Speaking of Shakespeare Link

Speaking of Shakespeare
Our next installment in an SOS series that is now in its third decade will occur at 8 p.m. Monday, January 28, in Manhattan's National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South), where we'll talk with actor, director, producer, and author Dakin Matthews. Dakin is charming audiences as Judge Taylor in an acclaimed Broadway presentation of To Kill a Mockingbird. During what promises to be a memorable evening, he'll discuss not only his key role in that play but his many contributions to the presentation of Shakespeare and other classics on stage and screen.

The following night, Tuesday, January 29, we'll move next door to The Players (16 Gramercy Park South) for a 7 p.m. gathering with Frog and Peach, a company that was founded by distinguished members of The Actors Studio to explore new approaches to Shakespeare's classics. Between February 22 and March 17 this innovative troupe will present Twelfth Night at the Sheen Center (18 Bleecker Street). In what promises to be a lively gathering, director Lynnea Benson and her cast will offer music, vignettes, and dialogue about the artistry of an ensemble that has featured such luminaries as Karen Lynn Gorney, Earl Hyman, and Austin Pendleton.

Meanwhile, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday the 29th at the National Arts Club, we'll initiate a new series of Afternoon Salons with Alice Quinn of the Poetry Society of America. That gathering will be followed Monday, February 25, at the NAC with sculptors Babette Bloch and Marc Mellon. We'll then resume our 2019 SOS engagements at the National Arts Club on Tuesday evening, February 26, with playwright and director Nagle Jackson. A few weeks later, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, we'll be back at the club for a SOS conversation with Ethan McSweeny, who has recently become Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. Additional offerings, both at the NAC and at The Players, will be announced shortly.

Our most recent Speaking engagement occurred at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 26, at The Players in Manhattan. In association with a theatrical shrine that was founded by Edwin Booth, we offered a fervent tribute to the Drama Book Shop, an institution whose vital assistance to Broadway, and to the nation's performing-arts community as a whole, has been recegnized by a special Tony Award. Among our eloquent speakers were president Rozanne Seelen and vice-president Allen Lee Hubby of the Shop, actors Jim Dale, Jeffrey Hardy, and Peter Maloney, and writer Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker, who emphasized how essential cultural treasures like these are to the civic health of democratic societies. For vital assistance with this event we were indebted, not only to musical artist Shana Farr of The Players, but to such Shop stalwarts as authors Nancy Reardon and Tom Flynn. We now know from a January 8 article in the New York Times that we're even more indebted to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his Hamliton colleagues, who have purchased the Shop from Ms. Seelen and will reopen it a few months hence in a new location.

We launched the 2018-19 season of our signature program initiative 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 were to conclude this impressive 18-play series in October. The following week, on Tuesday-Thursday, September 25-27, we joined the Players Foundation to host stage readings of The Lives of Shakespeare, a new trilogy by playwright Mary Jane Schaefer in which she presented diverse 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 moved next door for an engaging NAC dialogue with Peter Marks, chief theater critic for The Washington Post. Mr. Marks is one of today's most influential arts journalists, and we enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion that addressed 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.

To receive periodic updates from The Shakespeare Guild, you're invited 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, for background on the Guild's signature Speaking of Shakespeare series, which began in 1998 at the National Press Club in Washington, click here. For details about offerings that have been presented in particular seasons, click on the blue link for the year that interests you: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. And for information about upcoming programs, visit our Current Events page.