Speaking of Shakespeare Link

Speaking of Shakespeare
We're enjoying a splendid SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE season in Manhattan, and at the moment we're looking forward to a wide-ranging conversation with arts patron Nancy Zeckendorf at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 25. We'd love to welcome you to this gathering, and we'll also be delighted if you can join us at 6 p.m. Monday, June 12, for a memorable dialogue with arts executive Julian Bird. He 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.

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. On March 22 we chatted with Sarah Enloe of the American Shakespeare Center. Our most recent events, on April 26 and 27, featured 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.

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.

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 shipwreck that had occurred in our "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 an October presentation that served as prelude for a show to be mounted in August of 2017, we co-sponsored The Poet's Eye, a medley of Bardic music and verse that helped dedicate a new feature at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden: a magic circle that evokes such predecessors as a classical Greek amphitheater, a "Wooden O" like the Bankside Globe, and the Zia sun symbol that adorns New Mexico's state flag. A few months hence we'll return to that venue for a production that concludes with Prospero's eloquent farewell to his own "bare island."

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. Meanwhile, if you'd like additional background on the Guild's signature SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series, which began in 1998 at the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB in Wasshington, click here.