CORVALLIS, Ore. – Bill Rauch, newly appointed artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will give a lecture at Oregon State University on July 25.
As part of OSU’s Bard in the Quad summer Shakespeare production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” the University Theatre is presenting a series of free public lectures on various aspects of the play, the influence of William Shakespeare, the setting of the play, and on theater and the arts on campus.
Rauch will deliver the keynote address, “As Boundless As The Sea: Shakespeare’s Influence.” All lectures in the series begin at 5 p.m. in Milam Auditorium on the OSU campus, finish by 6:30 p.m., and are free to the public. They take place prior to performances of “Much Ado About Nothing,” which runs July 25–29 and Aug. 1–5.
Rauch’s lecture marks the first visit by a sitting artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to the OSU campus. Other lectures will explore the World War II setting of the play, the challenges of adapting Shakespeare for modern audiences, the role of the arts on the OSU campus and the historic role that women have played in American war efforts.
“We are delighted that Bill has agreed to both deliver the first lecture in series and attend the opening night of ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’” said Scott Palmer, director of the Bard in the Quad program. “His commitment to excellence and to the work of Shakespeare has been a real inspiration for the actors and for me.”
A freelance director, Rauch co-founded Cornerstone Theater in Los Angeles where he was artistic director for 20 years. He has directed for five seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and also has directed productions at South Coast Repertory, the Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre, Arena Stage and others.
Rauch recently announced his inaugural season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which includes a strong commitment to Shakespeare and American classics. Rauch has also put his unique stamp on the playbill by including an epic text outside the Western canon, two new plays, a world premiere production that will head to Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center in July, and the first 20th-century play to be produced on OSF's outdoor Elizabethan Stage.
His keynote address at OSU will examine the influence that Shakespeare’s work has had on him as a director and an artist.
The rest of the lectures include:
OSU history professor Marissa Chapell will speak on “From Rosie the Riveter to the Feminine Mystique: Womanhood in the Post WW-II Era.” Chapell’s talk will examine the impacts of the home front effort on women’s lives during, and after, the World War II. Chappell specializes in 20th century U.S. history with a particular focus on politics, social policy, and the political economy of race and gender.
Scott Palmer, director of “Much Ado About Nothing” and last summer’s adapted version of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” lecture on “Adapting Shakespeare: Who Do You Think You Are?” He will discuss Shakespeare’s own work as an adapter of literature, the history of “Much Ado About Nothing” and the challenges and difficulties facing modern directors of the Bard’s work. Palmer has had a long career working in professional theater, including in Scotland where he was the artistic director of Glasgow Repertory Company, Scotland’s only Shakespeare-dedicated theater.
Bob Nye, OSU history professor, will give a speech on “Masculinities in War and Peace,” where he will discuss the changing nature of masculinity and the effects of war-time and peace on men serving in the military. Nye holds the Thomas Hart and Mary Jones Horning endowed chair in the Department of History. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships, including ones from the American Philosophical Society, the National Science Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Janet Lee, a professor in OSU’s Women Studies program, will discuss her research on the role women played in World War I in a talk, “War Girls: The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) in the First World War.” Lee’s research interests include women’s history and biography and she recently completed a book on the history of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, a group of women volunteers who transformed and transgressed gender through their work as ambulance drivers and nurses on the during World War I.
Marion Rossi, associate professor in theater arts, will speak on “Constant as the Northern Star: Shakespeare, Theatre and the Arts at OSU.” He will discuss the history of the OSU Theatre program and the important role that the arts and performance can and should play in the academic life of a university. Rossi is an accomplished actor and director and has directed dozens of plays for the University Theatre. Rossi also serves as the director of OSU’s JumpStart program.
The final lecture in the series is part of the Evergreen Aviation Museum’s sponsored evening performance. Lt. Col. Russell Barney, USAF (retired) and a volunteer with the Evergreen Museum in McMinnville, will provide an intimate look into the real world of military aviation in a lecture titled “Oregon’s Aviation History: A Pilot’s Story.” A career pilot of 31 years, Russell flew B-17 bomber missions in World War II, and was a pilot in both Korea and Southeast Asia. He followed that with time in aviation research and development.
More information on the lecture series and on OSU’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing” can be found online at www.bardinthequad.com. Tickets are $5 for students, $7 for seniors and $10 for general admission and can be purchased online or by calling the OSU Box Office at 541-737-2784.