CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will host the second annual "Bard in the Quad" Lecture Series from July 16 through Aug. 1 to coincide with the outdoor performance of Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”
The series will feature lectures by Allen Nause, the artistic director of Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre; John Schmoor, the head of the theater department at the University of Oregon; and Bard in the Quad Director Scott Palmer.
The lecture series is designed to explore the larger artistic and academic issues presented by Shakespeare's work. The theme of the 2008 lecture series, “Visualizing Shakespeare: The Bard by Design,” will examine the ways in which directors, artists, social events, and political institutions can influence modern performances of Shakespeare’s work.
The lectures are free and take place every Wednesday and Friday evening from July 16 to Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. in Milam Hall Room 318 on the OSU campus. The lectures last about one hour and attendees are encouraged to attend that evening's performance of “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”
The 2008 production, adapted and directed by visiting director Palmer, is another major adaptation of Shakespeare’s work. Palmer’s adaptation is based on a 1920s Hollywood silent movie set, with the actors playing recognizable icons from the 1920s, such as Fanny Brice, Harold Lloyd, Fatty Arbuckle and Clara Bow. The speakers for the 2008 Bard in the Quad Lecture Series are: July 16: Scott Palmer, visiting director, “Silent Dreaming: The Director's Approach to ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream.’”
- July 18: Bill Lunch, OSU’s political science department, “Prohibition and Its Discontents: Social Control in Eras of Reaction, Then and Now.” The lecture will explore the political and social contexts of the 1920s prohibition era and its similarities with contemporary America.
- July 23: Richmond Barbour, OSU's English department, “Blue Planet Shakespeare: The Stage and the Sea.” The lecture will detail a series of performances of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” performed by the crews of English sailing vessels in 1607 and 1608.
- July 25: Allen Nosse, artistic director Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, “Dreaming in Hanoi: ART’s Production of Dream in Vietnam.” The lecture will detail Allen’s experiences directing a bicultural and bilingual production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream” as part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Shakespeare in American Communities program.
- July 30: Flo Leibowitz, OSU philosophy department, “Woody Allen’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.’” The lecture will explore the influence that Shakespeare had on Allen's film and various philosophical questions related to guilt and comedy.
- Aug. 1: John Schmoor, University of Oregon theater department, “Cross Dressing Dreams and Zombie Hamlets: Different Visions of Shakespeare.” Schmoor recently directed a number of ambitious Shakespearean adaptations, including a production of “Hamlet” featuring zombies and a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” featuring significant cross-gendered casting.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed Wednesdays through Sundays, July 16 through Aug. 3. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $10 for seniors and students and $7 for OSU students. Tickets can be purchased online at: by phone at 541-737-2784 or in person at the Memorial Union box office at the OSU campus during normal business hours.