June 22, 1991
Jess Bravin's article "Shylock: The Stereotype Is Still a Problem" (June 5) revealed the vexation caused by the anti-Semitism contained in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice." Staging this production in today's costumes, as is being done by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Old Globe Theatre of San Diego, is a step toward increasing anti-Semitism within our own times, as if there were a lack of it. By bringing this 400-year-old play into modern times, the producers and directors imply that today's Jews are like Shylock and that any punishment is justified.
April 23, 2012 |
Today is the 448th birthday of William Shakespeare -- that is, if you believe the widely held assumption that the Bard was born on April 23. Like many things involving the greatest playwright in the English language, the day of his birth is shrouded in mystery. Shakespeare is believed to have been born on this day in 1564 but there is no official record that confirms it. The future writer was baptized on April 26 and it was customary at the time for infants to be baptized three days after birth.
December 12, 1997 |
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, the nation's largest professional resident theater with an annual budget of $13.7 million, offers 43-week contracts to a company of about 60 actors. None are founding artists. Trinity Repertory in Providence, R.I., with a budget of $3.9 million, has a resident company of 15 to 20 actors--just one a founding artist, Barbara Orson--including a handful who have been there 30 years each.
November 2, 2002
Re "L.A. Teacher Awarded British Honor," Oct. 29: Rafe Esquith's kids are as wonderful as he says. Last August we were in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival the same time Esquith was there with about 40 youngsters. The children, responsible for their schedules, tickets, spending money and behavior, are organized in groups of four. When one such group saw a festival employee accidentally tip over a container while transferring trash, they ran across the street to pick up the mess.
April 22, 2013 |
Bryan Cranston is going from playing a meth dealer on AMC's "Breaking Bad" to playing President Lyndon B. Johnson in a new stage production of a work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. "All The Way" will open the new season at American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts, with performances scheduled to begin Sept. 13. The company said that the play dramatizes Johnson's first year in the Oval Office as he deals with the conflict in Vietnam and civil-rights unrest at home.
August 1, 1991 |
The audience reminded me of my street in La Quinta the night before the trash men come. I was lucky enough to be at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. The reason the outdoor theater looked like trash night is that a large number of the theatergoers were wearing black plastic trash bags, holes cut for their heads. Some had more bags for their legs. There was a soft mist falling when we sat down to enjoy the convolutions of "Julius Caesar."
September 28, 2003 |
Real repertory will return to San Diego's Old Globe Theatre next summer because "I stuck my neck out and I've been terribly stubborn about it," says the company's longtime leader, Craig Noel, who has worked at the Globe since 1937. The theater presented Shakespeare in repertory during most summers from 1949 to 1984.