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Showing posts from July, 2008

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