Back at the Mothership | Richard III returns to Notre Dame

Well, here we are, back at the Mothership after leaving the heat of San Antonio and the crisp walks round the lake at Wellesley. It’s wonderful to be back to the beauty of leaves falling, to be welcomed by our friends, and to feel familiar with the layout of a university campus, our American home, Shakespeare at Notre Dame.
ndautumn
I did a class yesterday on “Media Stardom and Celebrity Culture” with the lovely Christine Becker, and we all discussed the difference between film performances: locked eternally on celluloid, and theatre: mutable, shifting night to night with that glorious chemical reaction between audiences and cast, cast and cast, and cast and venues. Our Richard III has certainly been changing, and we’re a pretty playful bunch of actors who trust each other deeply and want to explore and mine our text to the limit. For example, in the coronation scene in Act 3 where Richard, newly crowned, tests the princely Buckingham’s loyalty by revealing deep insecurity in his position and the nuisance of having the illegitimate young princes around, I say:

Cousin, thou wert not won’t to be so dull;
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly performed.
What sayest thou? Speak suddenly; be brief.

Alice, who’s playing a mutely obedient Lady Anne, by my side, has started physically empathizing with Evvy’s noble and wavering Buckingham and silently pleading her horror at this thought. It gives greater emphasis to everyone else’s abhorrence of this thought and to my desire, a few moments later, to get shot of [get rid of] her and say to Catesby:

Rumour it abroad
That Anne, my wife, is very grievous sick.

Hannah who, apart from being a brilliant actor and the choreographer for various moments, had some ideas to improve the ghosts by giving them horrible unearthly gasps before each of them, all Richard’s victims, speak. It works beautifully. And Paul’s Queen Elizabeth is now so heartbreaking and vehemently reasoned in her defense of Richard marrying her daughter, that I’m having to adjust accordingly and find other tacks to succeed.

That’s the glory of Shakespeare: the endless possibilities and interpretations and the pleasure of exploring them. The reactions vary too. At Wellesley College, the audible disgust at Richard kissing Elizabeth on the mouth after persuading her to give him her daughter as a new Queen, was amazing.

shakespeare_houseAlso at Wellesley, there is a Shakespeare Society (founded in 1887) that always holds a party for the actors on their first night there. The Shakespeare House (pictured on right) is INCREDIBLE: a Tudor exterior, with its own stage and a basement heaving with endless, ancient copies of Shakespeare: some with prints that I have never seen. There is a costume department worthy of a local regional theatre in Britain. One entire rail just held CLOAKS. And in November they will perform their all-female Henry V for which they have promised a video. I can’t wait.

50wellesley

Wellesley is Hillary Clinton’s alma mater. I wonder if she ever ran naked across Severance green as is suggested on the 50 things to do before you graduate from Wellesley…I hope so.

Here at Notre Dame, we had a lovely response last night and have all had challenging and interesting classes. I worked with Peter Holland’s students on Tuesday exploring the first soliloquy and the insults to Richard. At the end Professor Holland reminded the class that, if in London, they should visit Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare, where I am a volunteer (docent in your parlance) and Trustee.

David Garrick and his Wife by his Temple to Shakespeare at Hampton, Johan Zoffany, c. 1762

David Garrick and his Wife by his Temple to Shakespeare at Hampton,
Johan Zoffany, c. 1762

In the eighteenth century, David Garrick made his name, as a 23 year old, playing Richard III. We have a copy of Hogarth’s famous painting of him in the nightmare scene before the battle of Bosworth, as well as Garrick’s commissioned statue of Shakespeare. I was on duty there the week before we started rehearsals on Richard III and had one visitor that day who was intriguing and singular and asked the most informed questions. When I asked him if he was a historian, he said, “No, I work at Kensington Palace; I’m house manager for Richard, Duke of Gloucester.” At this point all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I told him I was about to play one of his boss’s antecedents and he said that the current Duke had been at the real King Richard III’s interment at Leicester Cathedral. Gosh.

Evelyn Miller puts Commedia dell'arte on its feet during a visit to John Welle's "On Humor: Understanding Italy" class during the Notre Dame residency.

Evelyn Miller puts Commedia dell’arte on its feet during a visit to John Welle’s “On Humor: Understanding Italy” class during the Notre Dame residency.

I told some of the Foundations of Theology students in Anthony Pagliarini’s class on Friday about the excellent laws that the real King Richard had passed which I learned of in Leicester Cathedral on a research visit. He ensured new laws were written in English to be understood by all. He helped confirm the place of the jury system, bail for the accused, as well as laws for land ownership and trade protection. We were discussing whether Richard’s path was chosen or determined by fate; I put forward my view that he is validating his invalidity. As Ian McKellen says in the brochure accompanying his and Richard Longcrane’s excellent Richard III film made in 1995 and set in the 1930s: “Richard’s wickedness is an outcome of other people’s disaffection with his physique.” I think that being crowned King is proof to him that he is a whole human being.

pep-rallyAfter finishing that class, I had the thrill of seeing and hearing the “pep rally”…a phrase I’d never heard before. Basically, it was all the accumulated bands of Notre Dame marching to the ground for a home game and rallying their supporters. I love a brass band. I love great big drums thumping out. And when there are over five hundred musicians playing all together, it is truly rousing.

[Learn more about the world-famous Notre Dame Victory March.]

–Liz Crowther

“Midsummer” arrives at Notre Dame

The Midsummer AFTLS cast

“Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain!”

We’ve arrived in the land of the free! (In a stretch limo no less; thanks Deb!) [Office note: the limo was the cheapest option to transport our five actors from Chicago to South Bend.] And at the risk of completely adhering to the British stereotype, I am going to talk about the weather. It has been amazing! I hadn’t packed for the beautiful Indian summer here. I have alpaca and cashmere for the winter but very little in the way of shorts and sunscreen, and it’s making me nervous about Texas in a couple of weeks…

Our first week in the US has been fairly slow-moving. We’ve had to do a lot of admin, from filling-in and rehearsing whilst battling the bewildering effects of jet lag. However, it has been a joy to finally meet the wonderful people at the end of all the emails who have also helped us through this week. Deb Gasper is an astonishing lady, organizing everything and conducting herself with the patience of a saint while we set ourselves up for the tour ahead. We have had the pleasure of meeting Becky and Heidi in finance and Peter, Scott, Aaron from Shakespeare at Notre Dame who have all been delightful.

The craft beer list at South Bend's Evil Czech Brewery

The craft beer list at South Bend’s Evil Czech Brewery

Deb, Aaron and Scott very kindly took us out for Taco Tuesday at Evil Czech Brewery where we got to experience the famous American craft beer movement first hand. (Scott’s spicy Porter had a real kick to it!) Joining us with an Irish welcome was Grant Mudge, producing artistic director of Notre Dame’s Shakespeare Festival.

In our rehearsal room this week we have been joined by Anna Kurtz-Kuk who has been a joy! So positive, useful, and insightful. I wish we could have had her with us in London too. She is about to direct a production of The Understudy and it promises to be a fantastic production if her contribution to our Midsummer is anything to go by.

Notre Dame's Golden Dome as seen from our rehearsal space, ND's historic Washington Hall.

The burning sun on the dome at Notre Dame. This picture does not do it justice. I couldn’t look at the dome it was so bright.

Rehearsals were held in Notre Dame’s historic Washington Hall, just steps away from ND’s Golden Dome. We did our second preview on Friday afternoon, a week after the first in London and got some great feedback from the audience. We’ll hopefully get some time this week to work the notes. After notes it was straight on the road to go to Valparaiso, gearing up for our Westville residency.

Saturday was our much needed day off and the day of the England vs Wales Rugby match in the Rugby Union World Cup which is going on back home.

The Indiana Dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan

View of Lake Michigan from the Indiana Dunes

Sam and Chris were keen to catch the match but failed to find anywhere in downtown Valparaiso showing it so ended up heading towards Lake Michigan where Claire, Patrick, and I had already gone to have a dip. My gosh, it was beautiful! And not as cold as the Hampstead ponds in London.

(Blog post by AFTLS actor Ffion Jolly)

Yesterday’s Peter Holland Keynote at the 2013 Blackfriars Conference

The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA, hosts a biennial conference at their Blackfriars Playhouse.  This year, the opening keynote was given by none other than our own Peter Holland, the McMeel Chair of Shakespeare Studies at Notre Dame.  His talk was entitled “A Critic and a Gentleman: Publishing Performance,” and here’s the liveblog version thanks to Sarah Martin, of ASC’s terrific Education Department.  You also can follow the conference on Twitter or Facebook by searching the hashtag #BFC13: 

Blackfriars Conference 2013–Keynote: Peter Holland’s A Critic and a Gentleman: Publishing Performance

Hi again! Sarah Martin here to liveblog the first Keynote Address of the Seventh Blackfriars Conference: Peter Holland’s A Critic and a Gentleman: Publishing Performance.

Peter Holland, Associate Dean for the Arts and McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies at the University of Notre Dame is, as Dr. Cohen said in his introduction, “a great get” in terms of a Keynote speaker. Professor Holland began his presentation with the images of the title pages of two different editions of Hamlet: one the early modern title page with a record of the first performance and the second, an edition inspired by the Michael Grandage production of Hamlet at the Donmar Warehouse which starred actor Jude Law. Professor Holland explained that the reader of the 1676 edition thought he was getting “all of Hamlet“–the play as written and the play as performed, but the edition neglects to state that it is also heavily revised while the Grandage edition has been significantly shortened.

Professor Holland pointed out that, for the type of souvenir playtext exemplified by Grandage’s edition to be published in time for audience members to buy it, the text must be fixed in print well before the production actually begins performances. While an audience may believe that they are buying a true “performance text”, there is inevitable variation between the text in codex and the words spoken onstage.

Professor Holland discussed the role of what he called, “the theatrical edition” and asked what the intended use of such an edition is.  He explained that theatres always produce several editions–rehearsals scripts and so on that are not necessarily intended for publication, but are the material products of the theatre itself.

Professor Holland the discussed the role of the actor as critic and the censor as author. The “gentleman” in Professor Holland’s address is Francis Gentleman, who chose which moments of Shakespeare’s plays he thought ought to be included in editions and which should be omitted. Gentleman, Professor Holland argues, provides the “first performance commentary” on Shakespeare’s plays.  Professor Holland argues that such performance commentary is a “companion to the theatre” and no more. The Bell’s Editions (influenced by Gentleman and actor David Garrick) sold better than other scholarly editions in the eighteenth century. This, Professor Holland, argues has set the precedent for subsequent editions which include illustrations of performance and other theatrical or actor-centric images.  These images, however, are not necessarily representative of the plays in performance, but are of actors placed in suggested settings (such as an actress portrayed standing in the countryside) that are the product of editors rather than the actual performance history of the plays.

Professor Holland  argues that extensive performance commentary can actually be a hindrance to performance as it, “implies a right way of performing the play, not a range of possibilities”. Professor Holland argues that, while such extensive performance commentary shows impressive scholarship, it does not provide meaning. Professor Holland’s discussion of the Samuel French Acting Editions was particularly interesting and amusing to the audience as he compared the staging diagrams present in the editions to “IKEA self-assembly”. Such editions, Professor Holland argued, make the play no longer Shakespeare’s, but rather the product of the publishing house. Professor Holland’s Keynote Address, which explored the relationship between performance and the printed text, presented in a theatre that seeks to do just that, was the perfect start to the Blackfriars Conference.

 

SHAKESPEARE IN PRISONS CONFERENCE

Shakespeare at Notre Dame is pleased to announce the Shakespeare in Prisons Conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame on Friday, November 15, and Saturday, November 16, 2013.

Featuring keynote addresses and film screenings by Curt Tofteland (founding director of Shakespeare Behind Bars) and Tom Magill (founder of the Educational Shakespeare Center and director of the Irish film Mickey B), the conference aims to bring together artists and educators engaged in transformational arts programs using Shakespeare in prisons across the USA (and the world) for an exploration and study of the effects such programming has on prison populations. The goal is to promote a collaborative learning forum where participants will be exposed to a diverse array of programs that all strive for a common result: the habilitation of the inmate’s mind, heart, body, and spirit.

Departing from the traditional academic conference structure, the Shakespeare in Prisons conference will focus on the craft and experiences of the practitioner—while allowing ample time for one-on-one networking and collaboration.

In addition to the keynotes and film screenings (and Q&A’s), attendees are invited to participate in workshops that explore innovative methodologies, as well as panel discussions that are designed to stimulate discussion about practitioner experiences and best practices within the industrial prison complex.

Registration is $25 and includes a dinner/reception on Friday night, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and admission to all workshops and film screenings. Online registration begins on Monday, June 10 via www.conferences.nd.edu. More information regarding the conference schedule, lodging information, and the availability of a limited number of bursaries to help with attendee expenses will be made available on June 10. In the meantime, please contact Scott Jackson at scottjackson@nd.edu for more information.

We hope that you will join us for this unique gathering of like-minded individuals.

 

Reduced Shakespeare podcast with Peter Holland

Austin Tichenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company stopped by the Shakespeare at Notre Dame offices the other day and had a conversation with Peter Holland. We think you’ll enjoy the resulting podcast:podcast-logo-170x170

http://www.reducedshakespeare.com/2013/05/episode-337-professor-peter-holland/

Notre Dame, Michigan City, Lake Shore Drive and My Kind of Town!

Hamlet – Blog 6

Time has blazed by and a lot of US water has flowed under a lot of US bridge: in the last ten days, our tiny footsteps have pattered to and fro across the St Joseph River via N Michigan Street in South Bend, the Chicago River at Du Sable Bridge for one, and only today across the Cumberland River along Woodland Street Bridge in Nashville, Tennessee.

I seem to remember dropping the narrative last Sunday, when the sun was setting on Valparaiso and Terry had returned from owl watching up in Grand Haven. He didn’t see any owls, nevertheless enjoyed crunching through the snowy forest at night, and did see Bald Eagles by day.

First of all, we had the fun of reunion with our AFTLS friends and the tour’s lynchpins at Notre Dame – Ryan, Debra, Scott, Grant, Chuck and Prof Peter Holland. Chuck drove us back from Valparaiso to South Bend across a short stretch of Indiana countryside and was a fine guide, highlighting the old town square at La Porte for one.

We had Washington Hall to look forward to for the show and a great joy it was to hand back the Hamlet prompt copy to Ryan (its creator in the first place), knowing that the lighting design – such at it is – was going to be illuminating us at an all time tour best in his capable hands and, again in the shape of Ryan, we had the one-off luxury of a full time and dedicated Stage Manager.

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Water on the British driver’s side! Lake Shore Drive the road is called and it’ll take you up or down.

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A home in Nashville.

We kicked off the week with a tour of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center with its several plush, beautifully designed performance spaces – each one breathtaking in its own way and breath taken away completely on entering the great Hall with two organs –

Andrew Fallaize preparing for work

Andrew Fallaize preparing for work

2013-02-12 16.12.14

A Horse and Buggy!

2013-02-15 09.08.43

It’s 9:30 AM?

2013-02-13 15.39.30 2013-02-13 15.11.01 one mighty, wood carved wonder at one end and at the other, organ scholar in situ and pressing the keys as we entered, a 16th Century Neopolitan beauty. Gothic Cathedral-like high, triangular ceiling with huge crossbeams.

Then to the Academic meeting to meet Peter Holland and the other professors – Debra, of course, had set out a delicious spread of food and drink and we were still munching and chatting with some of the professors until long after we’d got our lesson briefs, beaming with the warmth of the welcome back and the comfort of the proceedings as administered by the abiding anchor of our entire experience in the US – Debra.

At an early point in the week, Ryan handed Andrew back his robbed-in-week 1-at-7-eleven ten dollars! He’d gone in, evidently laid in with a high moral tone and emerged with the goods. Andrew has been seeking out 7 elevens ever since and was significantly spiritually restored.

Pete found the Fiddlers Hearth in downtown South Bend for a session of Irish music and we followed him there with his violin and drank Guinness, our eyes filling with mist as he joined what we assumed were a family of other fiddlers, drummers, a guitar and a couple of tin whistles.

Another good week of classes: Shuna enjoyed her session with Peter Holland and his group of teachers and Terry took on a back to back pair of sessions on King Lear in breathtaking form with an investigation into the sexuality of ‘the milk of Burgundy’ and ‘the vines of France’ which the Professor took entirely in his stride, beaming all the way through.

Pete, Andrew, Shuna and Terry pitched up for the SonnetFest on St Valentine’s Day – we read two each and watched a procession of academics and students reading theirs at the pulpit, as the four hours of sonnets was beamed round the world via internet to any interested parties. Two were read in Chinese, one in Italian and one was sung in opera style by a very impressive Baritone.

This same Baritone was also the Director of Opera Studies and Charlie, meanwhile, had bravely agreed to take a session with his opera students studying a libretto in French. He emerged entirely unshaken and wishing he’d had more time.

Two drives out into Amish Country were a highlight for Shuna, Andrew and Charlie. Graciously laid out homesteads, bright white barns, a nice picnic lunch bought from an Amish deli and a chat with a furniture maker, born and bred on the farm and hoping to make a visit to his ancestral home of Switzerland, when his community take a European tour this year. Yelps of delight and dropping of cameras as we spotted our first horse and buggy. Charlie nearly spent $450 on a beautiful Amish rocking chair, but was defeated, alas, by the cost of shipping.

Washington Hall did us proud for our shows and Hamlet held together. A good chin wag with Peter and his professor wife, Romana, afterwards. The second and final South Bend performance was packed up in record quick time and we bee-lined, untypically, back to the hotel immediately after it. We were up at the crack the following morning and embarking on Hamlet again less than 12 hours later, 9.30 am kick off at Elston Middle School in Michigan City. Ashen faces gathered in the lobby at dawn….. it was an outlandish experience, but the kids – mostly 12 year-olds and kept under control with iron discipline – apparently lasted the course and gave us a riotous reception. Scott, Ryan, Chuck and Debra all came with us to the school and were invaluable in helping us set up in the huge barn of a theatre. Bleary-eyed but relieved to have got through it, we all piled into two cars and headed for our great treat – the Chicago weekend.

Great excitement in Chuck’s car as we sailed past a heck of a lot of Police barriers and traffic control in anticipation of Obama’s visit that afternoon. Heavy sighs from Scott’s vehicle as they got caught in the mayhem. Chuck, again an excellent guide – and some fascinating stories of his experiences directing The Sound of Music with a very mature Maria. Chuck, a dark horse at the best of times, now pressed play on his iPOD and we zoomed along Lake Shore Drive (along the shore of Lake Michigan) with the astonishing Chicago skyline ahead, listening to the song, Lake Shore Drive, which Shuna has now acquired as a life long reminder of this wide-eyed arrival.

Hurried farewells and sad to say goodbye to Chuck and Scott. Very glad to have had the car journey to chew over some fat.

What a city! A weekend on a different planet and we all came away raving.
Our first slap-up dinner at Terry’s old haunt, Shaw’s Crabhouse after a few Chicago dogs at a tavern near our characterful hotel, The Tremont on W. Chestnut street. Ryan explained what it is that makes a Chicago ‘dog’ so much more distinguished from a common or garden Hotdog – it’s a pickle thing and the quality of the sausage, broadly speaking – and the boys all downed theirs at breakneck speed and approvingly. (Actually, Terry had a Reuben sandwich which he praised as highly). We dined darned well in Chicago (Shuna and Charlie pretty much relentlessly) and even survived The Battle of The Bill at Shaw’s Crabhouse. Charlie, I think, emerged the lightest of all of pocket having splashed out on a couple of nice bottles of wine, and after a slightly blanched twenty minutes of realization at what we’d all spent, everyone bounced back pretty quickly and hurled themselves at the next spending spree with almost psychotic gusto. Such was the allure of everything Chicago.

We all had adventures in all sorts of directions (including UPWARDS – ascents were made of Sears Tower and John Hancock Tower) – Ryan took us in hand and led us to Buddy Guy’s Legends for some late-night blues where the bass guitarist had huge hands. Andrew met a flautist from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra who Shuna and Charlie found themselves watching at a concert the next day. Pete and Ryan took photos under the enormous, silver sculpture of a bean, Terry found his beloved Crannach The Elder paintings of Adam and Eve at the Art Institute and Pete, in the same building says he ‘found a nipple’, and showed us a photo of a painting of a girl called ‘Resting’. Shuna and Charlie saw a terrific show by Steppenwolf, The MotherF**ker with the Hat and attended a ‘gospel brunch’ where they ate like hogs and sang Hallelujahs.

We all loved the city and found the people very friendly indeed. Sensational architecture – Art Deco still alive and part of it all – all agreed it would be a fantastic place to try and live. Quote of the day is Terry’s: on asking a man the way to walk to somewhere, the man answered, ‘ Sir, you don’t walk in Chicago you WAAAARK!’

And now Nashville, by Christ! The Tennessee voices are rolling thick and fast – wow, they sound good – and we’ve glugged beer and spent a long evening in a bar cheering along a Country singer with no audience but ourselves for her four hour set.

We had a friendly welcome from Laura and Leah at the airport and have now met the faculty and had our first session on stage – it’s an intimate, studio-style theatre and it’ll be a refreshing change to be in a small space. All sorts of plans for the week and the classes have got off to a good start with very bright, up for it students. Arrived to Spring-like sunshine, but tonight it’s only a couple of degrees above freezing. – Shuna

What Happened at our First Preview?

The snow still falls in South Bend, but our trail to Washington Hall is now very well trodden indeed and yesterday, the culmination of our American week’s rehearsal with our first preview. It seems to the five of us that we’ve been swimming in and out of the thousands of lines of Hamlet for, well, months – when, in fact, we first embarked on Act 1 Scene 1 in mid December. So, it was an important moment to reach, our first performance this side of the pond, in front of our small but erudite audience, the various Notre Dame officials of AFTLS, the gatekeepers, you could say, of the whole project.

It was good, too, to feel the first pump of adrenalin sliding through our veins: we’ve had the play to ourselves and with no director’s guiding eye for so long, and suddenly a row of beady of eyes confronts us and the back stiffens, the throat constricts, the hair practically stands on end – and we’re off! As Pete mentioned, who plays Hamlet, (the longest part in Shakespeare), the play is mighty and inexorable, and one has to steel one’s self at the start for the mountain climb of it, but ‘once you’re in you’re in’ and it carries you forward in the swirls of its language.

Well, a bit of fluffing here and there, the odd chair out of place, the odd breathless entrance – ‘ Heck, we’re here already!’ – but on the whole we were pleased, we’d held it together and, all of us feel that it has its fine moments and the story, at the very least, is unfolding clearly.

Into a circle for a session of notes with Peter Holland, one of the world’s Shakespeare experts and a man whose words are going to be vital and fascinating to take into account. He was gentle with us and gave us all sorts of useful technical and artistic advice. If there were time, I found myself thinking, how interesting it would be to quiz him on so many questions about the play. You could do Hamlet for a lifetime and never get to the end of searching.

Today, we move forward another step and take our pint-sized production (it all fits into a large wheelie suitcase, plus an umbrella, a violin and a ukulele) into the main theatre at Washington Hall for the tech. It’s an absolute beauty – we had a look at the stage on our arrival – and there’ll be a certain amount of adjustment to be made. The theatre has a magnificently generous wide sweep of a forestage, and we’ll be trying to bring ourselves downstage to use it as much as possible. The other luxury is that the entire lip of the stage sinks in steps down into the auditorium, making interplay between the two irresistible – we’ll be sending Hamlet out front on several occasions.
One big question is can we achieve an effective blackout for the opening scene on the battlements without all falling head over heels? Will our little torches adequately light the faces of Barnardo, Francisco and Marcellus (the soldiers, guarding the castle in the dead of night) so that the audience can see them?

Our stage manager, Ryan, has been a tower of strength and at great pains to help at all times. Being Brits, unused to snow and salt, we gaily march all over the rehearsal room floor in our boots so that it has gradually accumulated layers of footprint marks and a distinctly crunchy texture. Ryan went into action and mopped the place from pillar to post, so that by the time our guest audience arrived the place gleamed. He’s been sent out for the said torches (our cheap British ones were all completely inert) and has very probably saved the day by coming up with LED beams to give the torch light a bit of welly. Another triumph has been Debra’s careful anticipation of Social Security delays. Somehow she managed to visit the office in advance, what she said and who she met is a mystery but our visit there was the swiftest in and out you could imagine. Forms and smiles were handed out in minutes and we were back at the coal face before 11am.

Here are some highlights and lowlights of the week so far:

Terry (the distinguished senior member of our crew, plays Polonius, Osric, the gravedigger, Marcellus and a coupla sea captains): Highlight – Ryan cleaning the rehearsal room floor. Lowlight – the note session at the end of our preview

Andrew (Laertes, Horatio, Rozencrantz and Guildenstern, Lucianus): Highlight – discovering the ‘very Catholic selection’ of books available to guests in the hotel lobby, particularly the complete Sherlock Holmes. Lowlight – being robbed of $10 in the 7-11 store

Charlie (Claudius, Francisco, the Ghost, Player King, Reynaldo): Highlight – his Reuben sandwich from McAllisters deli. Lowlight – the ghost’s belt just won’t do up

Pete (Hamlet, Barnardo): Highlight – managing to work out how to turn off the Air Conditioning in his room. Doing a 180-degree spin turn in Ryan’s truck.
Lowlight: not managing how to turn off the Air Conditioning in his room.

Shuna (Gertrude, Ophelia): Highlight – walking through the snow in front of the Basilica on the very sunny day. Lowlight – not having the self discipline night after night to get to the swimming pool and drinking Vodka martinis instead.

Ryan (our stage manager): Highlight – meeting the AFTLS actors, watching the process of character development in rehearsals ( both actors and roles?!). Lowlight – Getting the actors’ hirecar out of Hock. It was going to be towed away and Ryan actually went into battle on our behalf – drove his van so it blocked the tow guys truck and called the authorities til they gave the command to leave our car alone.

Peter Holland to Receive 2012 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award

 

The Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award is presented annually to an outstanding teacher in the College of Arts and Letters. Professor Peter Holland is the 2012 Award Recipient. The Sheedy award was founded in 1970 in honor of Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of the College from 1951–69, and acknowledges a faculty member who has sustained excellence in research and instruction over a wide range of courses. This individual must also motivate and enrich students using innovative and creative teaching methods and influence teaching and learning within the department, College, and University. This award will be presented at McKenna Hall on December 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm on the campus of the University of Notre Dame

Peter Holland, one of the central figures in performance-oriented Shakespeare criticism, served as Director of the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon before coming to Notre Dame in 2002. He is editor of Shakespeare Survey as well as a number of other series. Among his books are English Shakespeares: Shakespeare on the English Stage in the 1990s and a major study of Restoration drama The Ornament of Action. He has also edited many Shakespeare plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Oxford Shakespeare series. In 2007, he completed publication of a five-volume series of collections of essays entitled Rethinking British Theatre History. In 2007-08, he served as President of the Shakespeare Association of America. He was elected an honorary fellow at Trinity Hall, his alma mater and one of the 31 colleges that comprise the University of Cambridge.