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Showing posts from August, 2010

Sir Frank Kermode died August 17, 2010

Literary critic Sir Frank Kermode, 90, died August 17, 2010. The traditional Shakespeare scholar and onetime proponent of deconstructionist literary theory, famously said of one of the elite universities where he taught, " Cambridge, of course, is exceptionally hostile to any kind of thought at all, as far as the English faculty is concerned." ( Criticism in Society by Imre Salusinszky and Jacques Derrida, Methuen 1987)  Kermode's Shakespeare-related works include:  The Patience of Shakespeare  1964 On Shakespeare's Learning  1965 Four Centuries of Shakespearian Criticism  1965 Shakespeare: The Final Plays  1965 Shakespeare's Language 2000 The Age of Shakespeare 2004 Obituaries Telegraph : Herald : Independent :

Robert Brazil tribute online

Barb Flues announced today that a memorial tribute to authorship researcher Robert Brazil has been posted to the Brazil/Flues Internet site Elizabethan Authors . Robert Brazil, born in 1955, died on July 11, 2010. Flues said:  The Elizabethan Authors website now features a brief tribute to Robert Brazil, with comments taken from messages that were sent, or forwarded to me. Flues thanked Marty Hyatt for assisting her in posting the Brazil memorial to the Elizabethan Authors site at:

Anonymous to debut March 25, 2011

Los Angeles headquartered Exhibitor Relations -- a public relations firm that provides box office numbers, feature-release dates, and production notes to the media -- announced yesterday that Sony Pictures has scheduled Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare authorship epic, Anonymous , to debut March 25, 2011.

Stratford 2010

Thanks so much, Oberoners, for making my birthday so memorable and such fun. I didn't even realize that anyone knew the date of my birthday, so I was taken by surprise. I was given some lovely gifts and a perfectly delicious cake, guaranteed to put at least five pounds on anyone who tasted it. While we were in Stratford, Michael and I watched The Tempest , which is a must see for anyone able to visit. Christopher Plummer is the best Prospero either of us have seen, although his sails lost a little wind near the end. Julyana Soelistyo, as Ariel, was extrordinary, and the three revellers, Bruce Dow, Geraint Wyn Davies, and Dion Johnstone (Caliban) were hysterically funny. The scene with Ferdinand, Miranda, and the logs had the audience rolling in the aisles--or should that be isles? --but I don't think I should say why as it would spoil the surprise. The masque appeared to be truncated--what would a modern audience make of it, after all?--but the special effects for it were incre

Happy birthday, Lynne!

Lynne and Michael Kositsky at Swiss Chalet in Stratford, Ontario Oberoners Tom and Rosey Hunter, Tom and Joy Townsend, Richard Joyrich and Linda Theil met Minerva's Voyage author Lynne Kositsky and her charming husband Michael for lunch at the Swiss Chalet in Stratford, Ontario yesterday. We all wished Lynne a happy birthday and many happy returns of the day as she blew out the candles on her chocolate cake. After lunch Oberons attended the Stratford Shakespeare Festival matinee performance of  Two Gentlemen of Verona, then   joined Lynne and Michael for dinner at Demetre's where we polished off Lynne's cake, and fulfilled all our wishes at a magnificent production of The   Winter's Tale  directed by Marti Maraden  -- whom Richard says is the only person who really knows how to direct Shakespeare. If you are able to make your way to Ontario, we highly recommend this production that runs until September 25, 2010. Staging, costumes, casting -- the play delighted i

Cleveland Plain Dealer features Theil comment on review of Shapiro

The Cleveland Plain Dealer featured my comment on their Saturday review of Contested Will in their Books Comment of the Day column this morning. I got a kick out of seeing this headline: Books Comment of the Day: 'I say that the authorship question is worth exploring' I submitted the comment yesterday in reply to David Walton's August 7, 2010 review titled: 'Contested Will' from James Shapiro is solid examination of William Shakespeare Here's the first paragraph of my comment that also features the first sentence of Walton's review: Regarding your statement, "The question of who else besides William Shakespeare could have written the poems and plays of Shakespeare is undoubtedly one of the most useless, fruitless, and irresolvable that humankind could devise.", I reply that the fact that the authorship inquiry is of no importance to you does not mean that the topic is of no importance.

Leslie Hotson redux

Bored and disgusted with the unsubstantiated maundering of many traditional Shakespearean scholars, I had never read the work of Canadian-born researcher Leslie Hotson (1897-1992) until this May when I picked up a used copy of his The First Night of Twelfth Night at West Side Books in Ann Arbor. I was immediately enthralled by Hotson's clear-minded, lively prose and meticulous research. Although a traditional Shakespearean, Hotson indulges in no "would have", "could have", "may have", "might have", "surely must have" fol-de-rol . He follows primary sources wherever they lead; and, although his theses were reportedly attacked by his peers, his reasoning and support are impeccable -- and fascinating. In my opinion, Hotson's  research supports the anti-Stratfordian view that Shakespeare's plays were created by a court insider. His  First Night of Twelfth Night  brings   the Elizabethan court to life with a view of the gre

Michigan Shakespeare Festival: To Be Or Not To Be

Dear Oberon, Our Saturday (yesterday, July 31) at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival turned out to be most enjoyable, from the monologue contest to Romeo and Juliet to our dinner with special guest Robert Duha, managing director of the Festival, to Richard Joyrich’s Bard Talks presentation about Comedy of Errors , and finally to Comedy of Errors itself. Early in the day, we met Festival founders Rick and Debbie Davies. I wanted Mr. Davies to know that modest as it may have been, Oberon has supported and enjoyed the Festival as long as we have known about it. I told him of our hope that the Festival will become a true Shakespeare festival for the whole state of Michigan and will eventually rise to the stature of festivals like those in Ashland, Cedar City, and Stratford. One thing I always liked about Robert Duha was his intention to challenge Stratford for area Shakespeare pre-eminence. Thus this year’s slogan: “Great Shakespeare. No Passport Required.” If MSF is to rise to

Handley says anti-Strat position is "irrefutable" -- Beauclerk? not so much

Reviewer Garrett Handley skewers Charles Beauclerk for his presumption in Handley's review of Beauclerk's  Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom: the True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth (Grove Press, 2010) . Handley's review ,    "The Ass Made Proud"  , is published in the August 2010 issue of Open Letters Monthly: an Arts and Literature Review . Handley says the anti-Stratfordian viewpoint is valid, but Beauclerk -- like many other anti-Stratfordians -- refuses to quit while he's ahead: What [Beauclerk is] saying is simple and (at least at the beginning) irrefutable: the sheer  amount  of specialized learning and epitomized world-experience in Shakespeare’s plays is not just vast but extraordinarily so. The basic articulation of his point is this: lacking any autographed copies, it’s a much, much greater leap to attribute those plays to somebody like William Shakespeare than it is to attribute them to somebody else. If you do as Beauclerk asks, if you dives

Melissa Murphy wins Michigan Shakespeare Festival High School Monologue Contest

First-place winner Melissa Murphy Home-schooled student Melissa Murphy of Southgate, MI was named first-place winner of the 2010 Michigan Shakespeare Festival High School Monologue Contest yesterday (July 31, 2010)  for her presentation of Hero's Act III, scene 1 "lapwing" speech from Much Ado About Nothing . Several Oberon members attended the contest finals at Jackson Community College and all concurred with the judges' choice of Murphy who showed poise, projection, and maturity in her command of her body and theatrical space. Murphy won a monetary prize of $350 and a Michigan Shakespeare Festival jacket. Second-place winner Lonnie Robinson wears his MSF prize jacket. Charismatic Lonnie Robinson of Ecorse, MI won second-place for his powerful and passionate presentation of a speech from Julius Caesar . Robinson was one of seven students of Ecorse Community High School teacher Dr. James Allen Jones who presented at competition semi-finals in Ann Arbor. Jones&#