapress Ltd., 2010) is now available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon at
 or from Amazon UK at 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joyrich continues as SOS president

Oberons in SOS leadership
Oberon co-founder Richard Joyrich, MD was elected to his second year as president of the Shakespeare Oxford Society at the society's joint conference with the Shakespeare Fellowship October 13-16 2011.  Oberon member Susan Grimes Width has resigned from the SOS board, but will continue her work on the SOS by-law committee. New board members John Hamill and Robin Fox were elected to the SOS board to replace outgoing board members Susan Grimes Width and James (Jaz) Sherwood. In addition to Joyrich as president, SOS officers who were elected at the conference are Vice-president Joan Leon, Treasurer Virginia Hyde, and Membership Chairperson Stuart Green.

SF/SOS joint conference syllabus
The agenda and syllabus for the 2011 SF/SOS join conference held October 13-16, 2011 in Washington DC may be viewed online at: The syllabus contains synopses of conference presentations including those of Oberon members Barbara Burris, Ron Halstead, and Thomas Townsend who presented a joint paper prepared by Townsend and the late Oberon chairperson R. Thomas Hunter, PhD. We hope these Oberon members will present their papers to our local group in the coming year.

SF board issues statement about Anonymous
Shakespeare Fellowship President Earl Showerman announced that a statement by the SF board about Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare authorship film, Anonymous, has been posted on the SF news page at:

Shakespeare authorship essay contest 2012
Bonner Cutting announced that the joint Shakespeare Fellowship/Shakespeare Oxford Society essay contest will be held in 2012, with essays submitted in 2011 included among eligible entries for the 2012 contest. The Shakespeare authorship essay contest was extended through 2012 in order to take advantage of the late release of Roland Emmerich's film, Anonymous -- a key feature of the contest this year. For rules and information about the contest, see the SF news page at:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shake-speare birthplace site -- Hedingham Castle In Essex

Hedingham Castle, built in 1140 by the first earl of Oxford Aubrey de Vere, has dipped a tentative toe in the slough of controversy that is the Shakespeare authorship question with a post yesterday on the Hedingham Castle blog titled,  "Anonymous . . . that is the question?" The post begins:
With the release of the film “Anonymous” examining the theory that someone else could have written the Shakespeare plays, should in fact tourists be travelling to Hedingham Castle rather than Stratford –upon- Avon each year?
That is a very good question -- a question that up until now has gone unasked by The Hedingham Partnership, a corporation that administers the historic site. The history of Hedingham on the castle's website demurely says only this about the "courtier poet", the seventeenth earl of Oxford Edward de Vere:
In 1561 Queen Elizabeth I aged twenty-eight stayed at Hedinham from August 14 -19th, and Edward, 17th Earl, became one of her favourites and was acclaimed to be the best of the courtier poets.
While the Roland Emmerich film has given Hedingham administrators the courage to mention the ESS word, they are making no controversial claims; the blog entry concludes:
Shakespeare's work has shaped our language, education and society for the past 400 years and will continue to do so, but will we eber uncover the truth. A trip out to Hedingham Castle may well wet (sic) your taste buds for further insight into the conspiracy theory behind the works of Shakespeare.
Well, it's a beginning.

See also:"Ambient offers wider view to Shakespeare tourists" 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Goodnight Sweet Prince

As some of you may have heard, Tom Hunter suffered a massive cardiac event last Friday afternoon while sitting outside of his cottage on the shores of Northern Michigan's Torch Lake, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

After a (mercifully painless) hospitalization in Traverse City Tom departed this world at around 3 AM this morning.

Although our local group, Oberon, was started in 1999 by Barbara Burris and myself and Tom joined us a little later, he has become (in my opinion at least) the soul of our group. He has served as our Chair for these many years and has kept us on track and helped build Oberon into a well-respected local Oxfordian group (of course I don't want to take away from all the great efforts of many of you).

Tom's death is a great loss for Oberon, as well as for the Oxfordian world in general. Tom has been very active in doing research and has published many papers in Oxfordian newsletters and other media outlets. He has presented many papers at our national conferences. In fact he was scheduled to give half of a presentation at the upcoming conference in two weeks in Washington, DC. Luckily (for Oxfordians) Tom Townsend will be able to present both his own and Tom Hunter's parts of the presentation so that Tom's latest contribution will at least be heard. I only regret the loss of any future great work from Tom.

I can take a little comfort in the fact that Tom was able to see the movie Anonymous at a special preview event last Thursday at the University of Michigan, a movie poised to revitalize interest in the Authorship Question. Again, I'm just sorry that Tom will not be able to directly experience what I feel will be very interesting times ahead for all of us.

My heart and prayers go out to Tom's wife Rosey and his daughter Lisa as well as his large extended family.

Finally, I am comforted with the knowledge that at last Tom knows the truth about the origins of the Shakespeare canon, a truth we should (with Tom's example) continue to pursue for ourselves.

"Now cracks a noble heart. Goodnight sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing you to your rest"
Hamlet, Act V

Rest in Peace, Tom.

With great sadness,

Richard Joyrich

R. Thomas Hunter, PhD, will be laid to rest October 8, 2011.
The celebration of Tom's life will begin on Friday, October 7 from 2:00-8:00 pm with visitation at the A.J. Desmond Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road, in Troy, Michigan. 248-362-2500.
Services will be held on Saturday, October 8 at 11:00 am at St. Hugo of The Hills, 2215 Opdyke Rd, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. 248-644-5460. 
The funeral procession will proceed to the Resurrection Cemetery 18201 Clinton River Road, Clinton Township, Michigan.
Following Tom’s farewell, there will be a luncheon at the Fern Hill Golf Course, 17600 Clinton River Road, directly across from the Resurrection Cemetery.

Please share your tribute to Tom by clicking on the word "comment" below.