Wednesday, September 26, 2012

See Bernhardt's Elizabeth in A2 October 12, 2012

The Academy of Early Music will host a screening of the 1912 silent film Queen Elizabeth with Sarah Bernhardt at 8 p.m. October 12. 2012 at the Michigan Theater,  603 E. Liberty in Ann Arbor. The film will be accompanied by the Newberry Consort performing live a new soundtrack composed of music by Elizabethan era composers William Byrd, Thomas Campion, and John Dowland. Consort director David Douglass will precede the film with a discussion of Elizabethan music at 7 p.m., one hour before the 8 p.m. showtime. Tickets are $20 for general seating. For tickets and information see the Academy of Early Music website or call 734-528-1838.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Next Oberon Meeting-September 24, 2012

This is Richard Joyrich, inviting everyone to come to our next Oberon meeting this coming Monday.

We will be meeting at our new location from about 6:30 PM to 9 PM at our new (perhaps temporary) location. This is the same place we met last month, although only four people came. We need to do better this month! 

You may be asking, "Where is this new location?". I can tell you that (it's also on our blog). The location is the Commerce Township Library. The address is 2869 N. Pontiac Trail in Commerce Township, but the library entrance is actually off of East Library Drive, which in turn is off of Martin Parkway, which in turn is off of the roundabout at Pontiac Trail and M-5.

Here's what you should do: 

If you are coming from I-96 or anywhere to the west or south, you should get onto M-5 going north. Then take that all the way north until it "ends" at the roundabout at Pontiac Trail (which is just north of Maple Road). Then go around the roundabout and take the SECOND exit, basically going "straight across" the roundabout in the same direction you were going (north) instead of turning into Pontiac Trail (which nearly everyone else will be doing). IMPORTANT: In order to do this you need to be in the second to last lane on the right.

You will then be on Martin Parkway and you will see the library ahead of you on the right. You then have to follow Martin Parkway to the next roundabout (a much smaller one) and take the first exit to go right on Library Drive (there will be signs for the library at this point). Then you will get to the Library parking lot and the entrance.

You can also get there by being on Pontiac Trail coming from the east or west. Just follow the roundabout at M-5 around until you can go north on Martin Parkway and then follow as above.

This is actually a lot easier to do than it is to write it down, so don't get worried.

It should be a very good meeting. Aside from our eagerly awaited Treasurer's Report (which we couldn't get last month) and our report of our media presence, we are planning to hear from Robin Browne on "WS 1616-1623". I'm not exactly sure what Robin will be talking about, but I know that he has access to some research that no one else has seen. He has been giving us "snippets" of it at previous meetings and it sounds fascinating!

We will also be talking about the upcoming SF/SOS Joint Conference to be held in Pasadena from October 18-21. It is not too late to register for this. Check out the websites for SF ( or SOS ( for more information.

There are many upcoming local events that we can plan for as well.

Don't miss it!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Folger sez students don't need to learn Shakespeare bio

The Folger Shakespeare Library education department publishes a web-log titled  Making a Scene: Shakespeare in the Classroom that gives teachers advice on how to help students learn about the Bard. On Thursday, the topic of the post was "Teaching Shakespeare FAQs" that is a list of basic questions and answers about how to handle Shakespeare in the classroom. One of the questions considered basic by the Folger had to do with Shakespeare's biography:
Do I need to teach about the Globe Theatre or Shakespeare’s Life?The simple answer is “No.” While telling students that Shakespeare had three children and that he and Anne Hathaway had to get married might be interesting, it really doesn’t help them understand the plays. It’s much better to integrate some facts about Elizabethan life when they come up in the plays. So when Francis Flute protests, “Let me not play a woman. I have a beard coming” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that’s the perfect opportunity to explain the Elizabethan stage convention of young men playing the female parts.
So, according to the Folger, knowing who wrote the plays doesn't help readers understand the plays, but knowing some facts about the period helps readers understand specific aspects of the plays? Knowing SOME history is helpful, but knowing the history of the author ". . . really doesn't help [students] understand the plays."

Is this irrational double-speak the level to which a great institution is reduced in order to avoid the Shakespeare authorship controversy? Would any rational pedagogue say the same about teaching the work of Eugene O'Neill or Arthur Miller? 

We agree that teachers shouldn't perpetuate Shakespearean myths; but don't dump the search for infant truth out with the murky Stratfordian bathwater.