Theater Emory hosts the Shakespeare Anniversary Celebration on April 23, with twelve hours of events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. The festival of performances and discussions will occur in various locations around the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.
The anniversary celebration is part of Shakespeare at Emory, a series of events marking the University's selection as a host site for the exhibit of "First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare," which will be on view at Emory's Michael C. Carlos Museum from Nov. 5 through Dec. 11.
One host site was selected from each state to display the national traveling exhibition of Shakespeare's First Folio, one of the world's most treasured books, from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Emory was chosen as the Georgia venue.
For the April 23 celebration, events include a large-scale battle scene enactment, performances from local artists including Staibdance and Callosum Collective, readings from prominent Atlanta Shakespearean actors, excerpts from Emory student theater productions, and, of course, comic diversions from a fool or two.
“Shakespeare: What’s on Your Mind?” brings together Emory faculty in an informal conversation, during which participants discuss their Shakespearean research, current passions and new investigations in development.
“We are excited to view Shakespeare through as many lenses as we can: cultural perspectives, styles of performance and devised work,” explains Janice Akers, Theater Emory artistic director.
The celebration begins at noon and ends with a midnight ritual inviting all attendees to honor the life and art of Shakespeare.
More information, along with a schedule and complete list of events, can be found on Theater Emory's Shakespeare Celebration website. The festivities are free and open to the public, but reservations are requested.
Complete schedule of April 23 events:
12: p.m. : Shakespeare Battle
Directed by John Ammerman, an outdoor battle (on the lawn outside the Schwartz Theater Lab) of eight fighters with Broadsword and Staff.
12:30 p.m.: Student Theater Showcase
Featuring Emory Chinese Theater Club, Dooley's Players, Oxford Ensemble of Shakespearean Artists, Rathskellar Improv, and Second Floor Basement Sketch Comedy
2 p.m. : Shakespeare in Song
Featuring music from Theater Emory's productions of "As You Like It" performed by Victoria Hood, Josh Oberlander, Geoffrey Solomon and Dash Wakeman and traditional Elizabethan songs performed by Wala Hassan
2:30 p.m. : Shakespeare's Clowns
Featuring theater studies students in Donald McManus' clowning seminar performing scenes from Shakespeare and friends
• "Cocks of the Rose"
Written and directed by Donald McManus, a comedy about two Renaissance hustlers outside the Globe Theatre in London in the early 17th century while Shakespeare's "King Lear" is being performed inside
4 p.m. : "Shakespeare: What's on your mind? "
Tharpe Rehearsal Hall
Emory faculty discuss their Shakespeare research, current passions on the topic and new investigations in development. Participants include Patricia Cahill, Michael Evenden, Ross Knecht, Donald McManus, and Rebecca Munson.
5:30 p.m.: Break
*High tea will be served
7 p.m. : A Scattering of Soliloquies
Various locations in the Schwartz Center
A half-dozen soliloquies will be performed by students of "Acting Shakespeare" in locations in and about the Schwartz Center. The audience will meet just in front of the on-campus entrance to Schwartz and travel to each soliloquy.
7:30 p.m. : "Bawdy Mouth"
A journey into the x-rated (sorta) slams, disses and obscenities that would arrest any FCC official in 1597. While riding the wave of political volatility and reality TV, Staibdance takes a candid look at Shakepeare's insults, situations and put-downs that might just bear repeating. Choreography by George Staib in collaboration with the dancers
8 p.m. : Alumni Showcase
• "The Squall" by Callosum Collective
A multi-media re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Tempest.
• "Dead Girls" by Maya Hubbard and Kelly Spicer
An examination of the relationship between death and gender on Shakespeare's stage. Which deaths do we see occur on stage? What recurring imagery is associated with the death of women throughout his tragedies? Whose death is defined by poignancy and whose is defined by absurdity?
• "Baser Stars, or All's Well that F**ks Me" by Clifford Clark and Nicholas Surbey
A performance piece-in-progress inspired by the constant Helena's passionate, painful and degrading love for f**kboy Bertram in "All's Well that Ends Well."
9 p.m.: Atlanta's Shakespearean Actors
Featuring readings from John Ammerman, Elisa Carlson, Carolyn Cook, Blake Covington, Allan Edwards, Ann Marie Gideon, Timothy Harland, Eliana Marianes, Tim McDonough, Megan McFarland, Donald McManus, Courtney Patterson and more.
10 p.m. : Reception & Ambush Shakespeare
11:30 p.m.: Closing Ritual & Toast