Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mark Anderson will keynote Toronto Shakespeare authorship seminar April 7, 2012

York University, Toronto (Center for Film & Theatre on left)

Professor Don Rubin of the York University Department of Theatre in Toronto, Canada has sent information about the public seminar titled "Shakespeare:  The Authorship Question" scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 7, 2012 at the Joseph G. Green Studio in the Centre for Film and Theatre at York University. The Toronto seminar is the culmination of a new, one-semester, three-credit, seminar for fourth-year students offered by the York University Department of Theater titled "Shakespeare: The Authorship Question". The class began in January 2012. The deadline for reserving a place at the seminar is April 2, 2012. Professor Rubin shared the following accommodation recommendation for those who are traveling to the event:                                               
I checked out the Novotel on Park Home Avenue in Toronto. It is less than 15 minutes from the campus and about the same to downtown. It is right off Yonge Street, Toronto's main drag. lots of shops and restaurants (although who knows what will be open Easter weekend). But more than on the campus, I think. The hotel is comfortable and convenient. They have a room and breakfast deal for about $126 plus tax (another $15). So for $140 you get a good room (single or double) in a good hotel and a  buffet breakfast. The only catch is that it is prepaid and non-cancellable. You need to book it more than three days in advance. So if that works, I suggest it.  
"Shakespeare: the Authorship Question"
11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
April 12, 2012
Joseph G. Green Studio, York University, Toronto
This is the question that won’t go away even after 400 years: who really wrote the plays and poems that were performed and published under the name “William Shake-Speare?”  Could it have been a pen name? And if a pen name, why? And if a pen name, who was the real William Shake-Speare?
Over the last century and-a-half numerous scholars, artists and those who are simply curious have looked at the issue and have suggested quite publicly that the Bard of Avon may not be who we have long thought he was. Among these doubters have been Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain. Henry James, Orson Welles, Helen Keller and, more recently, major artists such as Mark Rylance (first Artistic Director of the rebuilt Globe Theatre), Jeremy Irons and Sir Derek Jacobi. Even a judge from the US Supreme Court – after hearing the arguments in a legal framework – said there were certainly grounds for reasonable doubt.
In recent years dozens of books have been published interrogating these and related questions arguing for against everyone from the standard candidate – the actor-manager from Stratford-upon-Avon William Shaksper (that is indeed how he generally spelled his name) -- to  Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (the current most favoured candidate) to Italian-born and English-raised lexicographer John Florio. And just this past fall, Sony Pictures released a major film dealing with the subject called Anonymous that attracted a wide public into the discussion.
York University will hold a day-long conference on the subject open to the public on Saturday, 7 April (the Saturday of Easter Weekend) sponsored by the York University Department of Theatre in association with York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, Winters College, Stong College, the Division of Humanities and the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Research Fund.  Cost for the day is $30 which will include a light lunch. Reservations must be made but one can pay at the door.
Numerous people of note have already committed to it. The keynote speaker will be Mark Anderson from Massachusetts, author of the critically-acclaimed volume Shakespeare By Another Name which argues the case for Edward de Vere. Anderson’s own website on the subject is called His paper will be entitled: "The Bard's New Clothes: Shakespeare's Autobiography and Why the Authorship Controversy Matters."
The conference will begin at 11 a.m. on April 7 with a welcome by Professor Don Rubin (a former Chair of the Department of Theatre and Founding Director of the MA and PhD Programs in Theatre Studies) who is currently directing a fourth year seminar at York on the authorship question. Prof. Rubin is also the series editor of Routledge’s six volume World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre and President of the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.
The events themselves will be launched with a one-hour performance based on Mark Twain’s comic examination of the question, Is Shakespeare Dead? This professional one-man show will be presented by Montreal actor Keir Cutler who has performed the show all across North America in recent years.
Culmination of the day will be a 90 minute panel debate on the subject chaired by Prof. Rubin. Among the participants will be Mark Anderson, Keir Cutler, Italian-born scholar and editor Lamberto Tassarini of Montreal (a major proponent of John Florio), York’s own Canada Research Chair in Theatre Prof. Christopher Innes of the Department of English (arguing for William of Stratford), David Prosser (Communications Director and former Literary Manager of the  Stratford Festival) and Dr. Michel Vais, editor of the Quebec theatre journal Jeu. The panel will include questions and answers from the audience 
The conference has already attracted wide interest across Canada and from abroad.

For additional details, for registration or to support this event please contact Prof. Don Rubin ( or Tasha Gallant (publicity committee) at
Shakespeare: The Authorship Question
Saturday, 7 April 2012
Joseph G. Green Studio, York University, Toronto, Canada

11 a.m.          Welcome    Don Rubin, Department of Theatre
11:15             Mark Twain’s  Is Shakespeare Dead
                      a solo performance starring Keir Cutler
12 to 12:15   Coffee break
12:15             Keynote Address (followed by question and answer)
                      "The Bard's New Clothes: Shakespeare's Autobiography and      
                      Why The Authorship Controversy Matters."            
                       Mark Anderson, author Shakespeare By Another Name
1:30-2:00       Lunch break (lobby)
2:00 to 3:00   The Shakespeare Conspiracy (video starring Sir Derek Jacobi)
                       followed by a reading of Shakespeare in Space, a short poem
                       by poet and York Creative Writing Professor and theatre critic
                       Patricia Keeney
3:00 to 4:30    Panel discussion: So Who Did Write Shakespeare?
                        Chair, Prof. Don Rubin
                        Mark Anderson,  author
                        Keir Cutler, actor
                        Lamberto Tassinari, author The Case (and rap) for John Florio                                          
                        David Prosser, Literary Manager, the Stratford Festival
                        Michel Vais, editor of the Quebec theatre journal, Jeu
                        Prof. Christopher Innes, Department of English and
                                  Canada Research Chair in Theatre, York University
4:30 to 6:30    Special conference showing of the film Anonymous (if enoughj interest)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Richard Joyrich invites all to Oberon meeting March 26, 2012

From Oberon Chair Richard Joyrich: 
Our next meeting is this coming Monday, March 26, at 6:45 PM at the Bloomfield Township Library (1099 Lone Pine Rd [corner of Telegraph and Lone Pine]).
It should be a great meeting. We are planning to hear Part 1 of Tom Townsend's presentation on Shakespeare's View of Women featuring Taming of the Shrew andMerchant of Venice.
We will also discuss plans to attend the upcoming Authorship Conference at York University in Toronto on Saturday, April 7 and the upcoming Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon April 12-14.
If time, Linda Theil and I can report on our recent viewing of The Comedy of Errors at a "live" simulcast from the National Theatre in London and other upcoming events.
Some of us also recently saw the movie version of Coriolanus with Ralph Fiennes and we can talk about that as well.
I hope everyone can join us. If you have not been to an Oberon meeting recently (or at all) you don't know what you are missing.

Richard Joyrich
Oberon Chair

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

See National Theatre's Comedy of Errors live on Sunday, March 18,l 2012

This Sunday, March 18, 2012, the London-based National Theatre will simulcast, world-wide, their current production of William Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. A local screening will be sponsored by the University Musical Society at 7 p.m. in the Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, as well as other Michigan venues in Grand Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Traverse City and Ypsilanti and other US sites. In the US the "live" screenings are delayed to accommodate the time difference.

Waugaman knocks it out of the park

Richard Waugaman, MD, has emerged in the past decade as a primary proponent of research into the Shakespeare authorship query. When the clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine was invited to deliver the 2012 Frieda Fromm-Reichmann Lecture he chose as his topic, "Refugee from Chestnut Lodge Receives Asylum at the Folger Shakespeare Library: New Discoveries about the Authorship of Shakespeare’s Works”. In his presentation, Waugaman described -- among other issues -- his work on connections between the Sternhold and Hopkins Whole Book of Psalms and Shakespeare's work. He also discussed the psychological ramifications of Stratfordian resistance to Shakespeare authorship research.

Waugaman's research is available at his website, The Oxfreudian, where a video of his Fromm-Reichman lecture will be linked when it becomes available. A transcript of his lecture is presented after the jump at the end of this post. Waugaman generously provided the following report of his experience delivering the Fromm-Reichman lecture on March 2, 2012. Waugaman said:
Some fifty people attended the lecture. I was especially pleased that Markley Roberts was there. I met him in the Cosmos Club's monthly Shakespeare group several years ago. He told me that his father Donald was a close friend of Charlton Ogburn, Senior. When [Roberts] and his wife relocated from their house to an an apartment a year ago, he generously gave me his splendid collection of Oxfordian publications, including his first edition of Looney's book.
Ann Silver is in charge of [the Frieda Fromm-Reichmann] annual lecture, which often honors speakers from abroad. Ann and I were colleagues at Chestnut Lodge for 13 years. She graciously told me afterwards that she thought it was "the best Frieda Fromm-Reichmann lecture ever, by a long shot." That was hyperbolic, but I deeply appreciate her support. As I told the audience, Ann was instrumental in helping me get my article onThe Tempest published in a psychoanalytic journal for which she does editorial work. 
Another memorable comment came from a young man I don't know, who said during the discussion period that he came expecting to hear a "kook," but he found my lecture persuasive. Naturally, that felt like a significant victory, to have instilled some "reasonable doubt" in that listener. My guiding strategy was to cite some of the many nasty ad hominem comments that have been made about us -- and about me personally -- and turn them around on the Stratfordians. It's surprisingly easy to do, once you get started.
During the discussion period, not a word was said in favor of the traditional author. It's naturally possible that the strong support for de Vere in the audience made any Stratfordians who were there reluctant to speak up. It's also possible they simply didn't show up.
When I mentioned a long list of well known authors who used pseudonyms, one analyst in the audience knew each one was a pen name, until I got to Toni Morrison. Then I mentioned Thomas Chatterton's forgeries of the supposed poems of "Thomas Rowley," and she knew about that too. She even knew the book on Chatterton by the recently deceased psychoanalyst Louise Kaplan.
She said after the lecture that she has a master's degree in English, and my talk makes her want to turn to writing about Shakespeare. This audience member emailed me this morning, "Your lecture was magnificent! I'm convinced!! You write beautifully and clearly. I'm now most definitely an Oxfreudian."
Another friend spent a year as an undergraduate studying English at Oxford. So I was especially pleased when she emailed me, "Mazel tov on a job well -- no, phenomenally -- done tonight! I wanted to congratulate you in person afterwards, but you were busy with a crowd of well-earned admirers and I did not want to interrupt what looked like a lively discussion. You are such a charismatic speaker; your passion, humor, and brilliance shone through as you spoke. We in the audience were captivated by your words, and I don't doubt that you gained some new converts tonight! I feel so proud to have you as my friend."
An audience I addressed the following day at the annual conference of the College English Association, Middle Atlantic Group brought me back down to earth! De gustibus! [Waugaman later explained that some audience members at that presentation, unlike the audience for his Fromm-Reichman lecture, found his passion for the topic of authorship too emotional.]  Having added a couple of social media buttons to my website, , it is getting more activity. I'm grateful to everyone at the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group for visiting it and sharing it.
Best wishes, Richard Waugaman, MD
For a transcript of Richard Waugaman's extraordinary 2012 Frieda Fromm-Reichman lecture, "Refugee from Chestnut Lodge Receives Asylum at the Folger Shakespeare Library: New Discoveries about the Authorship of Shakespeare’s Works”, continue reading.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Showerman will teach authorship class at SOU in May 2012

According to an article titled "Dr. Bill? Retired physician says medical lingo betrays Shakespeare" in the March 12, 2012 issue of Ashland Daily Tidings, Shakespeare Fellowship President Earl Showerman will teach a class called "The Shakespeare Authorship Question" from May 8 through June 5 at Southern Oregon University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. For more information, visit or call OLLI Coordinator Sally Klein at 541-552-6048.