Welcome, readers! This week, we have a diverse group of news items: editorials, competitions, lectures, productions, and more!
Value In Scholarship?
In the Times Higher Education, Matthew Reisz examines the myriad ways in which Shakespeare has been performed and asks whether the “parallel academic industry” of Shakespeare studies – with its varying schools of criticism and scholastic jargon – brings anything new to the texts. What, if any, new learning comes from constantly examining Shakespeare’s works through our contemporary lens?
RSC & CATA’s New School Initiative
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts (CATA) are inviting UK schools to join the Young Shakespeare Nation. The new initiative strives to transform students’ experiences with Shakespeare and provide access to each of his plays over the next six years. Young Shakespeare Nation will stream live performances into classrooms, provide new online resources, touring productions for young audiences, professional development for teachers, workshops, seminars, and awards. The program works in conjunction with the RSC’s goal to stage each of Shakespeare’s thirty-six plays from the First Folio between now and 2019 (as well as celebrate the anniversaries of his birth and death in 2014 and 2016, respectively). As The Examiner reports, drama teacher John Cotgrave of Honley High in West Yorkshire is looking for thirty-six schools to join his in producing the thirty-six plays as part of the initiative.
Katherine Rowe, professor of English at Bryn Mawr College and co-founder of Luminary Digital Media, will give a presentation, “A Walking Guide to Virtual Shakespeare,” on October 23 at Penn State. Rowe will discuss the “rhetoric of scholarly walking in the context of a small set of virtual Shakespearean locales.”
The Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University will host the thirty-seventh annual Shakespeare Competition from October 3 to October 5. The event will welcome over three thousand students from sixth grade to high school who will be competing as actors, dancers, musicians, and theater technicians. Professional artists from similar fields will serve as adjudicators. You can view a video about the competition at the Festival’s website.
Bringing Shakespeare Behind Bars
The Indiana Statesman reports on the story of Jennifer Sicking, the director of media relations at Indiana State University, who began teaching Shakespeare to inmates at the Terre Haute Federal Prison two years ago. Sicking worked with inmates through the “Shakespeare in Shackles” program, a community service initiative created by College of Arts and Sciences. The program, lead by Laura Bates, now includes an interdisciplinary approach with a participating ISU faculty from a wide range of studies. For the first time, students will also work with ten selected inmates this year.
Other Bits of Interest
- Nebraska Shakespeare’s will begin touring an abridged Twelfth Night
- Grand Valley State University opens its twentieth annual Shakespeare Festival
We look forward to your feedback and comments about any of the stories you’ve read here today. Let us know what you think and start the conversation!
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