Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

The [blog] hath not been dead, though it hath slept

Hi all, Some of you may recognize the title of this post as a paraphrase of a line spoken by Angelo in Act II, scene 2 of Measure for Measure . The actual quotation begins "The law hath not been dead". I think that the title is apt, since (for various reasons) there have been no posts to this blog since October 30 and I didn't want anyone to think that there is any problem with the Oberon group. In fact, we are very much alive! We are having our Annual Holiday Party this Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Hogan's Restaurant in Bloomfield Hills and then have our first group meeting on January 28, 2013 at the Bloomfield Township Library. There will be more details on these events in a later post. We should all be looking forward to a new year with several expected events and opportunities to further our knowledge of Shakespeare and his times and to promote interest in the Authorship Question. I am already looking forward to the next Annual Joint Confer

New Oberon officers elected

At our October meeting last night, Oberon members elected a new slate of officers: Tom Townsend will be chair; Richard Joyrich will be vice-chair, Sue Munsell will be treasurer, and Linda Theil will be secretary. 

News notes from Oct. 18-21 SOS/SF conference in Pasadena

News highlights as reported by Oberon Chair and outgoing Shakespeare Oxford Society President Richard Joyrich from the 2012 Shakespeare Oxford Society/Shakespeare Fellowship annual conference held in Pasadena, CA Oct. 18-21, 2012: John Hamill was elected SOS president by the Shakespeare Oxford Society board. Tom Regnier is the new Shakespeare Fellowship president. The Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship presented  Shakespeare Authorship Coalition President John Shahan the 2012 Oxfordian of the Year award at the conference banquest October 21. Actor Michael York was present to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship. Next year's joint SOS/SF conference will be held in Toronto, Canada, and will include a side trip to Stratford, Ontario. SOS board member and Oberon chair Richard Joyrich will work on the conference committee along with new Shakespeare Fellowship board member Torontoni

See Bernhardt's Elizabeth in A2 October 12, 2012

The Academy of Early Music will host a screening of the 1912 silent film Queen Elizabeth  with Sarah Bernhardt at 8 p.m. October 12. 2012 at the Michigan Theater,  603 E. Liberty in Ann Arbor. The film will be accompanied by the Newberry Consort performing live a new soundtrack composed of music by Elizabethan era composers William Byrd, Thomas Campion, and John Dowland. Consort director David Douglass will precede the film with a discussion of Elizabethan music at 7 p.m., one hour before the 8 p.m. showtime. Tickets are $20 for general seating. For tickets and information see the Academy of Early Music website or call 734-528-1838.

Next Oberon Meeting-September 24, 2012

This is Richard Joyrich, inviting everyone to come to our next Oberon meeting this coming Monday. We will be meeting at our new location from about 6:30 PM to 9 PM at our new (perhaps temporary) location. This is the same place we met last month, although only four people came. We need to do better this month!  You may be asking, "Where is this new location?". I can tell you that (it's also on our blog). The location is the Commerce Township Library. The address is 2869 N. Pontiac Trail in Commerce Township, but the library entrance is actually off of East Library Drive, which in turn is off of Martin Parkway, which in turn is off of the roundabout at Pontiac Trail and M-5. Here's what you should do:  If you are coming from I-96 or anywhere to the west or south, you should get onto M-5 going north. Then take that all the way north until it "ends" at the roundabout at Pontiac Trail (which is just north of Maple Road). Then go around the roun

Folger sez students don't need to learn Shakespeare bio

The Folger Shakespeare Library education department publishes a web-log titled   Making a Scene: Shakespeare in the Classroom   that   gives teachers advice on how to help students learn about the Bard. On Thursday, the topic of the post was "Teaching Shakespeare FAQs" that is a list of basic questions and answers about how to handle Shakespeare in the classroom. One of the questions considered basic by the Folger had to do with Shakespeare's biography: Do I need to teach about the Globe Theatre or Shakespeare’s Life? The simple answer is “No.” While telling students that Shakespeare had three children and that he and Anne Hathaway had to get married might be interesting, it really doesn’t help them understand the plays. It’s much better to integrate some facts about Elizabethan life when they come up in the plays. So when Francis Flute protests, “Let me not play a woman. I have a beard coming” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that’s the perfect opportunity to explain the

Nothing Truer Than Truth-Almost Finished

The following post is by Richard Joyrich. I hope all of you are aware of a new documentary that will be coming out soon. It is Nothing Truer Than Truth , being done by Cheryl Eagan-Donovan. Those of you who have attended the last few Joint Authorship Conferences have seen various excerpts of this and I can tell you it looks fantastic! Cheryl is hoping to have a rough "final" cut of the whole documentary to show at the upcoming Joint SF/SOS Conference in Pasadena this October (October 18-21). Cheryl's film is currently scheduled to show at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 20. Cheryl is launching another fundraising effort to get the last funds she needs to complete everything. I am including here an e-mail she sent me recently about this. The campaign has now gone live and I can give you the link that Cheryl mentions in the last paragraph of her e-mail. It is Please go to this site. There you can

Download the Oberon 2011 yearbook free in eBook format

Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Yearbook 2011  The 2011 edition of the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Yearbook is available in print and in a free, searchable, ebook format from Blurb . This huge edition is 167 pages; among many issues, the 2011 edition chronicles the release of Roland Emmerich's anti-Stratfordian film, Anonymous , and lists commentary and reviews of the film. You can preview the entire 2011 yearbook on Blurb. More information about print and ebook editions of Oberon yearbooks is available at "Order FREE digital Oberon yearbooks from Blurb" . Print editions may be ordered at a 20% discount -- when ordering two or more books -- until August 28, 2012 by using the code PROJECT. Resources:

Suzman uses authorship controversy to drum up publicity for her new book

In aid of promoting her new book, Not Hamlet , actress Dame Janet Suzman used the Shakespeare authorship question to generate headlines by making uninformed comments derogatory of authorship skeptics Mark Rylance and Sir Derek Jacoby. Suzman said in an article titled "Much ado over whether Shakespeare wrote his plays" in Sunday's Daily Mail : 'And you have to be a snob if you just hate it that the greatest poet the world has produced was born into the humble aldermanic classes of a provincial town.' She added: 'How strange it is that Jacobi and Rylance, hundreds of years later, with their outstanding acting instincts, should embrace such a haughty view of the man who has made them as big as they are. 'We have seen a dozen times how thrillingly they themselves can conjure up fantastical character studies of fictional persons – without ever having been crowned king or murdered a rival in real life. It's what actors do for heaven's sakes, and

Barbara Crowley tribute from Dan Wright

Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre Director Daniel Wright, PhD, reported on the death of Oxfordian Barbara Crowley. LT 9:44 a.m. August 16,2012 Friends, I just learned a few minutes ago of the death of one of Oxfordianism’s great leaders, Barbara Crowley.  This astonishing woman and her late husband, John – who among other achievements, served as the Democratic mayor of Pasadena (no small accomplishment!) back in the 80s of Ronald Reagan – were pioneers in advancing the Oxfordian cause when times were tough and the derisive laughs directed at those who disparaged the notion that bookless Stratford Will was the writer, William Shakespeare, were loud and long.  We’re all going to miss her so very much, but we have the legacy of Barbara’s scholarship and dedication to the relentless advance of the case for Edward de Vere to celebrate her life for years and years to come. Barbara and John donated the Barbara and John Crowley Gallery and Exhibition Center in the SARC where, eve

England's NT Live will broadcast Timon and Othello in theaters worldwide

The National Theatre Live project will include broadcasts of Timon of Athens with Simon Russell Beale (Nov. 1, 2012) -- and, according to the University Musical Society brochure, but not confirmed on the NT site, Othello  -- as part of its fourth season of theatrical events originating at the Royal National Theatre in London and made available in movie theaters around the world. The broadcasts will be shown locally under the auspices of the University Musical Society at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. The National Theater site makes the following statement re Timon and Shakespeare, the collaborator. This commentary continues an unfortunate tradition of Shakespearean program notes that state supposition or theory as fact. Simon Russell Beale  takes the title role in  Timon of Athens , Shakespeare's strange fable of conspicuous consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton, directed by  Nicholas Hytner .

English History Plays in Stratford

by Susan Grimes Width What an intense Friday the 13th! Linda Theil, Richard Joyrich and I travelled to Canada via the Blue Water Bridge . After a lunch with Michael & Lynne Kositsky we saw a wonderful performance of Cymbeline in the Tom Patterson Theatre. Cara Ricketts as Imogen, the daughter of Cymbeline, was fantastic in both her beautiful gown and dressed as a young man.  Graham Abbey as Posthumos, so named because he was delivered at his mother's death, was great as a loving husband torn away by his father-in-law's disapproval, a cuckold husband - oh ye of little faith, and as a bare-chested soldier. The fighting between Cybeline's faithful and the Roman Soldiers seemed to take place right in our laps. The play was staged wonderfully, only my cheeks complained at the length! After a quick dinner and too-short rest, we attended the Festival Theatre for Henry V. Wow! The stage was massive and cold and the huge English and French flags were switched as backdrops

Order FREE digital Oberon yearbooks from Blurb

For all you info-junkies out there, we have recently taken advantage of Blurb’s new digital book editor and have converted our three existing Oberon Shakespeare Study Group yearbooks to ebook and iBooks format. Yearbook content includes news, reviews, and commentary on the Shakespeare authorship question as published on the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group web-log at . The ebook and iBooks editions of the Oberon yearbooks are available free of charge as downloads from the Blurb catalog. Here are the catalog page URLs for each of the yearbooks: Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Yearbook 2007-08 Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Yearbook 2009 Oberon Shakespeare Study Group Yearbook 2010 On the order page

Water Works opens Shakespeare in the Park August 2, 2012

Water Works Theatre will open their 2012 season of Shakespeare in the Park at Royal Oak on August 2. All performances are held at the Starr Jaycee Park in Royal Oak, Michigan. Henry V directed by Sara Catheryn Wolf and featuring Michael Brian Ogden in the eponymous lead will run Aug. 2-12: Thurs., Fri., Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 5 p.m.  Tickets are $20, good for any performance; and are available online at  and at the gate. Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Barton Bund will run  Aug. 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 1:00 p.m.; and August  7 and 8 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $6, good for any performance; and are available online at  and at the gate. Summer Sonnets , an original production written by local playwright Audra Lord and directed by JM Ethridge will be presented free on August 4, 5, 11, and 12 at 3 p.m. The performance is " . . . a magical hour in the park with the Bard's l

UK professor says Shakespeare biographies are bunk

University of Kent at Canterbury emeritus professor David Ellis ’ new book, The Truth About William Shakespeare: Fact, Fiction and Modern Biographies (Edinburgh University, 2012), has been released in the US and received a starred review by Margaret Heilbrun in the May 2012 edition of Library Journal . The short review under the title “New Titles onShakespeare” offers this insight: In this meaty little book, Ellis takes on the spate of biographies of Shakespeare in recent decades. With incisive scholarship and wit, he demonstrates that most have been written in the absence of credible evidence: authors infer details of Shakespeare’s life and beliefs from information about the times, unverifiable anecdotes and jokes, sometimes even the sheer lack of evidence (e.g., Shakespeare must have been “discrete” and “concealing” because his name seldom appeared in the public records). . . . Non-academics and academics alike should pick this it up; it’s a sleeper and strongly recommended. (Give

Propeller brings Twelfth Night and Shrew to Ann Arbor Feb. 20-24, 2013

Propeller's Taming of the Shrew Photo Credit Philip Tull England's all-male Shakespeare repertory company, Propeller, brings Twelfth Night and Taming of the Shrew to the Power Center in Ann Arbor February 20-24, 2013. For information and tickets see the UMS web pages at  and  or check out the company's web pages at

Orloff, Jimenez, and Warren to receive SARC honors

The Richard Paul and Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre Director Daniel Wright, PhD of Concordia University in Portland, Oregon announced yesterday that Anonymous screenwriter John Orloff will be awarded the university's Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Achievements in the Shakespearean Arts. Wright also said that Oxfordian scholar  Ramon Jimenez and James Warren -- author of   Index to Oxfordian Newsletter and Journal Articles  --   will both receive the university's Vero Nihil Verius Distinguished Shakespearean Scholarship Award. These honors will be given at the seventeenth annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference to be held April 11-13, 2013 at Concordia Universtiy where Orloff will participate in discussions of his work. For more information check the  Richard Paul and Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre website at .  Participants may register online at

Fratellanza wows Oberons

Paul Manganello and Jim Manganello: Fratellanza The Fratellanza collaborative of Jim Manganello and his brother Paul Manganello visited Oberon last night to talk about The Mute Quire , their new play running currently at Mix Studio Theater in Ypsilanti. Their energy and dedication to the art of theater thrilled us. "They made me feel young again -- as if anything were possible."  Joy T. said. The Mute Quire is about the production of The First Folio and features, according to co-writer Jim Manganello, an antagonism between printer William Jaggard and actor John Hemminge about whether the play As You Like It should be included in the folio. Actors John Hemminge and Henry Condell signed a foreword in The First Folio testifying to the worthiness of the content and the co-signatories are often termed "editors" of the book by traditional Stratfordians. Most anti-Strats consider Ben Jonson the one and only editor of The First Folio , as Oberon chair Richard J

Wright announces SARC seminar August 22-26, 2012

Professor Daniel Wright, Ph.D., director of the Richard Paul and Jane Roe Shakespeare Authorship Research Centre at Concordia University in Portland OR,  announced this year's Shakespeare Authorship Studies Seminar will be held August 22-26 at the center: Friends, The summer is upon us, and that means it's time again for the SARC's annual Shakespeare Authorship Studies Seminar!  This year's seminar will begin in a couple of months - specifically, at 6:00pm on Wednesday, August 22 - and will close at noon on Sunday, August 26.  The theme for this year's 30-hour intensive study week/weekend (we meet eight hours a day on the 23rd, 24th and 25th and 3 hours on the 22nd and the 26th) is "The Motive for Shakespeare."  We'll be studying why Shakespeare became Shakespeare so late in life and we will focus, Looney-like, on the plays and poems to see what revelatory offerings they may suggest about Shakespeare's purposes.  We will focus on some of Shake

The Mute Quire by Fratellanza

Our friend Jim Manganello who did such a fabulous job directing Richard II for The Rude Mechanicals has a new project playing at the Mix Studio Theater in Ypsilanti through July 1. The play, The Mute Quire , a comedy about the production of Shakespeare's First Folio, was written and produced by Fratellanza for the New Theater Project . Manganello's promo says: Fratellanza is a new collaboration between Jim and Paul Manganello committed to generating live theater with physical rigor and imagination. [The play is]  Written and performed by Jim and Paul Manganello with Josh Berkowitz. Two forgotten actors. A printer and his apprentice. An absurd clown and a sad one. All these characters collide in a print shop to publish the plays of the recently dead Shakespeare. Before ink meets paper, they're battling over the soul of poetry, drama, nonsense. Using verse and movement, Fratellanza transforms history into a living celebration of love. The Mute Quire is told from a t

A collaborative Shakespeare opens the door to authorship query

Last year's release of Roland Emmerich’s Shakespeare authorship film, Anonymous , caused spasms among arch-Stratfordians fearful that their candidate for Shakespeare authorship might not survive public scrutiny. But Stratfordians have more than popular media to worry about. Having barely survived the onslaught of publicity surrounding Emmerich’s film, anti-Strats must now contend with anti-Stratfordian theatrical presentations such as Monster Theatre's The Shakespeare Show , the release of authorship publications such as Richard Paul Roe’s Shakespeare Guide to Italy and films such as the recently released     Last Will. & Testament co- produced by Lisa Wilson and Laura Wilson Matthias . In addition, the academic mainstream supports oblique challenges to the Stratfordian attribution with new investigations into pseudonymity in Elizabethan England -- Starner and Traister's Anonymity in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2011) -- and the authorship of the Shakespearean apocr