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Shakespeare 2016! to Celebrate 400 Years of the Bard at W&L

Shakespeare 2016! a year-long celebration of William Shakespeare’s legacy, will be observed at Washington and Lee University with a full academic year of special events, performances, public lectures and courses at Washington and Lee University.

W&L’s array of special offerings kicks off this summer with a one-week alumni college course, Shakespeare’s Kings, July 12-17, and continues through May 2016. All events will be open to the public, many with free admission.

Two of the bard’s plays, as well as contemporary plays on Shakespearean themes, will be staged on campus. W&L’s Department of Theater, Dance and Film will produce “Love’s Labors Lost” in November, and in February, the renowned Actors From The London Stage will perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during a week-long residency.

Productions of the comedy drama “Desdemona, A Play about a Handkerchief” in October, and the fictional confrontation between Shakespeare and his theater rival “Murdering Marlowe” in February are also in the plans.

Shakespeare-inspired dance, choral, instrumental and vocal performances throughout the year by university and touring professional groups will be complemented by public lectures by Shakespeare scholars, an art exhibition, and special programs at W&L alumni chapter programs around the country.

Chanticleer, the British ensemble described as “an orchestra of voices” who often perform songs of the Elizabethan period, will appear Oct. 27, followed by a themed concert by W&L’s Wind Ensemble in November; a student choreographed dance concert in December; music professors Greg Parker, baritone, and Tim Gaylard, piano, performing together in January; the University Singers presenting a set of Shakespearean songs in their March Winter Choral Concert; and an April University Orchestra concert.

Visiting Shakespeare scholars Jim Shapiro of Columbia University and Quentin Skinner will speak on campus in November and April, respectively. And, a soliloquy slam will be held in April. English and writing professors will offer five fall, three winter and two spring Shakespeare courses. Other professors will participate in a year-long film series presenting their favorite movie versions of Shakespeare’s plays.

Following is list of confirmed and planned Shakespeare 2016! activities at W&L to date:

  • July 12-17 — Shakespeare’s Kings. An alumni college one-week course, open to the public (fee charged)
  • Oct. 11-13 — “Desdemona, A Play about a Handkerchief,” comedy-drama by Paula Vogel
  • Oct. 27 — The Concert Guild presents Chanticleer, British vocal group
  • Nov. 3 — W&L Wind Ensemble concert (program to be announced)
  • Nov. 12-14 — Visiting scholar Jim Shapiro (public lecture to be announced)
  • Nov. 12-15 — “Love’s Labors Lost” by William Shakespeare
  • Dec. 9-11 — Student-choreographed dance concert
  • Jan. 24 — Recital: Greg Parker, baritone, and Tim Gaylard, piano
  • Feb. 4-6 — “Murdering Marlowe,” drama by Charles Marowitz
  • Feb. 15-21 — “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Williams Shakespeare, performed by Actors From The London Stage
  • March – Visiting scholar Katherine Maus (public lecture to be announced)
  • March 22 — Winter Choral Concert featuring Shakespearean music, University Singers
  • April-May — Special exhibition, Staniar Gallery
  • April 1-3 — Spring Dance Concert
  • April 2 — University Orchestra Concert (program to be announced)
  • April 4-8 — Visiting lecturer Quentin Skinner (public lecture to be announced)