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Showing posts from 2010

Shakespeare authorship classes offered at two eastern universities in 2011

The Shakespeare authorship controversy will be discussed in two, new classes at eastern universities in the new year: Harvard Extension School lecturer Donald Ostrowski, PhD, will teach a four-credit class titled “Historical Controversies” Jan. 4-17, 2011 in Harvard Hall, Boston and detective fiction critic B.J. Rahn will teach a non-credit class titled “What's in a Name? The Shakespeare Authorship Debate Investigated” April 6- May 11, 2011 at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies in New York City. In Ostrowski’s class the Shakespeare authorship controversy will be one among many issues the class will investigate. Ostrowski will not attempt to resolve controversies; he will use them to enlighten his students on the topic of scholarly debate. From Ostrowski’s "Historical Controversies" syllabus : My intent in offering this course and in is to define a number of controversies that are currently exercising scholarly ingenuity and to analyze

Waugaman inaugurates authorship web-log: The Oxfreudian

Georgetown University psychiatry professor Richard M. Waugaman, MD has launched a new web-log about the Shakespeare authorship controversy. He has christened his space, The Oxfreudian . This quirky title is apt because Sigmund Freud was an early proponent of Thomas J. Looney's work on the Shakespeare authorship question, and an ardent Oxfordian. Waugaman said, Freud's intellect has deeply impressed me since I first read him in college. Under Walter Kaufmann's direction, I did my college senior thesis on Nietzsche's influence on Freud. We studied Freud during my psychoanalytic training, then I read (or re-read) all his 23 volumes during the years after I graduated from the psychoanalytic institute.  I puzzled over Freud's endorsement of Looney's authorship hypothesis. Then I put it out of my mind. Until 2002, when William Niederkorn's New York Times article introduced me to Roger Stritmatter's dissertation showing that de Vere's Geneva Bible might be

Keir Cutler re Shakespeare: Why Was I Never Told This?

Actor Keir Cutler, PhD, explains why he became interested in the Shakespeare authorship question.

Dillon plays DeVere in Worchester, England Jan. 14, 2011

Reporter Lauren Rogers sums up Edward de Vere's "disgraceful" life in her Dec. 17., 2010  Worchester News  article,  "Is this the real Bard?"  announcing playwright George Dillon's one-man show about DeVere,  The Man Who Was Hamlet    that opens next month at the Number 8 Community Arts Center in Worchester, England. Rogers said: Edward de Vere was a courtier, swordsman, adventurer, playwright and poet. He killed a servant, made love to Queen Elizabeth, abandoned his wife, got his mistress pregnant, was maimed in a duel, travelled in Italy, was captured by pirates, fought the Armada, was imprisoned in the Tower of London, kept two companies of players, and then disappeared from history for 15 years before dying virtually bankrupt. In youth he was hailed as the best of the secret court writers, but no plays bearing his name have survived and his poetry suddenly stopped after the first invention of 'William Shake-speare'. Traditional Shakespeare schola

Taymore Tempest opens nationwide Dec 17, 2010

Cover of Abrams Julie Taymor edition of The Tempest A new hardcover Julie Taymor edition of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was released last month by Abrams with a foreword by Jonathan Bate. According to the publisher: The book of   The Tempest   is both a handsome edition of Julie Taymor’s eminently readable adaptation of Shakespeare’s play and a stunning visual narrative of her new film, which stars Helen Mirren as Prospera, the magician/alchemist in a bold, gender-switched realization.   Industry sources report the film will be in general release December 17, 2010. Taymor referenced the appeal of her gender-switching hero/heroine in an interview with Alison Stewart on the Dec. 10 2010 broadcast of the PBS news magazine, Need to Know . Taymor said: Prospero's famous speech, “Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves . . ."  -- that speech ise airs and winds: ye elves of hills, of brooks, of woods alone, / Of standing lakes, and of the night, approach ye everyone”).

Jacobi's Lear HERE Feb. 20, 2011

Michiganders will be able to see Sir Derek Jacobi's acclaimed  King Lear  here in Michigan via the University Musical Society's   sponsorship of a National Theater Live broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday, February 20, 2011 at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor . This program is one of a series of high-definition broadcasts from the National Theater in London that are being shown throughout the US and worldwide. UMS says: UMS and the Michigan Theater have joined forces to bring high definition screenings of live theater broadcasts by London’s National Theatre to Ann Arbor. NT Live broadcasts performances of plays produced by London’s National Theatre onto cinema screens worldwide. In the US, these screenings are delayed broadcasts to accommodate the time difference. Broadcasts will also feature behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with actors.  Resources: US venues for NT Live broadcasts: Tickets f

Telegraph prints essay on authorship skeptic Sir Derek Jacobi

In yesterday's London Telegraph  contributor William Langley wrote an interesting essay on Sir Derek Jacobi's decision to play Shakespeare's  King Lear at long last. Langley's mini-bio is titled "Sir Derek Jacobi: Bard to the bone" with the subtitle: "Sir Derek Jacobi doesn't believe Shakespeare wrote King Lear -- but he's still given one of the greatest performances in the role, says William Langley." Jacobi's anti-Stratfordian viewpoint is given some prominence in the article: In recent years, Jacobi has emerged as a leading Shakespeare sceptic, taking the view that a semi-educated country boy from Stratford-upon-Avon couldn’t possibly have written the great works attributed to him. Three years ago, he co-launched the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition – a group dedicated to proving that the plays must have been penned by others, and later, in a speech to a like-minded American research organisation, declared: “The only evidence of S

BSA "Sources . . ." conference to be held Sept. 9-11, 2011

The British Shakespeare Association in association with the University of Cambridge, the  Association of Adaptation Studies, and the Cambridge Marlowe Society will host it's fifth biennial conference titled Shakespeare: Sources and Adaptation  on September 9-11, 2011 at the University of Cambridge. The BSA describes itself as " . . .  a professional association of teachers, researchers, theatre practitioners, writers and anyone who regularly works with Shakespeare's plays and poems. The BSA was established in 2002 and has run a number of events since then aimed at furthering public knowledge of Shakespeare's works." Shakespearean authorship skeptics may find the topic of Shakespeare's sources to be of interest, especially since the question of how the traditionally ascribed author from Stratford could have gained access to Shakespeare's sophisticated sources is largely unexamined. The topic of Shakespeare's sources leads inexorably to authorship her

Oberon meeting schedule change

Because of a date conflict with the Farmingon Community Library schedule, and contrary to an earlier announcement of the 2011 Oberon meeting calendar, Oberon will meet in the fourth Thursday of every month beginning January 27, 2011. Meetings begin at 6:45 p.m. No meetings are currently scheduled for November and December 2011.

Harper Collins to publish Roe's Shakespeare Guide to Italy November 1, 2011

Rosalie Books publication of Richard Paul Roe's private edition of The Shakespeare Guide to Italy, June 2010 Peter Henningsen, assistant publicist at Harper Collins, said the late Richard Paul Roe's book, The Shakespeare Guide to Italy will be released by the publisher on November 1, 2011. A limited private edition of The Shakespeare Guide to Italy was published by Rosalie Books in June 2010 to acclaim throughout the Shakespeare authorship community.  The Shakespeare Guide reveals the work of Shakespeare in intimate detail -- mapping his characters' travels, play-by-play through the summer light and moonlit dark of Renaissance Italy. In his introduction, Roe says: No book or article addressing the (Shakespeare) identity issue has provided a forensic examination of the uniue references that the author has specifically disclosed in his plays. Indeed, his familiarity with Italy, its sites and sights, specific details, history, geography, unique cultural aspects, places

Richard Paul Roe passed away today in Pasadena CA

Daniel Wright, PhD, director of the Richard Paul and Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland Oregon, reported with great grief the death of Richard Paul Roe, 88, in Pasadena, California today.  Wright said: Dick and his wife, Jane, who survives him, were grand and active Oxfordians. Dick just published last year his breakthrough work of a lifetime -- one of the most important studies in the Shakespeare authorship question ever: The Shakespeare Guide to Italy . I was honored to attend a reception for Dick in Pasadena at the release of his book last year. We are all pleased, given this sad news, that Dick was able to receive the enthusiastic accolades of friends and supporters before his death for undertaking, and seeing through to completion, this titanic accomplishment -- the result of decades of travel, investigation and meticulous research, jaw-dropping in its significance. For this achievement Dick was slated to receive the Concordia Uni

R&J melange at the UMMA Dec. 4, 2010

University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance performing  at the University of Michigan Museum of Art: The Romeo and Juliet Program Museum of Art, Apse Saturday, December 4, 2010 7:00 PM Free, no tickets required University news release: William Shakespeare's beloved romance, presented in a collage of operatic settings by Charles Gounod,  Vincenzo Bellini, and others, with Leonard Bernstein's musical theater adaptation West Side Story and scenes from Shakespeare's original stage play.  Performed by voice students from the UM second-year opera workshop, directed by Professor Joshua Major, with musical direction by Professor Timothy Cheek.

Merkel tutors Cook

In her new website/weblog The Edward Oxenford Review , Marie Merkel responds to Shaksper  electronic Shakespeare conference owner Hardy Cook's plea for strategies to counter interest in the Shakespeare authorship question generated by Roland Emmerich's Anonymous , a film on the topic that will debut September 23, 2011. In her post titled "Academic Response to Anonymous" Merkel presents Cook with a reading list of material and offers in closing: Finally, I suggest that you portray the movie as Opportunity rather than Disaster.  Ridicule – of the film, of the authorship question, of Oxford himself – may seem to your students like a nervous defense against a devil you don’t dare look in the face.  The way I see it, anything you can say that will send your seeker back to The Bard’s ever-living poetry, with confidence in his or her own ability to discern the truth, may turn out to be a kindness long remembered.  Sounds reasonable to me. I must say, when I saw the fury an

Shakespeare to music Dec. 1, 2010

I attended this University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance event last year and enjoyed it very, very much.  Wednesday, December 1 Opera Workshop E.V. Moore Building, McIntosh Theatre 7:00 PM First year graduate students under Joshua Major and Timothy Cheek will present an evening of arias and Shakespeare monologues. Free - no tickets required SMTD Events Hotline 734-764-0583

Plummer in The Tempest-Another Chance to See

Although it had been announced previously (in obscure places) I just found out that Bravo Canada filmed one of the performances of The Tempest this past season (which just ended last weekend) at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, starring Christopher Plummer. They have made a "movie version" of this and it will be showing this coming weekend in selected theatres in Canada, including one in Windsor. The film will only be shown in at one theatre and at one time (at least in Windsor). It will be at 1 PM on Saturday November 6 at the Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall (3100 Howard Avenue, (519) 967-0197) Information and online tickets are available at Actually, there will be an encore presentation at the same theatre on Wednesday, November 10 at 7 PM. I saw the live production this past season at Stratford and I thought it was very good (although not as exciting or provocative as the way it was done by Patrick Stewart

Traditional researcher vilified for going rogue

“Yes, there’s a lot of crankology out there,” (Judith)Curry says. “But not all of it is. If only 1 percent of it or 10 percent of what the skeptics say is right, that is time well spent because we have just been too encumbered by groupthink.” Scientific American Magazine , November 2010 Scientific American reported on the phenomenon of how an academic is treated when she considers the criticism of skeptics in the Michael Lemonick article,  "Climate Heretic Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues"   Published November 2010. I don't consider Shakespeare authorship inquiry either a conspiracy theory or a fringe concept, but the issue is often lumped with debunked theories like no-moon-landing and such, so I thought it was interesting that someone in the academy could bring herself to say that skeptics just might be worth listening to. The resulting Sturm und Drang is also enlightening.

Stille's schizo Hamlet doubles at Eastern

Liz from the Oberon Meetup Group reported that Eastern Michigan University Theatre is performing Hamlet this week at 7 p.m.October 28, 29, 30 at the Quark Theater on the EMU Main Campus in Ypsilanti, MI. The production features a schizophrenic Hamlet as reported by Ann reviewer Roger LeLievre in his October 23 review, "EMU Theatre's 'Hamlet' a fresh and compelling take on Shakespeare's tragedy" : EMU professor Lee Stille’s new adaptation splits the title role in half, each played by a pair of scarily well-matched actors (Matt Andersen and Evan Mann). They shadow each other on stage, they trade lines back and forth (it’s like they are finishing each other’s sentences) and are often at odds. Unusual as it was to hear the “to be, or not to be” soliloquy broken down into two parts, it worked beautifully. It’s a powerful way to explore the conflicts that rage within Hamlet; there’s the face he shows to the world and then there’s the one raging inside th

October Oberon Meetup!

Treasurer Tom Townsend gives his monthly report at the October 20, 2010 Oberon meeting. At our October meeting, the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group decided to join the Meetup! community after hearing from Prashant A. about the success he is enjoying after signing his Plymouth Shakespeare and Epic Poetry Read Aloud group on Meetup!. Please join our group at Shakespeare-Study-Group/  to enjoy a quick and easy way to keep up to date on Oberon activities. We're hoping that Meetup! will provide another method for reaching Shakespeare lovers who are interested in learning more about the work and the author.

Was Shakespeare gay?

Like the late Joseph Sobran , award-winning poet and editor Don Paterson comes down firmly in the gay  camp on the topic of Shakespeare's sexual orientation in his upcoming book, Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets: a New Commentary , to be released in England on November 4, 2010 by Faber and Faber. In an essay titled "Shakespeare's Sonnets by Don Paterson" published October 15, 2010 in The Guardian, Paterson said: However, the question: "was Shakespeare gay?" strikes me as so daft as to be barely worth answering. Of course he was. Arguably he was bisexual, of sorts, but his heart was never on his straight side. Now is not the time to rehearse them all, but the arguments against his homosexuality are complex and sophistical, and often take convenient and homophobic advantage of the sonnets' built-in interpretative slippage – which Shakespeare himself would have needed for what we would now call "plausible deniability", should anyone have felt

Joseph Sobran legacy

In  the death of Joseph Sobran on September 30, 2010 the literary community lost a superb writer and William Shakespeare lost a brilliant advocate. Sobran’s polemic on the topic of the Shakespeare authorship,  Alias Shakespeare: Solving the Greatest Literary Mystery of All Time , was published in 1997 by Simon & Schuster. In December 1999 Sobran defined his viewpoint in  "How Old Was Oxford's Daughter and When Did William Lose his Hair?" , a reply to academic criticism of his work: . . . in my view the balance of nature requires that some of us nonscholars be able to detect fraudulent scholarship. That is what  Alias Shakespeare  is meant to do. Bogus scholarship is especially rife in academic Shakespeare studies, which are based on the dubious dogma that William of Stratford was, beyond doubt, the poet-dramatist we call “Shakespeare.” The scholars, their reputations at stake, can’t afford to admit that there is any question whatsoever about this.  Alias Shakespeare