We're delighted to announce that our 2016 GIELGUD AWARD recipient is Vanessa Redgrave, a legendary artist who just completed a memorable performance as Queen Margaret in Almeida Theatre's acclaimed Richard III. This year's festivities were among the highlights of a UK Theatre Awards luncheon that took place Sunday, October 9, in London's historic Guildhall. That venerable setting is an edifice Shakespeare knew very well, and he refers to it in the drama that Ralph Fiennes and a brilliant supporting cast have been sharing, by way of HD technology, with audiences around the globe. Rupert Goold, who presides over the Almeida and who directed that riveting production, presented the 2016 trophy. Press coverage was extensive, with stories in such media outlets as Playbill and the Irish Independent, and Broadway World. For background on the GIELGUD AWARD, including details about last year's festivities in honor of Dame Eileen Atkins, click here.
On Saturday afternoon, October 22, we took part in the grand opening of "Ojos y Manos: Eyes & Hands," a beautiful new feature at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Our portion of the festivities featured "The Poet's Eye," celebrating the visionary design of a space that evokes such august predecessors as classical Greek amphitheaters, the "Wooden O" of the Bankside Globe, and the Zia sun symbol that adorns the state flag of New Mexico. Its acoustics are superb, and it promises to be an attraction that, like Shakespeare's plays, will delight and instruct those enter its magic circle. For details about our contribution to an inspirational dedication ceremony, click here. And for background about this wonderful addition to the Garden, click here.
We launched the Guild's 2016-17 SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE season on Wednesday, September 14, with a remarkable brother-sister act. One of our most popular guests over the last decade and a half has been Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker. Many of Adam's admirers are unaware that his sister Alison, a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, is also a distinguished author, and one who publishes a widely read column in the Wall Street Journal. Her latest book is one that focuses on the importance of play in early childhood development, and a preview of it appeared recently in the New York Times. Alison and Adam Gopnik occasionally allude to each other's work, but it is rare for them to appear together in conversation. So it was a great pleasure to be with them, and to enjoy an unusual amount of lively audience participation, in what turned out to be another memorable evening at Manhattan's beautiful National Arts Club.
Our SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series resumed with NYU's Louis Scheeder on Wednesday, October 5, and will continue on Wednesday, January 18, with Professor Jean E. Howard of Columbia University. Next up will be a program on Wednesday, February 22, with another highly regarded Tisch faculty member, Shane Ann Younts, who was originally scheduled to join us on Tuesday, December 20.
Looking ahead, we've booked conversations for Wednesday, March 22, with Sarah Enloe, who oversees educational programs at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, for Wednesday, April 26, with Samuel Crowl of Ohio University, whose many publications include a seminal article about Orson Welles's "Chimes at Midnight," for Wednesday, May 24, with arts patron Nancy Zeckendorf, a philanthropist who divides her time between Manhattan and Santa Fe and was recently profiled in the New York Times, and for Monday, June 12, with Julian Bird, chief executive of both the Society of London Theatre (which presents the Olivier Awards each spring), and the UK Theatre association (which hosts the UK Theatre Awards luncheon each autumn).
At some point in the months to come, we plan to arrange a follow-up engagement with director Karin Coonrod, who will tell us about responses to her historic production of "The Merchant in Venice" in the original Ghetto. This gathering will be a sequel to Ms. Coonrod's March 28 conversation with Mr. Andrews, and it will focus not only on the production and the context that gave rise to it, but on a symposium that preceded the July 27th performance, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presiding over deliberations that included remarks by F. Murray Abraham, Stephen Greenblatt, and James Shapiro and were covered by the New York Times.
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 donate to the GUILD, enroll as a member, and book for upcoming engagements.