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Showing posts from 2008

Twelfth Night in Eight-Part Harmony

The second meeting of the Plymouth Shakespeare Reading Group was held today. Eight intrepid souls (including me) braved the cold weather and gathered for a very enjoyable reading of Twelfth Night . My thanks again to Prashant for organizing this event. As was done for Macbeth (see post of 11/24/08) the play was divided into three sections with different casting for each section. I myself was pleased to be cast as Viola for the first part (Act I through Act II, scene 3), Andrew Aguecheek and Sebastian for the second part (Act II, scene 4 through the end of Act III) and Olivia for the final section (Acts IV and V). Although I have seen this play produced many many times (probably over 30 times) I have not often actually read it. I am therefore glad that Prashant has given me this chance. Twelfth Night , as is the case for all of Shakespeare's comedies (and most of the other plays as well) is filled with amazing in-jokes, puns, and wordplay. This occurs mostly in the scenes with the

Michigan eLibrary

At our last Oberon meeting the subject of the Michigan eLibrary came up. We thought it would be worth reminding our members that significant research resources are available to Michigan residents via the Internet on their personal computers from the Michigan eLibrary By using your driver’s license number or Michigan ID card you can borrow from local and university libraries across the state and order articles free from over 45 datatbases including: Academic OneFile, General OneFile, Article First, InfoTrac, WorldCat and Hand Press Book, a catalog of European printing in the early modern era -- 15th to 19th Century. Articles are accessible and printable online; borrowed books are delivered to your local library for pick up. 

Hilberry Does Hamlet

Yes, the Hilberry Theatre CAN do Shakespeare well (on occasion).  I know this, having just attended a performance of Hamlet yesterday. It was directed by Dr. Blair Anderson, who is the Chair of the Department of Theater at Wayne State University. For the most part it was a very nice text-driven production with only a few slightly odd cuts and rearranging of scenes (or parts of scenes). It was well-cast (except perhaps for the part of Polonius who seemed too young for me). In the play-within-a-play scene the dumbshow (something I have real trouble with-Does Claudius see this?-Doesn't it give the whole "catch the conscience of the King" plan away?) was done very well (without "giving the plan away"),  although it was a little jarring for me (I hope I'm not being too sexist) that the Player Queen was a "full-figured" tall woman and the Player King a slight, shorter man. Nevertheless I do recommend going to see this production (I may even want to see i

Oberon gives thanks for another wonderful year

Dear Oberon,   I can't believe it. Finally.  A day off and nothing to do but drive to our niece's in Ann Arbor, hug everybody, eat, watch the Lions  until they are hopelessly behind (approx. the middle of the first quarter), sleep, and drive back hopefully while awake.  In this especially tough time, there is still no end of things to be thankful for.  It is good to take the opportunity to think about our blessings.   At our Oberon meeting last Thursday, we recalled the highlights of 2008.  There were certainly many more than any one of us remembered individually. We were all surprised at how long the list came to be.  Please help us to make the list as complete as possible by replying with anything we forgot.   First of all, the monthly meetings.  I think it's safe to say that those of us who attend regularly look forward to these, to the interesting conversation, to the camaraderie, to the informative presentations (memorably this year from Ron, Linda, Tom T and Robin amo

Reading Macbeth

I spent an enjoyable three hours at the recent first meeting of the Plymouth Shakespeare Reading Group yesterday. My thanks to Prashant Andrade for forming this group. You can read more about it in a previous entry in this blog. I and twelve other hardy souls (most of them students from Salem High School in Plymouth) tackled Macbeth. We got through it with virtually no difficulties and I think everyone had a great time. I myself was able to be Banquo in Acts I and II, Macbeth in Act III scenes 1 and 2, Lady Macduff in Act IV (scene 2) and a messenger in Act V, scene 5 (an important part-how else would Macbeth know about Birnam Wood approaching Dunsinane?) In order to be properly prepared, I brought along my copy of Richard Whalen's Oxfordian edition of Macbeth (available from Llumina Press, ). In between waiting for my cues, I was able to scan most of Whalen's excellent annotations. Of course, many of these are the sort of annotations found in any good edition

Tom extends invitation to Nov. 20 meeting

Dear Oberon, Please mark your calendars for our next meeting on Thursday, Nov. 20 (two weeks from today!) at our usual place, the Farmington Library on 12 Mile Rd. in Farmington at our usual time 6:45. We will have Conference Rm A at our disposal. The meeting will include videos of a presentation available to us to make to community and school groups as well as more information about the joint SOS/SF conference in New York last month. Good stuff. Cutting edge. Plus, we will be looking ahead to 2009, which appears to be developing into another exciting year. Bring your ideas, your Shakespeare moments, your insights, your dreams, your druthers, your baked goods and so on. As always, your faithful chairman, looking forward to seeing everybody on the 20th, Tom Hunter

Shakespeare Reading Group -- first meeting 1 p.m. Nov. 23 at Plymouth District Library

From Prashant Andrade, SE MI Shakespeare Reading Group founder: Would you like to be part of a group that is trying to understand themselves, human nature and the world we live in better? Would you like to have fun, companionship and recapture some of that loss of community that everyone seems to complain about? And all this for free? In these cost-conscious times? Yes! We will meet once a month (on a Saturday or Sunday) or more frequently if the group members wish (at the Plymouth District Library ). The first meeting will be at 1 p.m. November 23 in the Waldorf Room of the Plymouth District Library. We'll read the Scottish play. What the group will do: Spend most of the meeting reading a play aloud with assigned parts in a supportive non-judgmental atmosphere (following the method of Dr. Gareth Morgan of the University of Texas/Austin Sunday Shakespeare Group ) What the group may do: Watch films or recordings of the plays and attend performances at the Michigan Shak

Shakespearean Candidates?

Thanks to Earl Showerman (who sent it to me in an E-mail), I am able to offer this link to a clip from the Colbert Report of 10/3/08 on Comedy Central: In this clip, Stephen Colbert compares McCain and Obama to Shakespearean characters in a very funny way. He then calls on our friend, Professor Stephen Greenblatt, to back him up on this. I can only hope that Greenblatt eventually comes around to understanding the real Shakespeare as well as he seems to understand what Shakespeare would have thought of the current election. You should all watch this clip (it's a little slow in loading so be patient).

View from New York

View from the Tappan Zee bridge The White Plains SOS/SF authorship conference blew us away with over 20 presenters offering insights into Elizabethan history and authorship issues. Bonner Miller Cutting’s exhaustively researched paper on Shaksper’s will, Frank Davis’ meticulous analysis of Henslow’s diary, and Robert Brazil’s 70-page treatise on Angel Daye’s The English Secretary stand out for me. Yet, despite the fun and fascination of a jam-packed schedule of outstanding presentations, the most exciting aspect of the 2008 SOS/SF conference was the powerful wind that blew through the authorship landscape. We blinked thrice and discovered our Oxfordian island had become a promontory, pointing the way to a brave new view of the world. The new view: Mark Anderson’s keynote insisted that 1604 is the Oxfordian “ace in the hole”. No longer, said Anderson, must Oxfordians whimper apologetically about the unfortunate demise of our hero before all the plays had been written. Turn i

Tom invites all to Oberon meeting Thursday

Dear Oberon, A brief reminder that our meeting for this month is this Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Farmington Library on 12 Mile Rd. between Farmington Rd. and Orchard Lake Rd. We will hear all about the joint 2008 Shakespeare Oxford Society/Shakespeare Fellowship conference which took place this past weekend at White Plains, New York. Oberon had six of our members in attendance. We will catch up on some of the impressive advances in Oxfordian research taking place. Looking forward to seeing you Thursday. As always, Tom Hunter Oberon Chair

Mark Anderson book optioned for TV series

Mark Anderson and John Plummer, Oct. 11 at the Crowne Plaza hotel in White Plains, NY. Shakespeare by Another Name author Mark Anderson announced Saturday that director/writer John Plummer of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has optioned his book. Plummer plans to write a series of scripts based on Oxford's life as revealed in Shakespeare by Another Name to offer networks like PBS and HBO. "Our agents are excited," Plummer said at the joint annual Shakespeare Oxford Society/Shakespeare Fellowship conference in White Plains, NY. "This guy's life (Edward deVere, 17th Earl of Oxford) is the entire Shakespeare canon and it's all true. It's the sexiest story, and it sells itself." For a glimpse of the interaction between Anderson and Plummer, check out this recent entry on Anderson's blog.

Discount on March 19, 2009 RSC Richard III in A2 until Oct. 15

From University Musical Society in Ann Arbor: To help you get ready for UMS’s next stunning theatrical presentation, we'd like to make you a special offer for tickets to Richard III -- An Arab Tragedy.Direct from the RSC Complete Works Festival in England, this production is directed by the Kuwaiti-British director Sulayman Al-Bassam and is performed in Arabic with English supertitles. Be the first to see this thrilling contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic by taking $10 off tickets for the opening night performance on Thursday, March 19 at 8 pm in the Power Center. To order, call the UMS Ticket Office at 734-764-2538 or purchase your tickets online and mention the code DOUBLE HAPPINESS. Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets, or on tickets block D or E seats. Limit four discounted tickets per household. Offer expires on Wednesday, October 15.

Heads-up from Tom re: Oct. 16 Oberon meeting

This is a heads up for all you Oberon fans. Since October has five Thursdays, the third Thursday of the month comes a bit earlier than usual: October 16. Our meeting this month is thus on October 16. Please be sure to mark your calendars. We will reminisce about the great potluck meeting at Linda's in September. There will be a brief report about our Greenblatt Encounter in Grand Rapids. And, wouldn't you know, much to say about the joint Shakespeare Oxford Society/Shakespeare Fellowship conference to be held Oct 9-12 in White Plains, New York. All this plus our famous Tom Townsend Treasurer's Report as well as no telling what other sense and nonsense that may occur. Please join us October 16 for all our usual rollicking merriment at the Farmington Library, Room B. These are evenings not to be missed. Dramatically yours, Tom Hunter

Greenblatt around the World

First of all, forgive me for the somewhat far-reaching title of this blog (although I think Stephen Greenblatt would approve of it). I was moved by the increasingly broad geographical trend of the last two blogs on this subject and I wanted to continue with it. It also ties in with what I thought was the most interesting parts of the presentation we saw in Grand Rapids. I can't really add very much to the two excellent blogs that have already been posted, but I can say a few things. I would like to give a word of thanks to Marty for letting us know of this opportunity to see Stephen Greenblatt. I only wish we had found out sooner. Perhaps we could have organized a larger Oberon contingent. Perhaps we could have had time to print up our "Holocaust Denial" posters or lapel pins. Anyway, I had a great time in Grand Rapids and I am glad I went. It's true that it was sometimes hard to follow the details of what Greenblatt was saying, but I liked his general idea. He is int

Greenblatt in Michigan

Little did I think when Marty H. passed along on Wednesday the heads-up about Stephen Greenblatt at Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids that on Thursday Linda, Richard and I would be motoring our way westward across our beautiful state to the land of Amway to hear one of the most renown literary teachers and critics of our time. Well, we did, and there we found Mr. Greenblatt and a large lecture hall filled with Grand Valleyites who had come to hear his tale of the cultural mobility of Cardenio . The Cardenio project actually represents quite an undertaking, a grand experiment in cultural differences. It is a variation of the Cardenio text as updated by Greenblatt and a professional playwright Charles Mee (prompting many humorous references to the joint work of Mee and I) which was then sent out to be produced in various countries to compare the cultural differences emerging from the various productions. Why Cardenio ? Greenblatt said that it was important to the experiment to use

Greenblatt in Grand Rapids

Last night a few Oberons trekked across Michigan to attend Stephen Greenblatt’s lecture on “Cultural Mobility: The Strange Case of Shakespeare’s Cardenio” in the L.V. Eberhard Center at Grand Valley State University in downtown Grand Rapids. Greenblatt, who is a professor of humanities at Harvard, is the GVSU’s Distinguished Academic Lecturer for their Fall Arts Celebration which includes the fifteenth anniversary season of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival . This year the festival offering is A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballywood-style at 7:30 p.m. Sept 26, 27, Oct. 2, 3, 4 and matinees at 2 p.m. Sept 27, 28, Oct 4, 5 at the Louis Armstrong Theatre Performing Arts Center on the GVSU Allendale campus. Greenblatt is, famously, the author of numerous critical works on the Shakespeare oeuvre, most recently his 2004 $1-million baby -- Will in the World: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare . He is known for his development of a theory called “new historicism” which as near as I can figure

Whirligig of time

. . . brings in his revenges. Clown, Twelfth Night , V,i On September 21, the Oberons once again convened to the labyrinth in Howell to purify their hearts for another year's adventures. And, of course, we ate. And Tom T. reminded us of time's whirligig while we ate: tossed salad bleu-cheese slaw tuna noodle casserole VG's fried chicken pasta shells and peas peanut butter krispy rice treats chocolate zuccini cake cheesecake and the best chocolate cake in Michigan And Richard was presented with a puzzle to commemorate his leadership in the Ann Arbor SOS/SF conference. (What's two year's delay among friends?)

August meeting announcement from Tom Hunter

Dear Oberon, Our August meeting is coming up this Thursday, Aug. 21, at the Farmington Library on 12 Mile Rd. between Orchard Lake Rd. and Farmington Rd. at 6:45. For those who care to gather in the library coffee shop around 5:30, there will be a pre-meeting to discuss among other things, the Hamlet Project. Even though much remains to be done on the Hamlet Project, we will take a look during the regular meeting at the possibility of an All's Well That Ends Well project, too. Recent productions of that play at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and at Stratford, Ontario, have inspired a few of us Oberoners to take a closer look at All's Well for its Oxford connections. Richard Joyrich will speak out about that experience and others which Stratford in particular had to offer, especially the Sonnet program which attempted to set the sonnets (well, maybe about 60-70 of them) into a story. Also, we might be fortunate enough to hear another chapter from Barbara Burris' novel a

Tiptoe Through the Sonnets in Stratford

Tom Hunter and I witnessed the latest of the attempts made in Stratford, Ontario to find some kind of flesh on the bones of the poet/playwright William Shakespeare. There just has to be a way to make some kind of “real” person out of these plays and poems! Ah, if only they could see the answer staring them in the face! In recent years, Stratford has put on “Elizabeth Rex” about how Shakespeare met Queen Elizabeth in a barn the evening before the execution of the Earl of Essex and “Shakespeare’s Will” about Anne Hathaway’s recollections of life with William while reading his will after his death. The latest offering in these “speculative biographies” is “There Reigns Love”, a seemingly random stroll through the Sonnets devised and performed by acclaimed British actor Simon Callow (not to be confused with Simon Cowell of American Idol fame). Mr. Callow has been presenting the work of John Padel, thereby saving it from the oblivion it may well deserve. But then again, who knows? John Pa

All's Well at Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Dear Oberon, I am pleased to report that a merry troupe of Oberoners spent an entertaining Saturday at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival at Jackson Community College in mid Michigan. The plays, All’s Well That Ends Well and Julius Caesar , were well done and exemplary of the festival’s high standards, but the highlight of the day had to be dinner with our guest, John Neville-Andrews, University of Michigan theater professor and Artistic Director of the Festival. Mr. Neville-Andrews provided the group with stimulating observations about the festival and the direction of Shakespeare’s plays. He emphasized the need to understand all that can be known about the author of the works and encouraged us to keep him informed of our activities, including the Hamlet Project. We feel that, now that we have had a chance to become acquainted with him, that we have gained a new friend. Mr. Neville-Andrews was in fact the director of All’s Well , a production that tosses out old shibboleths that the p

Theil comment on NPR

Rules! I sent a note to NPR thanking them for the authorship story they ran last week and giving my take on the issue. Today on the Morning Edition show -- July 10, 2008 -- they read comments from some letters on the topic and mine was one! What a thrill! To hear the broadcast, go to Letters: Shakespeare, Physicians, Credit, Kindle and click on LISTEN NOW to load stream and hear the commentary.

Free Shakespeare in Buffalo, NY

Our friend Robin Y. saw a great King Lear for free at a Buffalo, NY park last week. This annual Shakespeare festival in Buffalo that started in 1976 is free to the public and draws crowds second only to New York City's Central Park Shakespeare in the Park free festival. The Buffalo, NY event has something else in common with New York's festival -- the park where the Buffalo festival is held was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, just as Central Park was an Olmstead design. In fact, Robin says Buffalo boasts several Olmstead parks. Their Shakespeare festival takes place in the Olmstead design called Deleware Park, in Buffalo, NY. Here is what they say about the venue on their Shakespeare in Deleware Park website: Our festival takes place in a historic park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of landscape architecture, and the nation's foremost parkmaker. Behind the Park's rose garden stands our grand Tudor-Style stage on a sweeping hill of green. In this beautifu

NPR story on authorship

Tom Hunter heard this story on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program this morning and forwarded the information to Oberon membership: Who wrote Shakespeare's plays? by correspondent Renee Montagne. The broadcast is full of great information including a link to the full text of Mark Twain's 1909 publication, "Is Shakespeare Dead?" at the Electronic Text Center of the University of Virginia. The author quotes scholar Diana Price and provides a link to Chapter 1 of Price's book Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography published by Greenwood Publishing Group in 2000. There are also links to related NPR stories. The Price chapter is housed on the site of Public Broadcasting System's site for its Frontline program on the authorship -- a Marlovian point-of-view titled, "Much Ado about Something" that aired in 2003. The transcript to this program may be downloaded free of charge from the PBS site. A free transcript is also avail

News from John Shahan at the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition

Note: The information at the Contrary Views pages mentioned below is a particularly cogent and beautifully crafted response to Stratfordian bluster. LT Letter from John Shahan: The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC) is pleased to announce that Sir Derek Jacobi has agreed to join Mark Rylance as a Patron of the SAC. As you may recall, Mark and Sir Derek teamed up to launch the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt in Chichester, England, last year following the final performance of Mark's play, "I Am Shakespeare." The event, held on 8 September (dubbed "Doubters' Day"), was a smashing success; so we are pleased to be able to keep this outstanding team together. Sir Derek has long been an outspoken supporter of the view that the Shakespeare Authorship Issue should be taken seriously. It is therefore extremely gratifying to us that, in addition to very publicly signing the Declaration, he is also willing to serve in this capacity. Thank you, Sir Derek Jacobi! A

Oberons choose July 19 to attend Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson, MI

Join the Oberons on July 19 for our annual trip to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival at the Baughman Theater in the George E. Potter Center on the campus of Jackson Community College in Jackson, Michigan. Here's the schedule: We will arrive at lunchtime for our BYO picnic attend the matinee of All's Well That Ends Well at 2 p.m. have a group nosh at Knights Steakhouse (or alternative) with the festival's delightful Managing Director Mary Matthews after the play return to the theater in time for the 6:45 p.m. "Bard Talk" with Dr. Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer, distinguished Shakespeare scholar and Chair of Humanities at Olivet College see Julius Caesar at 7:30 p.m. Find a Tim Hortons for coffee and doughnuts (just kidding!) Tickets are $24 for the matinee and $27 for the evening performance. Call the box office at (517) 796-8600, or toll-free (866) 705-2636 to reserve a seat, or buy tickets at the door on the day of the event. Everyone is welcome to join us. If you

Mark Rylance Interviewed on National Public Radio

On National Public Radio's Weekend Edition today, Scott Simon interviewed Mark Rylance, starring currently in the French farce, Boeing Boeing . The Broadway play also features Gina Gershon and Christine Baranski and Rylance has just been nominated for a Tony award. I think you will enjoy the interview. Rylance is very engaging. Rylance was also interviewed on the authorship issue, but that was not broadcast, only placed on the website. NPR also provided a link to the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. View the NPR story page and links here.

Don't touch the bones!

I was pleased to find an article in the Detroit Free Press (May 28, 2008) on the work needed at Shakespeare's gravesite in Stratford-upon-Avon. Apparently the stones above the gravesite in Holy Trinity Church need some repairing. The difficulty is that pesky inscription about being cursed if one "moves my bones". So the repairman will have to be very careful when they do their work. Come to think of it, maybe this is a great opportunity for the Stratfordians. They already replaced the memorial bust when it "needed repairs", making it more palatable to the idea of the man being an author rather than a grain-dealer. Now they can replace the doggerel verse on the marker above Shakespeare's grave with something that fits better with the Works as we know them. You can read the article for yourself. It's quite fun.

Richard III in Kuwait -- 2009

From Midsummer in Baghdad to Richard in Kuwait, directors seem to be keen on a mid-eastern setting for the works of Shakespeare. On March 20, 21, and 22, 2009, the University Musical Society will present the Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre's Richard III -- An Arab Tragedy based on Richard III by William Shakespeare at the Power Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Al-Bassam group produced The Al-Hamlet Summit (2002-2005) and were commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to create the Richard adaption as part of their Complete Works Festival in 2007. The UMS brochure says: Performed with a company of actors from England and across the Arab world, the work is accompanied by a live Arab musical score. Performed in Arabic with English supertitles, this work will be seen exclusively at UMS and the Kennedy Center.

Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Summer Schedule of Events and Workshops

Linda Theil invited me to share with you some of the fine arts events scheduled at Interlochen Center for the Arts this summer. If you have any questions, please email me and I’ll be happy to get you more information. Hope to see you up here this summer. Let me know when you’re coming and I’ll give you a personal tour of Interlochen’s campus. Thanks. Gordon Berg NEW! Interlochen Shakespeare Festival (June 26-29 and July 3-6) This year Interlochen is presenting as part of their summer-events schedule the first Interlochen Shakespeare Festival. For this inaugural year, they're performing "Twelfth Night." The company is comprised of a core ensemble of Interlochen faculty and alumni under the artistic direction of William Church. Surrealist painter René Magritte provides the inspiration for the mythical setting of Illyria. It will be performed in the intimate, 200-seat, Harvey Theatre. Tickets are $25. Click here and scroll for "Twelfth Night"

Lights, Camera, Shakespeare!

I'm beginning to think that Stratford, Ontario has a real rival in The Chicago Shakespeare Theater . In my long experience of going to this venue (a total of four times so far) I have never ceased to be amazed at what is being accomplished there. Who would have thought that such good theater could be found on Navy Pier in Chicago, home to a giant ferris wheel, a number of overpriced tourist shops, an IMAX theater, a Children's Museum, a beer hall, and about six places selling elephant ears (summer only)? Anyway, about the performance I saw there last night. I had to go to Chicago for a medical conference (I try to fit them in between Shakespeare conferences) and couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit the Pier once again (even though the elephant ear places were not yet open). While not as astounding as the last time I was there ( Othello -one of the best performances I've ever seen), the current production of The Comedy of Errors was quite enjoyable. Actually, this

Percy Allen Book from 1930

Here's a find that you all may find of interest: "The Case for Edward de Vere Seventh Earl of Oxford as"Shakespeare"" authored by Percy Allen. It's published by Cecil Palmer Chandos Street London, First Edition 1930 Copyright I found this at a used bookstore last weekend. Here are the chapters: I. Introductory II. Oxford's Poems and Shakespeare III. Shakespeare in the Lyrics of Lyly's Plays IV. Oxford in "Venus" and "Lucrece" V. Oxford in Chapman's Poems VI. Oxford in the Shakesperean Sonnets VII. The "Publication Committee" of Elizabethian Drama VIII. Oxford in the Shakesperean Comedies IX. Oxford in the Shakesperean Comedies...continued X. Oxford in the Shakesperean Tragedies XI. Oxford in the Shakesperean Tragedies...continued XII. Oxford in the First Folio, and Summary I'll bring the volume with me to the next Oberon meeting on

RIchard Joyrich reports on 12th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon

April 3, 2008 Hi Oberoners, I made it to Portland and I have just come back from the first day of the 12th Annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference (hereafter SASC) at Concordia University. It's always nice to be here (I think it's my 6th time) and see some of the familiar faces. I have regards from the three Sharpes for those Oberoners they met when they attended the Ann Arbor Conference in 2006. Bonnie Miller Cutting on Pembroke portrait Well, here goes the first installment of my conference reports:The first talk (at 4 PM today) was by Bonner Miller Cutting, titled "The Case of the Wrong Countess". She spoke of a large painting by Sir Anthony Van Dyke which can be seen at Wilton House (seat of the Earls of Pembroke). It was probably painted in 1625 and shows Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke (one of the "incomparable brethren" who the First Folio was dedicated to) with many members of his family (sons and their wives, his daughter and her husba