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Current Events
2018 GIELGUD AWARD PRESENTATION

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 prolific director, producer, filmmaker, and author Sir Richard Eyre. Sir Richard's riveting television production of King Lear, with Sir Anthony Hopkins in the title role, debuted recently on Amazon Prime Video. Meanwhile his evocative feature film, The Children Act, co-starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci, and featuring Fionn Whitehead in a screenplay by novelist Ian McEwan, is now gripping audiences in cinemas around the globe.

Bestowing this year's award will be our inaugural Gielgud laureate, Sir Ian McKellen. When he received his trophy in a ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington on May 20, 1996, Sir Ian used the occasion to recall a powerful admonition from The Booke of Sir Thomas Moore and relate it to what Justice Anthony Kennedy had said earlier that day as he delivered a pivotal Supreme Court ruling that "no state may 'deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws.'" Sir Ian is now earning plaudits in a West End stage production of King Lear that is being shared with the rest of the world by means of HD technology.

More details about our 2018 Gielgud 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 an award in Sir John's name, 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.

Among the things that made this presentation special was that it reinforced a ceremony that Sir David had graced with his presence on April 27, when he joined a previous Gielgud recipient. Dame Judi Dench, in a gathering 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 festive occasion that included eloquent remarks not only by Sir David and Dame Judi, but by actor Michael Pennington. Click here to watch the unveiling in a Facebook video that has been kindly made available by Christian Bace of English Heritage. And click here for additional background on what has become one of the most coveted accolades in the profession it was designed to celebrate.

SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE OFFERINGS

We've launched 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 evening that featured previews of the six installments that will conclude this impressive 18-play series in October.

And on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, September 25-27, we joined 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.

On Wednesday, October 17, we'll move next door to the National Arts Club for an engaging dialogue with Peter Marks, chief theater critic for The Washington Post. Mr. Marks is one of today's most influential arts journalists, and we look forward to a discussion that will address not only what is now happening in the Nation's Capital, but what audiences are experiencing in New York, London, and a variety of other theatrical settings.

Addtiional attractions, not only at The Players and the National Arts Club but at other venues in New York and elsewhere, will be announced shortly. For information about previous engagements in a Speaking series that is now in its fourth decade, click here.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN 2018

This summer the Guild co-produced A Midsummer Night's Dream in collaboration with Shakespeare in Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. For details about a show that was warmly welcomed, click here. And for background on the production, see Jennifer Levin's article about "The Ecology of Shakespeare" in the August 17th issue of Pasatiempo. You might also enjoy interviews in which the Garden's Clayton Bass and the Guild's John Andrews talked with KTRC host Richard Eeds and with KSFR host Lynn Cline. And you might 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.