Meet the Winter’s Tale Cast: Wendy Robie

Wendy Robie (Paulina)

Wendy Robie (Paulina)

Wendy Robie (Paulina) has recent credits in Chicago including The Game’s Afoot with Drury Lane Theatre, Southbridge with Chicago Dramatists, Cyrano de Bergerac, Private Lives, Richard III, Hamlet, and Hecuba with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Sense and Sensibility with Northlight Theatre, Float with About Face, Mother Courage and her Children with Steppenwolf, Trojan Women  with The Goodman Theatre (Jeff nom. for best supporting actress), and A Delicate Balance with Remy Bumppo. Outside the U.S., Robie appeared as “Regan” in Brian Bedford’s King Lear at the 2007 Stratford Festival of Canada, and as “Bishop” in Joan Dark with the Linz, Austria 09 Kulturhouptstadt. Regional credits include the Illinois Shakespeare Festival 2013 Season; The Actors’ Theatre of Louisville; Kansas City Repertory; Arizona Theatre Company; Broadway in Texas, Austin; Portland Repertory Theatre, and South Coast Repertory Theatre (Dramalogue Award, lead actress). Film credits include Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs, and the recently released Were the World Mine. T.V. credits include Star Trek, DS9, and two seasons as “Nadine” in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Robie received the Chicago After Dark Award for Outstanding Season for 2005.

For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame

Meet the Cast of The Winter’s Tale: Giles Davies

Over the coming weeks, we’ll introduce the principal actors of our Professional Company productions: The Winter’s Tale and William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged).  Starting with the character whose profession is self-described as “a snatcher-up of unconsidered trifles,” Autolycus is part thief, part con-man, wordsmith, and ballad-singer, and one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedic creations. Playing the role is Giles Davies.   -NDSF Staff

Giles Davis (Autolycus)

Giles Davies (Autolycus)

Giles Davies (Autolycus) was born in Hong Kong and is of British descent.  He grew up watching his parents on stage and acted from the age of five.  He received his undergraduate degree from Ball State University, and then traveled the globe, performing his solo work wherever possible. After graduating from The Ohio State University’s graduate program (with a specialty in creating solo work), he immediately joined the ensemble with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  Currently living in Tampa, he is in Cincinnati over the next year as a visiting professor at The University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music & Drama. He loves teaching, directing, and the tropics.  Favorite past roles include Coriolanus, Macbeth, Richard III, Dracula, Frankenstein (solo), Caliban in The Tempest, and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot.

For tickets visit DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Box Office

For information visit Shakespeare at Notre Dame


Shakespeare In Prisons: Facebook Feed Record

Othello Plays UT Austin (TX), Franklin and DePauw (IN), & UNC Charlotte (NC)

Well, here we are with only two weeks left having travelled across the country to Austin, Texas. We have survived Halloween at DePauw University, Greencastle, although trick or treating had to be postponed to the Friday night because of the horrific rain, which might have confused the beasties!

The past 2 weeks have been relatively quiet, as we have only had 1 show. The previous week in Charlotte we had 4 shows, which all sold out! A triumphant week, which, was rounded off with a visit from Professor Matthew Davies and some of his students from Staunton.  Matt is on the board of AFTLS and it was a while ago that we did our first showing to the guys in London so there were a few extra nerves that Saturday night, but by all accounts we did him proud.
After Charlotte we went on the Franklin, Indiana. This was AFTLS’ first trip to Franklin, University and I think it will be the first of many. We were met by Dean Ellis and taken to the University via lunch at a diner. And then on to student accommodation – which was a bit of a shock, especially later,  on the morning after the show, coming out of the showers, wrapped in a towel to be greeted by a very excited student, gushing with wonderful words about the previous nights performance of Othello!!!!

Everyone was so lovely and one night we were invited to the theatre by one of the professors – (thank you Gordon) to see ‘ The 1940’s Radio Hour ‘ – not something I would normally have chosen to see but it turned out to be great fun, very little plot more a concert of 1940’s classics. We spent the weekend after our Franklin week in Broad Ripple, a beautiful town/village that sums up what you kind of think real America is going to be like, this may not make sense to anyone else but I suppose it looked like so many small towns in films.

Richard and myself continued our traditional Sunday afternoon walk to water and visited The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. A beautiful park around a lake with added treats and curios including the abandoned boat and ‘lifeboat station’ with everything left just as it was when the ‘disaster’ happened.

After our weekend in Broad Ripple we were picked up by Ron and driven to Depauw – another beautiful campus – especially in the autumn, sorry fall – with the bright red, almost luminescent, maple trees.

We did a great show on the Tuesday night, slightly edgy as we hadn’t done one for a week, and a bonus moment when Bianca’s shoe came flying off her foot and ended up on the floor at the audiences feet – luckily for us we had a theatre pro, 12 year old Simon who graciously retrieved it for us and handed it to Cassio so he could return it to Bianca. Simon we owe you!!! I personally had an amazing teaching week, with two additions to the usual fabulous university classes.
On the Thursday Anna and myself had a trip out to a womens prison  – it turned out to be a great class, and not in anyway threatening as we thought it might be. We took the willow scene with us and worked through it with them – unfortunately we ran out of time so couldn’t get them on their feet to show the work in progress and It was decided that we would show them our version of the scene, which was well met!  We had an email from Kelsey who organised the programme and had been back at the prison on the Friday, she said:
 ‘had a lovely time at the prison on Friday listening to everyone’s excited chatter about your visit.  As one of the women said, “For those few minutes, I wasn’t in prison anymore!”  ‘ 

Very rewarding. Also rewarding was the trip I took on Friday to Cloverdale Middle/high School as part of the Fall Festival of Shakespeare,  they are doing ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ Grace, who is directing it is brilliant and obviously loves what she is doing, has directed it with a cartoon theme, complete with ‘Pow’, ‘Bang’, ‘Thump’ cards to be held aloft during the fight scenes. And we spent some of the afternoon choreographing the reactions from the whole room in the last few scenes, with the gasps and looks of shock when the wives disobey their husbands and the screams of shock horror when Katherine appears! The students were deeply involved and enjoying every minute of it. I was really glad I got a chance to see them at work and looking forward to seeing the finished performance ( via video in December)


On Sunday I continued my tradition of a waterside walk with a trip to the nature Park, after a quick trip to see the East College, dating back to 1870, stunning hall – like an old chapel And the original university building, sooo glad we got to see it. Thank you so much Nathan and Emily for our guided tour.







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.