Speaking of Shakespeare Link

Current Events
The GUILD is now focused on a presentation of The Tempest that will take place August 23-31 at the SANTA FE BOTANICAL GARDEN. To meet members of the cast and see the lovely setting in which the show will be staged, please join us for a 5:30 p.m. reception at the Garden on Wednesday, July 19. To learn more about SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN, read the paragraphs that follow, clicking on the blue links for background detail. And to reserve tickets for a festival that is generating considerable enthusiasm, click here.

Our upcoming Tempest will be directed by Nagle Jackson, who helped artistic director Rachel Kelly 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, indeed one that critic James Keller described in Pasatiempo as the summer's "most endearing revival." Mr. Jackson's forthcoming production will take place in a magic circle that will evoke such august predecessors as the Greek amphitheaters of classical antiquity, the "Wooden O" that Shakespeare depicts in his prologue to Henry V, and the Zia Sun Symbol that adorns New Mexico's award-winning state flag. Pulsating with reminders that an aging playwright was scripting his valedictory drama 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 natives from elsewhere, this rendering of a classic score will be particularly engaging for residents of the American Southwest. As they observe Caliban's attempt to remove Prospero and regain an "island" over which he himself once held sway, for example, they'll be reminded that in 1680, seven decades after the founding of what would eventually become the oldest capital city in the United States, Pueblo tribes rebelled against the harsh rule of their Spanish overlords, regaining control of the region for a dozen years before they were compelled to yield it back in 1692.

For background about The Tempest, see the foreword that Sir John Gielgud generously contributed to Mr. Andrews' 1994 Everyman Shakespeare edition of the play, as well as the Editor's Introduction that followed it.

On June 12 the GUILD completed its 2016-17 SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE season in Manhattan with an informative conversation that put the spotlight on 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 many topics that Mr. Bird and GUILD president John Andrews touched on was speculation that Kevin Kline, an Oscar laureate who had just won his third Tony Award and was the first American to receive a GIELGUD, may soon be starring in a London production of the current Broadway revival of Noel Coward's "Present Laughter."

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. He presided over a celebratory 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 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.