Our next engagement, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, will be a SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE conversation in Manhattan's NATIONAL ARTS CLUB with Samuel Crowl of Ohio University, whose many publications include a seminal 1980 article about Orson Welles's "Chimes at Midnight." The following night, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, we'll talk with director Karin Coonrod, who will tell us about responses to her historic production of "The Merchant in Venice" in the original Ghetto. This engagement, to take place at the New York headquarters of the English-Speaking Union of the United States, will be a sequel to Ms. Coonrod's March 2016 conversation at the NAC, and it will focus not only on the production and the context that gave rise to it, but on a July 2016 symposium that preceded a gala presentation of Ms. Coonrod's multilingual adaptation of Shakespeare's play, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presiding over deliberations that included remarks by F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Greenblatt, and James Shapiro and were covered by the New York Times.
These April gatherings will be followed by a conversation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, with arts patron Nancy Zeckendorf, who divides her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe. We'll then conclude our spring programming at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 12, with arts executive Julian Bird, who oversees both the Society of London Theatre (which bestows the West End's Olivier Awards each spring and works closely with the presenters of Broadway's Tony Awards) and UK Theatre (a more comprehensive association that represents performing-arts institutions throughout the UK).
We launched the Guild's 2016-17 SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series on Wednesday, September 14, with a remarkable brother-sister act. One of our most popular SOS guests in recent years has been Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker. Many of Adam's admirers were unaware that his sister Alison, who teaches psychology and philosophy at Berkeley, is also a distinguished author. So it was a pleasure to focus this discussion on Alison's new book about the role of play in childhood development, a preview of which had just appeared in the New York Times. Our SOS festivities resumed on Wednesday, October 5, with NYU's Louis Scheeder, and continued on Wednesday, January 18, with Professor Jean E. Howard of Columbia University, on Wednesday, February 22, with another highly regarded Tisch faculty member, Shane Ann Younts, and on Wednesday, March 22, with Sarah Enloe, who oversees educational programs at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia.
We're pleased to note that our latest GIELGUD AWARD recipient is Vanessa Redgrave, a legendary artist who recently completed an extraordinary performance as Queen Margaret in Almeida Theatre's acclaimed Richard III. Our 2016 ceremony was the highlight of a UK Theatre Awards luncheon that took place Sunday, October 9, in London's historic Guildhall. For details about a memorable occasion, click here.
A few weeks later, during a presentation that served as prelude for a Dream production to be mounted in August 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 a classical Greek amphitheater, the "Wooden O" of Shakespeare's Globe, and the Zia sun symbol that adorns the state flag of New Mexico.
Our most recent event, on February 24 in America's oldest capital city, featured Shakespeare at San Miguel. A co-production with Severall Friends, an early-music ensemble that draws its name from Elizabethan composer Matthew Locke, it took place in an intimate chapel that dates from the playwright's lifetime. Highlighted by three internationally-acclaimed instrumentalists and singers, the program featured eleven of Shakespeare's most evocative sonnets, which were artfully interspersed with thematically-related lyrics by Thomas Campion, William Dowland, and other composers. Click here for musicologist James M. Keller's detailed preview in Pasatiempo, a cultural supplement of the Santa Fe New Mexican.
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.
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