Shakespeare in American Politics
Friday, May 27 at 9:00pm (EDT)
88.1 WVPE Public Radio
John Adams was a Shakespeare enthusiast who filled his diaries with mentions of the plays. Janet Reno assembled her staff to read King Lear. In 1849, disputes over British and American acting styles touched off a deadly riot. The most famous black Shakespearean of the 19th century was an American who went to Europe after he saw black actors arrested for performing Shakespeare in the US. In the 1980s, Shakespeare was drawn into battles over race and gender on college campuses. This program explores how Shakespeare’s work has intertwined itself with American electoral politics, geopolitics, and racial, class, and academic politics. It also explores how Shakespeare has been used for political purposes throughout American history.
Listen here: http://www.folger.edu/shakespeare-in-american-life
A global celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and legacy
Throughout 2016, Shakespeare at Notre Dame has been celebrating “SHAKESPEARE: 1616-2016,” a yearlong series of performances, conferences and special events commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and his legacy. “Act One” of the celebration included events slated during the University of Notre Dame’s spring semester, .
In January, we hosted “First Folio! The Book that Gave us Shakespeare,” a national exhibition and tour curated by the Folger Shakespeare Library. “First Folio” is a 50-state tour and exhibit of Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio, the first published collection of 36 of his plays and one of the world’s most treasured books. Notre Dame was the official first stop of the First Folio national tour and served as the sole Indiana venue for the exhibition. The exhibition, which ran Jan. 6-29, was housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections gallery of the Hesburgh Library. Select Notre Dame Shakespeare holdings were also on display, and curators offered daily, guided tours.
The First Folio exhibit and Notre Dame’s year-long celebration officially launched at 16:16 (4:16 p.m.) Jan. 6 with the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Hesburgh Library’s new North Entrance Gallery. Shakespeare at Notre Dame, the Hesburgh Libraries, the Robinson Community Learning Center, noted Shakespearean scholars from the College of Arts and Letters and members of the Actors from the London Stage company hosted a diverse slate of events, including the Folio Friday Lecture Series, theatrical performances, special displays and school workshops for more than 1,200 area youth. Special guest Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, closed the exhibition with a lecture on Jan. 29.
Actors From The London Stage (AFTLS), a five-member British company touring university campuses from Massachusetts to Hawaii, will presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream Jan. 20-22 and Jan. 29 in Washington Hall. Founded in 1975 by veterans of the Royal Shakespeare Company — including Sir Patrick Stewart, Tony Church, Lisa Harrow and Bernie Lloyd — AFTLS celebrated its 40th year of continuous touring in 2015-16. The company has been based at the University of Notre Dame since 2000.
Two international conferences also took place on campus as part of the celebration. The second iteration of 2013’s Shakespeare in Prisons Conference, titled, “Shakespeare in Prisons: In Practice,” brought arts practitioners from around the world to Notre Dame Jan. 25-27 for three days of plenaries, panel discussions and active workshop training by some of the most noted figures in the field of Shakespeare and social justice. Participants learned techniques for approaching incarcerated and nontraditional populations.
In an effort to build on this foundation of Shakespeare as a catalyst for effecting positive social change, the close of the “Shakespeare in Prisons: In Practice” conference also served as the opening for the 26th annual conference of the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA). Attended by more than 120 artistic, managing and education directors from theatre companies across the globe, the annual STA conference serves to foster a spirit of collaboration and innovation in the collective approach to the production of Shakespeare’s plays for modern audiences. Plenaries, panel discussions, breakout sessions and special performances broadened the conversation about what Shakespeare means in contemporary society, 400 years after his passing. Visit our 2016 Conference Page to learn more.
“We Are Shakespeare” invites the general public to upload short testimonials and performances focused around the impact Shakespeare’s universal themes still have on 21st-century society. Complementing this will be “400 Dreams: Shakespeare Across the Globe,” which catalogs and highlights the hundreds of varied Shakespeare-related events around the world commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Both sites, housed at WeAreShakespeare.nd.edu, went live on Wednesday (Jan. 30) and are accepting submissions throughout 2016 before becoming permanently archived within CurateND, in partnership with the Hesburgh Libraries.
In April, Shakespeare at Notre Dame partnered with both the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and Opera Notre Dame in bringing Shakespeare’s works to music. On April 16, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra presented Romeo and Juliet: in Concert as part of its Masterworks Series at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend. The concert featured the works of Tchaikovsky, Gounod and Prokofiev, interspersed with performances by actors from Shakespeare at Notre Dame.
April 21-24, Opera Notre Dame presented a world-premiere adaptation of As You Like It in the Patricia George Decio Theatre in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.