Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Bard Goes Broadband

The latest wireless broadband technology is being harnessed to give tourists a more modern experience of William Shakespeare's home town in Warwickshire, it was announced today.

Visitors to the bard's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon will be able to hire hand-held personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to get an online insight into the town's cultural and artistic heritage.

Project director Tim Luft believes using new technology could breathe new life into tourist destinations whose popularity has until now relied solely on guidebooks and word-of-mouth.

'The launch of Stratford Unplugged marks an exciting new chapter for tourism in one of the UK's most famous and best-loved towns,' he said.
'Using the latest BT wireless broadband in this innovative way will enable us to give people a completely new visitor experience.

'Given Stratford's rich heritage, it is fitting that it should take centre stage in taking UK tourism into a new age to preserve such a significant era by embracing exciting developing communications technologies in this way, to the benefit of the town and the industries upon which it depends for its livelihood.'

The scheme, which uses public access wireless broadband hotspots, has been developed by BT with Coventry University, Staffordshire University, Hewlett Packard and Stratford town centre's management team.

Information on attractions is beamed via tiny aerials near the most popular attractions to the pocket diary-sized device as visitors pass.

Users can also browse the Internet on the move as well as send photographs to family and friends as they take in the sights.

Frank Mills, BT's regional director for the West Midlands, said: "The 12-month pilot is the first of its kind in the UK and marks a significant step in the development and growth of e-tourism."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Teen helps kids put on short play

It took a lot of shushing to get the play started. Between the noise of nearly 100 audience members and the scuffle of 50 children backstage, the faint welcome to William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was difficult to hear.

But once it got started, the audience quickly quieted to enjoy the latest installment of the Oak Hill Neighborhood's backyard Shakespeare.

Friday's production, which took place on a backyard patio strung with sheets and curtains obviously pilfered from local homes, is the third production in a series that started last year when Jacob Benfell found the 'King Lear' edition of Shakespeare in a Box, a version of the play abridged to 45 minutes, and decided he wanted to perform it.

'I had never heard of it,' Benfell said. 'It turned out I really like

Benfell turned to his teenage baby sitter, Chelsea Frandsen, to help fulfill his long-held dream of starring in a play, and she willingly assumed the role of directing and choreographing a cast of small actors.

'I wanted to jump up and hug him,' Frandsen said, recalling her reaction to Benfell's suggestion. 'I was bored; I wanted to do something.'

Frandsen quickly followed the successful staging of 'King Lear' with a production of 'Taming of the Shrew,' also out of a box, but this play did not go nearly as well.

'Taming of the Shrew was half disaster,' Benfell said.

The children staged and rehearsed 'Taming of the Shrew' in July, when many children went on vacation, so the play was not very well rehearsed, according to Frandsen. 'Mostly, I was just running around backstage prompting them,' she said.

Much more time and effort went into producing "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Frandsen started working on the script that she abridged herself last September, cutting it to a shorter production with child-size soliloquies. Frandsen also had to raise the limited funds needed for costumes and scenery before auditioning the children.

"She talks about it constantly for weeks," said Frandsen's mother, Dawn Frandsen.

Before beginning the short three weeks of rehearsal, Frandsen also auditioned all of the children wishing to participate in the production.

All of the children went through a cold reading of the script and Frandsen rated them on a scale of 1 to 10 and analyzed other factors such as how the children carry themselves and how they perform the scene. For this particular production, Frandsen auditioned around 70 children.

The children have nothing but giggles and good memories of the afternoon rehearsals that lasted for an hour and a half daily.

"It's very satisfying," said Chase Acheson, who played Bottom in Friday's production. "We put in a lot of effort, and it brings good memories. It's always fun to change your lines and stuff."

Frandsen may not remember the rehearsals quite so fondly, remembering nearly losing her voice and consistently quieting her cast, but she has a wealth of stories from directing the children and the gratitude of a yard full of parents.

"It's all owing to Chelsea," said Sarah Davis, who had three children in the play. Davis said the summer Shakespeare has built her children's confidence and even helped her son Henry land the lead in his elementary school's production of "A Christmas Carol."

Frandsen does not plan to stage another play this summer, but she eagerly discussed her choices for next year.

"I think I'm going to do one per summer," she said. She is looking at a comedy, such as "As You Like It" or "Measure for Measure," but much of her cast would much rather perform another tragedy, such as "Macbeth."

"Tragedies are fun," said 11-year-old Diane Cardon, who played Helena in Friday's production.

Clearly the children enjoyed their participation in the backyard play, complete with an uncontrolled and delightful dance scene, and young actors smiling in spite of themselves.

"For me it's not how good it is; I want them to feel good," said Leslie Benfell, Jacob Benfell's mother. "I love that it's a kid production. It comes from their desire and interest and they love it."
Shakespeare at the Cathedral
Shakespeare Festival/LA is presenting "The Comedy of Errors" outdoors at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels July 27-31, an effort to help make professional Shakespeare productions accessible in downtown Los Angeles. Pictured are (from left) Duane Cameron, SFLA board member; Jan Perry, L.A. City Councilmember; Ben Donenberg, artistic director; Frank Brownstead, Cathedral music director; and Chris Funk, SFLA board member. All performances are at 8 p.m., except for a 9 p.m. performance July 30. First-come general admission seating is free to the public. Guaranteed, preferred seating is available through the SFLA Membership Program starting at $18. For more information, visit

Friday, June 24, 2005

Kentucky Kids get into Shakespeare act
By Melissa Gagliardi, Special to The Courier-Journal

Taking on the language of Shakespeare can be a challenge for the most seasoned actors, but 10-year-old Trey Gardner has unlocked the key to mastering his role in "Macbeth."

"Once you keep on practicing, it's not really hard," said Trey, a fifth-grader at Indian Trail Elementary.

He is among 20 students, grades one through seven, participating in Camp Shakespeare at The Lighthouse on Shepherdsville Road in Newburg. The community center, which is sponsored by United Methodists, is helping pay for the two-week day camp, conducted by the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. The rest of the costs were covered by the Norton Foundation, making the camp free for participants.

Lighthouse director Margaret Butler had heard of the camp from another community center and said she was determined to bring it to her kids, "even if they had to take it out of my salary," she said.

Camp Shakespeare not only teaches children one of the Bard's plays, but also dance, discipline and other aspects of theater such as blocking and making props. Difficult vocabulary is explained during the first few days, and at the end, the youths perform before audiences at Central Park.

Camp director Regan Wann said it's amazing how children take to Shakespeare. "I have yet to have a kid who can't handle it. Even the 6- and 7-year-olds get it," she said.

This year the camp was at six sites around Louisville and Southern Indiana, and the groups will perform at Central Park starting today and continuing tomorrow, July 8-9 and July 15-16. The Lighthouse group performs at 6:45 p.m. today in the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre.

Jordan Walker, 9, will be nervous but ready. "I practice here and at home," he said, adding that, as the doctor who observes Lady Macbeth, he's not sure what all his lines mean. His most difficult line? "A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performance. What at any time have you heard her say?" Jordan recited, adding that it makes him wonder why Shakespeare used so many big words.

Along with saying difficult lines, the children dance and perform fight scenes. Cierra Flournoy, 10, a fifth-grader at Rangeland Elementary, is one of the "Shakespeare Steppers," performing a modern step dance to one of the choral arrangements in "Macbeth."

Cierra said this is the first time she has been exposed to Shakespeare.

"I thought it was going to be boring when I signed up for it, but it's fun," she said.

Wann said the camp is more about having fun during rehearsals than putting on a perfect performance.

"There are going to be plenty of times you have to learn about Shakespeare where it's not going to be fun," she said.

"Kids walk away saying, 'I can do Shakespeare. I can do lots of things.' "

Papers are invited for the fourth annual conference of the Centre for Research in Renaissance Studies, Roehampton University, London SW15 5PH on 22 October 2005. The conference theme is 'Renaissance Lives'.

Papers are invited from academic staff, independent researchers and postgraduate students on the following or related topics:
  • classical and Renaissance biography
  • modern biography
  • hidden/invented/exemplary lives
  • constructions of the self
  • astrology
  • popular and formal portrayal in ballads, chapbooks, portraiture, or funerary sculpture
  • literary, historical or artistic figures in film, theatre and fiction
  • or any combination of these topics.

Interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives will be particularly welcome. Conference papers will be published as online conference proceedings with an ISBN under the title 'Renaissance Lives'.

Dr David Starkey will give the Turner Lecture in Renaissance Studies (keynote lecture).
Invited speakers will include Tom Healy (Professor of Renaissance Studies, Birkbeck University of London), Kate McLuskie (Director, The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon- Avon), and Marion Wynne-Davies (Reader in English, Dundee University).

Proposals (250-300 words) for short papers (maximum 2,500 words) should be submitted by 30 June 2005 to Susanne Greenhalgh ( Accepted papers - to be submitted by 15 September - will be circulated by Seminar Chairs before the conference, and participants will be invited to speak briefly to their papers.

For further details including maps and a booking form please go to and follow the link to 'conference'. If you have any queries or would be interested in chairing a session please write to Professor Robin Headlam Wells (, or Susanne Greenhalgh

RSC project will help four-year-old children find the fun in Shakespeare
By Richard Garner, Education Editor
24 June 2005

Children as young as four will study Shakespeare in a project being launched today by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The RSC is holding its first national conference for primary school teachers to encourage them to use the Bard's plays imaginatively in the classroom from reception classes onwards.

The conference will be told that they should learn how Shakespearian characters like Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream are "jolly characters" and how to write about them.

At present, the national curriculum does not require pupils to approach Shakespeare until secondary school. All it says is that pupils should study "texts drawn from a variety of cultures and traditions" and "myths, legends and traditional stories".

"Some teachers can and do choose to incorporate Shakespeare within this selection, although probably a majority of children first experience detailed study of Shakespeare in secondary schools," said a spokes-man for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the curriculum watchdog.

However, educationists at the RSC believe children will gain a better appreciation of Shakespeare if they are introduced to him at a much younger age. "Even very young children can enjoy Shakespeare's plays," said Mary Johnson, head of the learning department. "It is just a question of pitching it for the age group. Even reception classes and key stage one pupils (five- to seven-year-olds) can enjoy his stories.

"For instance, if you build up Puck as a character who skips, children of that age can enjoy the character. They can be inspired by Puck and they could even start writing about him at that age."

It is the RSC's belief that building the Bard up as a fun playwright in primary school could counter some of the negative images conjured up about teaching Shakespeare in secondary schools. Then, pupils have to concentrate on scenes from the plays to answer questions for compulsory English national-curriculum tests for 14-year-olds. Critics of the tests have complained that pupils no longer have the time to study or read the whole play - and therefore lose interest in Shakespeare.

However, Ms Johnson is encouraging teachers to present 20-minute versions of the plays - a classroom version of the Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) which told his 37 plays in 97 minutes - to give pupils a flavour of the whole drama.

The RSC's venture - which has persuaded literary consultants charged with delivering the compulsory literacy hour as well as teachers to attend the event in Stratford-upon-Avon - coincides with a call for schools to allow pupils to be more creative in writing about Shakespeare.

Professor Kate McLuskie, the new director of the University of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute - also based in Stratford - said it was time to get away from the idea that there was "a right answer" to any question about Shakespeare.

Her first foray into the world of Shakespeare was to berate him as a misogynist in a 1985 essay but she now insists this should not be interpreted as a criticism of his works - although she admits: "I probably wouldn't have written it quite the same way if I had been writing it now.

"What we should be doing is making sure that someone is getting something out of Shakespeare," she said. "People are very scared about getting the right answer. I know it's difficult but I don't care if they come up with a right answer that I can agree with about Shakespeare."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival Bard goes to rep on the Studio Stage for the first time this summer, pairing Shakespeare’s great tragedy Hamlet with Tom Stoppard’s modern twist on the Hamlet tale, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Hamlet begins June 30 and R&G is added to the mix commencing July 13. Both productions are directed by Vancouver’s renowned Dean Paul Gibson and run in rep Tuesdays through Sundays in the intimate 240-seat, open-ended Studio Stage tent in Vanier Park until September 23.

Murder, a hasty marriage and a ghost’s demand for revenge set the scene for the great tragedy Hamlet. As the Prince of Denmark seeks to expose his uncle’s heinous deed, lovers, friends and family are caught up in the madness that follows. In contrast, Tom Stoppard’s fabulously inventive modern comedy, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, places two of Hamlet’s minor characters in the spotlight. In this award-winning play by the co-author of "Shakespeare in Love", the Prince’s two college chums become both audience and actors in Hamlet drama.
The Studio Stage company features Bob Frazer as Hamlet, Colleen Wheeler as his mother Gertrude, Andrew Wheeler as his murdering uncle Claudius, and Josue Laboucane as his old friend Horatio. Moya O’Connell plays Hamlet’s sweetheart Ophelia with David Marr as her interfering old father Polonius, and Michael Scholar, Jr. as her brother Laertes. Russell Roberts is Hamlet’s father’s Ghost, The Player and the Gravedigger, while Kyle Rideout and Torrance Coombs play numerous characters. In Hamlet Stephen Holmes and Haig Sutherland fill the minor roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead they take star billing, and switch places with Haig playing Rosencrantz and Stephen, Guildenstern.

Dean Paul Gibson has conceived a tailored and simple production for Hamlet which incorporates clean lines and sleek contemporary costuming designed by Mara Gottler. Then, to reflect the hilarious "off-kilter" view that Stoppard has taken on the familiar tragedy, the costumes in R&G twist Hamlet’s contemporary look with colourfully striped shirts and hints from other periods helping create a world that is slightly exaggerated and more theatrical. Set Designer Kevin McAllister has placed the world of Elsinore ‘in the round’ with a dramatic playing platform and promenade above the audience. Two ends of the tent will be open behind the action. Gerald King’s lighting takes us from the dark madness of the classic tragedy to moods of colourful confusion in Stoppard’s comedy. Alessandro Juliani and Meg Roe have created original music and soundscapes to enhance each production. Fight Direction is by Nicholas Harrison and Movement Coach is Wendy Gorling. Stage Manager Joanne P.B. Smith is assisted by Rebecca Craster (Assistant Stage Manager) and Rachel Bland (Apprentice Stage Manager).

Performance details for Hamlet and R&G are as follows:
· Hamlet - Previews June 30, July 1, 2, 5; Opens July 6; Runs to Sept. 23 in rep with R&G.
· R&G - Previews July 13, 14; Opens July 15; Runs to Sept. 22 in rep with Hamlet
· Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays in the Studio Stage tent in Vanier Park.
· Bard-B-Q & Fireworks (6 pm): Hamlet: July 30, Aug. 3: R&G: July 27, Aug. 6
· Celebrating Red & White wine event, August 20 - Hamlet: 3pm; R&G: 6pm for 8pm show.

Play tickets are $16.00 to $28.50. Order through the Bard Box Office, either on-site or by calling 604-739-0559, or on-line at Season Sponsor is Starbucks.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Seventy years of Shakespeare has changed Ashland

By RON COWAN,June 19, 2005

This season, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 70th year. Friday night it opened its outdoor season with Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," a play first staged here 70 years ago.

"Twelfth Night" also is the most produced play at the festival by the Bard, this being its 15th production.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Agecroft Hall is home to The Richmond Shakespeare Festival.

"The Comedy of Errors" leads off The Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall

RICHMOND - The Richmond Shakespeare Festival will present its eigth annual season of live performances Thursday through Sunday evenings this June and July. Actors return each year to 500 year-old Agecroft Hall's outer courtyard, just as Elizabethan traveling players would have done when the building stood in England. A joint venture of the Encore! Theatre Company and Agecroft Hall, the Richmond Shakespeare Festival is a two-month festival of outdoor performances under the stars and nestled beside the authentic English Manor house, which was brought over piece by piece from England by a Richmond developer in the 1920's.

Agecroft's Director and the Festival's Executive Producer, Richard Moxley, looks forward to the event all year. The building is truly special, but nothing brings it to life like these actors, on a summer night, as the sun sets over the rooftop. It's the magic of Agecroft."

The 2005 season will kick off with “The Comedy of Errors.” One of Shakespeare's most flexible of comedies, “Comedy” has been given wild interpretations, some even here in Richmond. For its production, the Richmond Shakespeare Festival wanted to return to the play's roots: combining slapstick hilarity, mistaken identies, identical twins, true love, and some of the greatest poetry ever spoken upon the stage.

Comedy is based on the Roman theatrical tradition and one play in particular, The Menaechmi, about two sets of identical twins separated at birth---one set of which unwittingly arrives in the home town of the other. Mayhem ensues.

And who better to turn to for such a play than a Romanian? Dan Istrate, born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, will serve as Master of Play for "The Comedy of Errors." His extensive knowledge of Commedia d'ell Arte, Shakespeare, and the Roman tradition “..are ideal for the task of crafting a hysterical, fun, and accessible Comedy,” says Mudge.

To follow “Comedy,” Mudge has chosen a re-staging of last year's often sold-out production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Arguably Shakespeare’s most popular play, this Midsummer features several new actors and a return appearance (from the 2000 production) by Festival favorite Scott Wichmann in the roles of Bottom/Demetrius.

Both the 2000 and 2004 productions were record-setters: "It's been so popular," says Mudge, “we're bringing the fireflies and fairies back in 2005.”

Shakespeare probably penned the “Dream” in 1595 or 1596; scholars and legend propose that it was most likely composed for a significant wedding of the decade. Whatever the reason, the 2004 production was one of the biggest hits the Festival has ever had.
This year, patrons will get to see their favorite play filmed for broadcast on Public Television. The Community Idea Stations television arm, WCVE-TV, will be filming Midsummer for eventual broadcast later in the year. Patrons will have the opportunity to observe the filming firsthand during the live performance.

In the play a legendary Duke prepares to marry an exotic warrior princess, but his festive mood is interrupted by the dilemma of four young lovers, one of whom, Hermia, must choose between her true love, the will of her father, or her own death! Before we know it, all four lovers are spirited away into the woods surrounding Athens, and find themselves at the mercy of the King and Queen of the Fairies, who themselves are locked in a conflict over a mysterious changeling child.

In an ongoing effort to explore one method that Elizabethan actors were known to tour, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is performed with just five principal actors. Given that Agecroft Hall itself could even have hosted such tours four hundred years ago, Mudge and the Encore! staff are eager to continue exploring this style of performance.

Next up following Midsummer, the Festival will produce perhaps the most famous love story of all time, “Romeo & Juliet.” Mudge will again serve as Master of Play. Performed in the same exciting touring style, with just five actors playing all the roles in Shakespeare's ageless tragedy, Romeo & Juliet never fails to call up feelings of first love and brushes with violence, death, and fate.

Like the emphasis on five-actor touring companies, Istrate and Mudge will continue the Festival tradition of working in a style known as "Original Practices."

What's that all about?

Mudge describes Original Practices as "...not at all lip-service to period costume or false-sounding acting styles." Rather, Mudge explains “[o]riginal Practices describes how we approach rehearsal, and the style of staging. We inform everything we do with a carefully researched knowledge of how Shakespeare's own company worked: Universal lighting, essentially a bare stage, and costuming that indicates character more than it does a designer’s concept.”

While Encore! employs electrical lights and women actors where Shakespeare's company did not, they do strive to create an atmosphere of play, experiment, and sincere connection between actor and audience.

The 8th Annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival will play exclusively at Agecroft Hall from June 9 to July 31, Thursday through Sunday evenings at 8pm. Tickets and season subscriptions are available toll-free at 1-866-BARD-TIX, (1-866-227-3849), or online at


Posted by Hello
Shaky Shakespeare:
Cal Shakes's erratic Othello still suits the moment

San Francisco Bay Guardian
By Robert Avila
THERE ARE A lot of believers floating around this supposedly secular and disillusioned age. The general rapacity and chaos of the system seem to call up both extremes at once. But it's no surprise those at the top like to strike garish poses when it comes to shows of piety and honor. In the politics of war and rapine, such shows are wonderfully distracting baubles on the chest of naked, predatory power.

California Shakespeare Theater's uneven, but at times electric, production of Othello, which opens the company's new season, reminds us how Iago--exercising pure will for its own sake without the hindrance of beliefs of any kind--is the more familiar figure of our age. It's maybe fitting, if not essential, that the modern setting evokes a cross between a sterile office building and Camp X-ray (while the wooden framework, chicken wire, splotchy paint, and cascade of opaque windows making up Annie Smart's set also suggest a degree of impermanence in the flimsy, makeshift quality of a military fort or bivouac).

Pick a play, any play!

Sarah Cohen's SHAKESPEARE ON REQUEST, a combination of improv, stand-up comedy, and monologue madness, was conceived, written and directed by Sarah Cohen, with the assistance of William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and John Webster.

One actor (Sarah Cohen) and one plastic skull (named Larry) perform selections from all 38 plays of Shakespeare, plus two bonus plays, over the course of about 2 hours. The audience members decide which selections are performed, and in what order. Silly hats are donned, sugary treats are consumed, and a fun time is had by all.

8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
July 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, 2005
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre
19th and P Streets, Sacramento, CA
$20, including dessert, $10 if you are a returning patron or wearing the costume of your favorite Shakespearian character

Reservations: (916) 444-8209

There will be one dinner theatre performance on Friday, July 22. Dinner will be provided by Gina's Caffe. The ticket price on that night will be $34 for dinner and show. No discounts are available for the dinner theatre night.

Because many patrons find that their appreciation of Shakespeare is enhanced by the consumption of intoxicating beverages, audience members over the age of 21 are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine to the theatre, to enjoy along with their desserts. There will be complimentary wine on opening night (Friday, July 8). Please drink responsibly, and remember--the views expressed by Sir John Falstaff, Sir Toby Belch, and Christopher Sly are not necessarily those of Shakespeare on Request or the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Winter's Tale Opens at Shakespeare's Globe June 15

Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2005 season continues when The Winter’s Tale opens June 15.

Although outgoing artistic director Mark Rylance isn’t in this one, his stepdaughter, Juliet Rylance, plays Perdita.

The staging, directed by Jonathan Dove, is an original practices production. In other words, it only uses clothing, music, dance and settings that were available to the Globe of 1599 — although it does employ a mixed-sex cast.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Alvin Epstein as King Lear to Open the Actors’ Shakespeare Project Next Season

Alvin Epstein, one of America’s truly great actors, will play the title role in King Lear to open the second season of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project. The production will be directed by Patrick Swanson and will be produced in collaboration with Boston University. It opens September 29 and runs through October 23 in Studio 102 at BU.

The season continues with Twelfth Night, to be directed by Robert Walsh at the Cambridge Multi-Cultural Center and running from December 15-January 8. A gala party is planned for New Year’s Eve, including dinner, a performance of this classic comedy, and champagne and other festivities to ring in the New Year.

All’s Well That Ends Well, the third play of the season, will be directed by ASP artistic director Benjamin Evett at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theater in Central Square from April 6-30.

Alvin Epstein is an old friend to many members of ASP and Boston audiences, since he was a founding member of the American Repertory Theatre and acted in more than 50 plays there, including The Miser, Henry IV, Happy End, Woyzeck, Richard II, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, The Threepenny Opera, Ivanov and Marat/Sade. He recently won critical acclaim off-Broadway as Nagg in Endgame at the Irish Repertory Theater, Morrie in Tuesdays With Morrie, and Firs in The Cherry Orchard with the Atlantic Theater Company. He made his New York debut in 1956, when he was named most promising new actor of the season by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. Subsequently, his Broadway and off-Broadway credits have included performing with Marcel Marceau, playing the Fool to Orson Welles’ King Lear, creating Lucky in the American premiere of Waiting for Godot and Clov in the American premiere of Endgame, and the world premiere of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin’s When the World Was Green. He is also a founding member of the Berkshire Theater Festival and Yale Repertory Theater, and former artistic director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

The full cast of King Lear has not yet been announced, but will include ASP company members Paula Langton and Jennie Israel as Goneril and Regan, Lear’s rebellious daughters, and Benjamin Evett and Doug Lockwood as Gloucester’s sons, the villainous Edmund and maligned Edgar. Ken Cheeseman will play Lear’s Fool.

Subscriptions are now on sale. For information, go to

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Eighth World ShakespeareCongress to be Held in Brisbane, Australia, in July 2006.

Persons interested in participating in this conference should contact Frances Barasch or Rosalind Kerr before July 15, 2005. After July 15, please apply to the International Shakespeare Association (

The topic, "Representations of the Master-Servant Relationship in EarlyModern European Drama" will be led by Frances Barasch (Baruch/City Universityof NY, USA) and Rosalind Kerr (University of Alberta, Canada).

Early modern theatrical representations frequently interrogate the boundaries delineating master-servant relationships. The popularity of this topos suggests that spectators were greatly interested in watchingplays in which the social hierarchy could be subverted and patriarchalauthority overturned. Papers are invited offering critical perspectiveson master-servant or master-subordinate themes, structures, genres,performance conventions (such as transvestite disguise), and audienceresponse in Shakespeare and other early modern theatres of England,Europe, and Asia. Any of a variety of approaches may be considered,including but not limited to theatre history, gender/queer studies,philosophical/psychoanalytic/political/ social interpretation, cultural exchange, or modern appropriations of Shakespeare.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey
Summer Shakespeare Institute for Teachers
July 18-23, 2005

The New York Classical Theatre starts its sixth season in the park with a short run of Shakespeare's comedy "As You Like It."
Cast members keep young viewers involved as a masked Charles (Adam Devine) and Orlando (Dustin Sullivan) spar.  Posted by Hello
Shakespeare brings crowd to its feet

All the world's a stage' - including Central Park.

The New York Classical Theatre starts its sixth season in the park with a short run of Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It.'

But it's a real run.

The free production moves around a lake near the 103rd St. entrance known as the Pool. The troupe uses nature as its backdrop and, as the actors move from 'set' to 'set,' so does the audience - sometimes at a fairly steady pace.

'Instead of just plopping the play in the park setting because it's free,' says artistic director Stephen Burdman, 'the goal is to make it look like they just happen to be there and the audience is just spying upon all this stuff.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Salem State presents Shakespeare for everyone this summer
Shakespeare and anti-Shakespeare fans unite! This summer, Salem State College is bringing several Shakespeare-related works to the stage, both pro- and anti-Bard.

'I was looking to have good light summer fare,' said Paul Mitri, the theater department's artistic director. 'It just so happened that the shows that I found had something to do with Shakespeare.'

The celebration of the 10th anniversary of the college's theater department includes a summer lineup of shows under the Shakespearean theme 'Give Me the Willies.'"
Playbill News: Alabama Shakespeare Theatre Names Sherman New Artistic Director

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival announced June 9 that Geoffrey Sherman will join the Montgomery-based company as producing artistic director.

Over the past decade, British-born Sherman has made Michigan his home, serving as artistic director of Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester and then free-lancing before becoming artistic director of BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing.

ASF board chairman Young Boozer said in a statement, "After a thorough search process which brought in over 40 applicants from all over the nation, we are happy to say that in Geoffrey Sherman we have found the best choice for ASF. We look forward to a fresh new era under his leadership, built upon the legacy of Kent Thompson."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shakespeare, Barenaked Ladies don't mix

STRATFORD, Ont. - If music be the food of love, then summertime should most definitely be a love-in here on the banks of the Avon.

That seems to be what the Stratford Festival had in mind for their production of Shakespeare's As You Like It, currently playing at the Festival Theatre. "
RSC secures West End home in deal with Mackintosh

The Royal Shakespeare Company, without a permanent London base for nearly five years, is to team up with Sir Cameron Mackintosh, the theatre owner, to present an annual Shakespeare season in the West End for the next five years.

The deal kicks off in December with a series of Shakespeare comedies to be performed at the Strand Theatre, which will be renamed the Novello Theatre when it reopens after a �3m refurbishment."

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Docklands Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Dublin

Dublin's Docklands will present an innovative Shakespeare festival with previews beginning on 14th June. This Dublin festival will be produced by an internationally renowned travelling theatre company known as Footsbarn.

A stunning purpose built 500-seater marquee theatre will be afloat on George's Dock as a fantastic venue for this six week Shakespearean festival. During the course of this Dublin festival, Perchance to Dream and The Tempest will be performed.

Perchance to Dream is a collaboration with writer and translator, Andre Markowicz and Footsbarn theatre company. This is an ambitious piece of theatre. Perchance to Dream incorporates Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, King Lear and Hamlet into the performance. The four seasons and the seven ages of man are used as the base of the play proving it to be a very intricate and stimulating performance.

Footsbarn's production of the Tempest explores the magical universe of the play. This production includes some spectaculour visual and musical effects. This Shakespearean play is based on an island inhabited by spirits and demons. The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's most comic and dramatic plays. The enchanted island is full of illusion, desire, treason with comedy the main dramatic emphasis.

The Docklands Shakespeare festival with floating marquee theatre and creative and reputable theatre group will make for a special night out in Dublin.