Welcome to The Shakespear Guild
As we embark on a new round of programming initiatives, we're gratified to note the GUILD's role in last year's global commemoration of a poet whose influence remains undiminished four centuries after his death and burial. One of the highlights of an eventful "Shakespeare 400" calendar occurred Sunday, October 9, when the GUILD saluted a legendary actress with its prestigious GIELGUD AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE DRAMATIC ARTS. During a festive luncheon at London's historic Guildhall, acclaimed Almeida Theatre director Rupert Goold presented our framed Clive Francis award trophy to Vanessa Redgrave at the climax of a UK Theatre Awards ceremony that also featured two previous GIELGUD recipients, Dame Eileen Atkins and Sir Ian McKellen.

Meanwhile we continued our signature SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series at Manhattan's National Arts Club with another round of scintillating conversations. Our guests included producer Ralph Alan Cohen, who introduced NAC constituents to the American Shakespeare Center in Virginia; director Karin Coonrod, who previewed a high-profile Merchant in Venice that marked the 500th anniversary of the original Ghetto; writers Alison Gopnik of the University of California at Berkeley and her brother Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker, who talked about the importance of play in early childhood development; Shakespeare Survey editor Peter Holland of the University of Notre Dame, who shared trenchant observations about a number of recent developments; educator Peggy O'Brien of the Folger Shakespeare Library, who talked about the support she and her colleagues provide for teachers and students around the nation; University of London professor Kiernan Ryan, who offered a new way of thinking about Shakespeare's "universality"; and director Louis Scheeder of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, who described the kinds of preparation that are essential for aspiring drama professionals.

Along the way the Guild arranged an informative DC luncheon at the Woman's National Democratic Club with executive director Diana Owen of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon. And we helped bring several events to Anerica's oldest capital city, a setting that dates back to the months in 1610 when a visionary playwright was contemplating a "brave new world" and composing The Tempest. In January we took part in a Lensic Performing Arts Center benefit that featured EVER THE TWAIN: William Shakespeare in Mark Twain's America. In February we hosted a dialogue at the New Mexico Museum of Art with biographer Stephen H. Grant about Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger. And finally, during a charming October presentation that served as prelude for a Dream production to be mounted in August of 2017, we co-sponsored The Poet's Eye, a medley of Shakespearean music and verse that helped dedicate a magic circle at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, a new space that evokes such predecessors as classical Greek amphitheaters, the "Wooden O" of Shakespeare's Globe, and the Zia sun symbol that adorns the state flag of New Mexico.

Our next event in La Tierra Encantada, to occur on Friday, February 24, will be Shakespeare at San Miguel, a co-production with Severall Friends (an ensemble that brings early music to the high desert), and it will take place in a historic chapel that dates from the playwright's lifetime. Meanwhile we look forward to several new SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE engagements in New York, beginning Wednesday, January 18, with Professor Jean E. Howard of Columbia University, and concluding Monday, June 12, with arts executive Julian Bird, who oversees both the Society of London Theatre (the producers' organization that presents the West End's Olivier Awards each spring) and UK Theatre (a more comprehensive association that represents performing-arts institutions throughout the United Kingdom). For a rull roster of upcoming events, click here.

For more information on these and other activities, we hope you'll take a few moments to browse this site, clicking on the blue links that serve as navigation devices. And of course we'll be especially grateful if you feel inclined to support the GUILD's endeavors, either by enrolling as a member or by providing a tax-exempt donation.