Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Shakespeare's Meaning, Motivation and Message" in Concord, Mass.

Next weekend, May 30-June 1, a group of Boston-area Shakespeareans (and your correspondent, a western Mass. holdout) will host three days of Shakespearean presentations, conversations and performance in Concord, Mass., some of which will examine the plays and poems from Edward de Vere's perspective and some of which will hold to the orthodox William Shakspere/Shakespeare of Stratford school.

The Concord Shakespeare Conference and Festival is one of those rare gatherings that will bring both Montagues and Capulets--Oxforidans and Stratfordians-- to the same venue to discuss one thing both sides hold in common: a profound love of The Bard.

I will be giving a talk on Friday night at the Concord Free Library on how Twelfth Night reads like an Elizabethan courtly gossip sheet, circa 1580.

The Friday evening program (also featuring a performance by acclaimed pianist Roderick Phipps-Kettlewell and a discussion on the similarities between Mozart's and Shakespeare's genius) will be free of charge. The remainder of the weekend's full schedule will be held at the Concord Masonic Hall in Monument Square in downtown Concord. A weekend pass for Saturday and Sunday's events is $40.

As local press coverage of the event points out, Concord famous son Ralph Waldo Emerson said that tracing the identity of the Bard is "the first of all literary problems."

And as Orsino counsels his attendant Curio, "Play on."

1 comment:

John Christian Plummer said...

Mark - is this lecture available in any format (print, audio, video)? I'm currently directing a production of Twelfth Night for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, an hour north of NYC ( and would love to hear the lecture somehow. I recently discovered your book and I'm still reading it, but find it immensely persuasive and also tremendously helpful while directing one of the Shake-speare texts.