Speaking of Shakespeare Link

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SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE

We're launching the 2018-19 season of our signature SOS series in Manhattan with four remarkable evenings at The Players. On Monday, Seprember 17, we joined Stephen Segaller, WNET's Vice-President for National Programming, producers Richard Denton and Nikki Stockley, and such special guests as actor F. Murray Abraham and Folger director Michael Witmore for a memorable overview about Season Three of Shakespeare Uncovered, an event that featured previews of the six installments that will conclude this impressive 18-play series in October. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, September 25-27, we'll join the Players Foundation to host stage readings of the three segments of The Lives of Shakespeare, a new trilogy by playwright Mary Jane Schaefer in which she presents differing perspectives on what Shakespeare might have been like, drawing from historical facts, contemporary anecdotes, and suggestive details in the author's poems and plays. All three "Lives" will commence at 7 p.m. and will be admission-free and open to the public. Additional attractions will be announced shortly.

We opened our recently-completed roster of SOS engagements on Friday, October 6, with educator Joanna Read, who heads the London Academy of Dramatic Art (LAMDA). A few days later, on Wednesday, October 18, we enjoyed a delightful evening with Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks. Then on Monday, November 6, we talked with WNET executive Stephen Segaller, who previewed this spring's attractions in a series called Shakespeare Uncovered, a three-year, 18-episode co-production with the BBC that provides charming introductions to the most popular plays in the dramatic repertory.

On Monday, January 29, we focused on the inspiring efforts of Stephen Burdman, founder and artistic director of the New York Classical Theatre. Three days later, as part of a February 1 luncheon gathering at the Woman's National Democratic Club in DC, we chatted with actor and director Keith Baxter, who was delighting Washington audiences in three roles (the Ghost, the Player King, and the Gravedigger) in a production of Hamlet that highlighted Michael Kahn's penultimate season as Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. One of our attendees, Leslie Weisman, generously shared some reflections on the portion of our conversation that focused on Orson Welles, the actor, director, and producer with whom Mr. Baxter worked when he portrayed Prince Hal in Chimes at Midnight, a 1966 film classic that starred Welles as Falstaff and Sir John Gielgud as King Henry IV. On February 28 we returned to Manhattan for a memorable NAC evening with with producer Eleanor Bergstein of "Dirty Dancing" fame. On March 20 we hosted a gathering at The Players with artistic director Jesse Berger of the Red Bull Theatre. On April 18 we were back at the NAC with cultural historian Edward Tenner. And on May 15 we repaired to The Players for a wide-ranging discussion with renowned director Sir Richard Eyre, whose scintillating production of Long Day's Journey into Night had just opened at BAM's Harvey Theatre with Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in starring roles. We concluded our 2017-18 season with New Yorker favorite Adam Gopnik in an extraordinarily resonant gathering that took place on Thursday, June 14, at the NAC.

For links to highlights of previous seasons, click here.

GIELGUD AWARD

We're delighted to announce that the recipient of our 2018 Gielgud trophy, to be presented at a UK Theatre Awards luncheon Sunday, October 14, in London's historic Guildhall, will be director, producer, and prolific author Sir Richard Eyre. More details about this year's festivities will follow shortly. In the interim we're savoring a ceremony that occurred on October 15, 2017, when the Guild paid tribute to playwright David Hare. Sir David was the first dramatist to receive a Gielgud, and attendees were deeply moved by the eloquent remarks he delivered as he accepted this year's beautiful Clive Francis trophy. The ceremony took place as part of a UK Theatre Awards luncheon in one of London's most legendary institutions, an edifice Shakespeare refers to in Richard III. And as usual it received extensive media coverage, with illustrated stories in such news sources as Broadway World, What's On Stage, The Stage, and Theatre News.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN 2018

The Guild's most recent offering in La Tierra Encantade was a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in association with the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. For details and ticketing options about a show that was warmly welcomed, click here. If you'd like background on the production, see Jennifer Levin's article about "The Ecology of Shakespeare" in the August 17th issue of Pasatiempo. You might enjoy interviews in which the Garden's Clayton Bass and the Guild's John Andrews talk with KTRC host Richard Eeds and with KSFR host Lynn Cline. You might also be interested in a conversation that Peter Lloyd hosted with musicologist Mary Springfels and Mr. Andrews on KSFR's "Classical Sunday."

To encourage audiences to help sustain the work of a playwright who's now in his 453rd year, we established a Bardtenders support group for SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN. And we offered cultivation events such as a TLC dialogue that took place Tuesday, July 31st. This gathering, under the auspices of Theatre Santa Fe, followed a March 29th Food for Thought dinner at La Fonda on the Plaza and a May 29th benefit, Ever the Twain, which took place at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Under the direction of Lois Rudnick and Jonathan Richards, this revival of a fantasia that enchanted attendees in January 2016 was enthusiastically applauded, and plans are now underway for additional presentations in other settings.

For more detail about the Guild's 2018-19 programming, click here. If you wish to join and receive periodic updates from The Shakespeare 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.