Waiting for William: After four centuries, we may finally be seeing history's greatest writer for the first time By Sally Jenkins Washington Post, August 30, 2009 (with slideshow) Writer Sally Jenkins will be taking questions about this Cobbe portrait story on Monday, August 31 at 12 noon. Click here to submit comments or questions before or during the discussion. *** This credulous article by Sally Jenkins is as much about authorship as the Cobbe portrait. She immediately -- in the second paragraph -- points out that Stanley Well’s favored Cobbe portrait of Shakespeare brings the authorship into question, but she dismisses an aristocratic connection with a flip of the wrist. “The fellow is clearly no earl -- he lacks the arrogant jaw -- but he's someone. Maybe too much of a someone to be a mere playwright.” As if weak chins or arrogant jaws -- whatever they may be -- never occurred in the noble English genome. She then goes on to describe how very Shakespearea
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario has just announced its 2010 Season. In what may seem to some to be a copy-cat move and what might seem to others to be an instance of "great minds think alike", the flagship productions at Stratford in 2010 are the VERY SAME plays that were just put on in Jackson, Michigan at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, to great criticial acclaim. Kudos to John Neville-Andrews! We at Oberon are certainly sad to see him leaving the MSF (see previous blog entry for more). Anyway, the two "big" productions of Shakespeare plays at the Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario in 2010 will be The Tempest (starring Christopher Plummer as Prospero) and As You Like It (with Brent Carver as Jacques). There will also be two other Shakespeare plays ( The Winter's Tale at the small Tom Patterson theatre and The Two Gentleman of Verona at the even smaller Studio Theatre). I guess it's Shakespeare for all sizes next year!
FROM Michigan Shakespeare Festival FOR RELEASE: August 18, 2009 CONTACT: Robert Duha, Managing Director 517-998-3673 Neville-Andrews to step down as MSF artistic director JACKSON – After a dozen seasons helping build the Michigan Shakespeare Festival into a highly respected, regional classical theatre, John Neville-Andrews announced he will step down as the organization‟s Artistic producer when his current contract expires on September 30. Neville-Andrews‟ decision was accepted, with regret, by the Festival board of directors at their regularly-scheduled meeting Monday night. “It has been a most joyful 12 years, and although a frequently challenging undertaking, providing the artistic leadership of guiding the Festival from a community-based theatre to a fully professional organization and becoming The Official Shakespeare Festival of the State of Michigan, is something I have cherished and been honored to be a part of,” Neville-Andrews said. Neville-Andrews' announcement c
Dear Oberon, Our August meeting is coming up fast--this Wednesday, August 19 at the usual time 7 p.m. and the usual place, the Farmington Library on 12 Mile Rd. This should be a relaxed meeting, looking back on our experience at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival and forward to the Stratford festival, the Sonnets meeting in October, Love's Labours Lost in October,and the annual SOS/Fellowship conference in November. September is To Be Announced, so be sure to be there Wednesday to find out. Also, we will be taking a look at the latest flap about Shakespeare authorship in the Scientific American (of all places) and the reissue of a great book about authorship studies to have in your library. Finally, there is much to update each other about our own Shakespeare reading, research, plays and other good experiences. You don't even have to twitter. Just come to the meeting to tell us what you are doing. Tom Hunter Oberon Chair
Julia Moulden, author of The New Radicals shared this E.B. White poem on her Huffington Post blog today. It is lovely and made me think of how the work of authorship researchers is creating a web of reason that entangles Stratfordian flies. A Natural History E.B. White The spider, dropping down from twig Unwinds a thread of her devising, A thin, premeditated rig To use in rising. And all the journey down through space In cool descent, and loyal-hearted, She builds a ladder to the place From where she started. Thus I, gone forth, as spiders do, In spiders web a truth discerning, Attach one silken strand to you For my returning.
Anyone who missed the interview with John Shahan and Michael Shermer last night on AM770 CHQR in Calgary can still download a podcast . Mr Shermer generally came up with the same lame points he made in the the Scientific American . John Shahan did an admirable job of answering them with good detail. It is the same maddening exercise, I would venture, that most of us by now have experienced: the repetition of irrelevant if not outright inaccurate arguments by the traditionalists, the wandering focus of the moderator, and the detailed, substantive answers by the Oxfordian pretty much ignored. John Shahan should be commended for having the courage to take this on and for the undoubted notice that I am sure at least some of his argument gave to careful, open-minded listeners who are invariably among such an audience. In this way by small steps we progress. Tom Hunter
Rosey Hunter, MSF Managing Director Robert Duha and Oberon Chair Tom Hunter at Knights in Jackson Yes, indeed, the Oberon people do like to be entertained and we were richly rewarded at our annual Michigan Shakespeare Festival outing yesterday. Among our pleasures, was dinner at Knights with MSF Managing Director Robert Duha where we learned of a Jackson Citizen Patriot article featuring commentary from our own fearless leader, R. Thomas Hunter, PhD. The story -- in which MSF Artistic Director John Neville Andrews commented on Oberons' penchant for frivolity -- was published July 14, 2009, and is titled: "Did he or did he not? Questions exist over the authorship of Shakespeare's works" by John Sadowski. Read for yourself to find out which side Tom favored.