Speaking of Shakespeare Link

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In addition to its GIELGUD AWARD ceremonies and its SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE series, the Guild provides constituents with a variety of other cultural activities. During the summer of 1992, for example, the Guild joined hands with the GROVE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL in California for a Great Shakes Alive initiative that included a Macbeth with David Birney and Joan Van Ark as the two protagonists. Two years later, during the spring of 1996, the Guild contributed Bardic highlights to the inauguration of a DISNEY INSTITUTE in Florida.

PREVIEWING KENNETH BRANAGH'S MOST AMBITIOUS FILM

in December of 1996 the Guild co-sponsored A Stellar Shakespearean Weekend, offering attendees a preview screening of Kenneth Branagh’s epic Hamlet, and collaborating with the SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION and the FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY on a symposium that featured a Susan Stamberg interview with the star and filmmaker (portions of which were later broadcast over NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO) and a discussion that included remarks by Sir Derek Jacobi and other luminaries. These festivities received front-page coverage in The Shakespeare Newsletter.

WORKING WITH THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS

Since 1998, when it initiated SPEAKING OF SHAKESPEARE at the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB with director Peter Brook, the Guild has operated in close association with the ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION and a number of other organizations. Attractions created under these auspices have been broadcast by the BBC, by NPR, and by C-SPAN’s weekend Book TV service. And they have taken place in such settings as BAFTA'S PRINCESS ANNE AUDITORIUM, DARTMOUTH HOUSE, the GIELGUD THEATRE, the GUILDHALL, and MIDDLE TEMPLE HALL in London; the BROAD STAGE in Santa Monica; the CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER in the Windy City; ARENA STAGE, the BRITISH EMBASSY, the COSMOS CLUB, DACOR BACON HOUSE, FORD'S THEATRE, the NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, the NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION, the SHAKESPEARE THEATRE COMPANY, the UNIVERSITY CLUB, the WASHINGTON CLUB, and the WOMAN'S NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CLUB in the District of Columbia; the ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION, THE LAMBS, the MORGAN LIBRARY AND MUSEUM, the NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, THE PLAYERS, the PRINCETON CLUB OF NEW YORK, and THEATRE FOR A NEW AUDIENCE in New York City, and the LENSIC PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, SAN MIGUEL MISSION, and the SANTA FE BOTANICAL GARDEN in New Mexico's capital city. For details about these and a variety of related activities, see the ESU WASHINGTON announcements and newsletters for 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

CULTURAL INITIATIVES IN THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT

In 2011, a few years after Mr. Andrews and his wife moved from DC to the Southwest, the Guild collaborated with Santa Fe's majestic Lensic Performing Arts Center on a special presentation of The Tempest that starred Sir Derek as Prospero and his partner Richard Clifford as Prospero. This musical adaptation commemorated two significant anniversaries: a Whitehall presentation of Shakespeare's play in 1611 and the founding of a "brave New World" capital a few months earlier.

In 2012 The Guild joined forces with the NEW MEXICO MUSEUM OF ART in Santa Fe for a series of "Centennial Fridays" to commemorate a century of statehood for the Land of Enchantment.

In February of 2017 the Guild joined musicologist Mary Springfels and her distinguished colleagues for a concert in what is said to be America's oldest church. A co-production with Severall Friends, an early-music ensemble that draws its name from Elizabethan composer Matthew Locke, Shakespeare at San Miguel took place in a chapel whose foundations date from the poet's lifetime. Highlighted by acclaimed instrumentalists and singers, this special evening featured eleven of Shakespeare's sonnets, which were artfully interspersed with thematically-related lyrics by Thomas Campion, William Dowland, and other composers. Click here for musicologist James M. Keller's detailed preview in Pasatiempo.

A TRIBUTE TO THE AUTHOR OF "TO SIR, WITH LOVE"

On Saturday, March 25, 2017, the Guild played a role in a Washington National Cathedral memorial service for E. R. Braithwaite, an author renowned for To Sir, With Love, a 1959 literary best-seller that became a celebrated 1967 film with Sidney Poitier in the role that Mr. Braithwaite's autobiographical novel had made famous. Mr. Braithwaite died at the age of 104 on December 12, 2016, and Guild president John Andrews was one of the three speakers who eulogized him in the Cathedral's lovely Bethlehem Chapel. The service concluded with an organ rendering of Lulu's musical tribute to "Sir," a recording that had been popular music's number-one single a half-century earlier. Click here to watch a February 2007 conversation between Mr. Andrews and Mr. Braithwaite that has been telecast several times on C-SPAN's weekend Book TV service and now seems particularly resonant. And click here for links to Mr. Andrews' C-SPAN appearances with other authors, among them ecologist Lester R. Brown, political leader Susan Eisenhower, Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells, and cultural historian A. N. Wilson.

A FAREWELL SALUTE TO EDUCATOR HOMER SWANDER

Because he requested that there be no memorial service or detailed obituary, many of his colleagues were late in learning that Homer D. Swander, known to most of his friends as "Murph," died in Santa Barbara at the age of 96 on February 15, 2018. Professor Swander served for many years on the Editorial Board of Shakespeare Quarterly, and he contributed seminal articles about the editing and performing of playwright's scripts. One of his many contributions to the teaching of dramatic literature lives on in Actors From The London Stage, a program now administered by the University of Notre Dame, and the Guild paid tribute to him and to AFTLS during the October 2015 UK Theatre Awards luncheon at London's historic Guildhall. For details about that ceremony, and about Dr. Swander's powerful influence, click here and scroll down to the paragraphs at the bottom of the page. Click here for a tribute to Murph that his devoted friend Sir Patrick Stewart published in The Guardian. And click here for a more extended homage that Guardian editors had to abbreviate because of limited space.

RECALLING A MEMORABLE ADDRESS BY JOHN McCAIN

As his loved ones and admirers were eulogizing John McCain, a statesman who died on August 25, 2018, a number of Shakespeare Guild constituents were thinking back to July 4, 2005, when the Senator was at Dartmouth House in London to deliver the inaugural Alistair Cooke Memorial Lecture. Among the attendees at this occasion was John F. Andrews, who headed both the Guild and the Nation's Capital Branch of the English-Speaking Union at that time, and his wife Jan Denton. In October of 2004, Mr. Andrews had attended a Westminster Abbey memorial service for Mr. Cooke, and had played a significant role in a preceding discussion of ways in which Mr. Cooke's many contributions to Anglo-American relations might best be commemorated. For an overview on the July 2005 festivities, click here. And for details about ESU Washington's role in the what turned out to be a special occasion, click here and scroll down to the second page. Also of interest might be a Guardian interview with Senator McCain that supplemented his remarks about "An American Patriot Today".

WINCHESTER'S COMMEMORATION OF "THE GREAT WAR"

On Saturday, November 11, 2018, John Miller, a key member of the Guild's distinguished Advisory Council, produced an evocative memorial service at England's Theatre Royal Winchester that featured recitations by performers Pamela Miles and Michael Pennington. For details about a program that highlighted responses to World War I by such gifted poets as Rupert Brooke, John McCrae, Wilfred Owen, and Sigfried Sassoon, and by such eloquent statesmen as David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, click here. And for a look at the deeply moving script that Mr. Miller assembled for the proceedings, click here.