Speaking of Shakespeare Link

Current Events
We've just completed our 2016-17 season in Manhattan with an informative June 12 conversation with arts executive Julian Bird. Mr. Bird oversees both the Society of London Theatre, the producers' organization that presents the West End's Olivier Awards each spring, and UK Theatre, a consortium, formerly known as the Theatrical Management Association (TMA), that represents performing-arts institutions throughout the United Kingdom. UK Theatre now hosts the GUILD's annual GIELGUD AWARD festivities, and among the timely subjects that he and GUILD president John Andrews discussed was speculation that Kevin Kline, an Oscar laureate who'd just won his third Tony Award and was the first American to receive a GIELGUD, might soon be starring in a London production of the current Broadway revival of Noel Coward's "Present Laughter."

The GUILD is now focused on a festive revival of The Tempest that will take place at the SANTA FE BOTANICAL GARDEN in late August. This presentation will be directed by Nagle Jackson, who helped preside over several seasons of SHAKESPEARE IN SANTA FE between 1997 and 2002 and who returned to La Tierra Encantada in 2013 for a sprightly St. John's College medley that proved to be a complete Delight. Mr. Jackson's forthcoming production will take place in a circular setting that will evoke such august predecessors as London's "Wooden O" and the Zia Sun Symbol that adorns the New Mexico flag. Pulsating with reminders that Shakespeare's valedictory drama was being composed in England at the same time that European settlers were seeking to establish a "brave new world" in a terrain that had long been occupied by descendants of sdventurers who'd arrived centuries earlier, this presentation will be particularly engaging for long-time residents of the area. As they observe Caliban's attempt to overthrow Prospero and regain an "island" over which he himself once held sway, they'll be reminded that in 1680, seven decades after the founding of what was destined to become America's oldest capital city, Pueblo tribes revolted against their Hispanic conquerors, retaining control of the region for a dozen years before they were forced to yield it back in 1692. To reserve tickets for SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN, click here. And for additional background about The Tempest, see the foreword that Sir John Gielgud generously contributed to Mr. Andrews' 1994 Everyman Shakespeare edition of the play.

And speaking of Sir John, we're pleased to note that on April 27 two GIELGUD awardees (Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen) took part in a ceremony at which an English Heritage plaque was placed on the Cowley Street residence that had been Sir John's home from 1945 to 1976. The man behind this memorial to Sir John's legacy was John Miller, a distinguished biographer and arts presenter who serves on the Guild's Advisory Council, and he presided over a festive gathering that included eloquent remarks not only by Dame Judi but by playwright Sir David Hare and actor Michael Pennington. Click here to watch the unveiling ceremony in a Facebook video that has been kindly made available to the Guild by Christian Bace of English Heritage.

We opened the second half of our 2016-17 SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series at the National Arts Club on January 18 and February 22 with Jean E. Howard of Columbia University and Shane Ann Younts of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. A few weeks later, on March 22, we chatted with Sarah Enloe of the American Shakespeare Center. On April 26 and 27 we enjoyed richly informative engagements with film historian Samuel Crowl and director Karin Coonrod. Our dialogue with Ms. Coonrod was a sequel to a March 2016 conversation that focused on a historic July 2016 production of "The Merchant of Venice." We revisited not only the performance itself, but a timely symposium (with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presiding over deliberations that featured F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Greenblatt, and James Shapiro) that was covered by the New York Times. The following month, on Thursday, May 25, we put the spotlight on arts patron Nancy Zeckendorf.

During 2016 our signature SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series at Manhattan's National Arts Club featured scintillating conversations with 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.

For information about the first half of our 2015-16 season, which featured programs with John Lahr and James Shapiro, click here; for links to highlights of previous seasons, click here. If you wish to join and receive periodic updates from THE SHAKSPEARE GUILD, we invite you to visit our Membership page for types of affiliation. There you'll find a link to a page where you can register for events, enroll as a GUILD member, or provide a tax-exempt donation.