The Shakespeare Theater Association (of America) held its annual conference in London at Shakespeare’s Globe on January 7-10. [I put “of America” in parentheses because the organization has become international and its leaders are in the process of changing its name.] The Conference theme was “Who Owns Shakespeare?”
Bob Young, the Director of Education at the Folger and I traveled to London and found the program useful and varied. The Conference began on Friday with three different tours of Shakespeare’s Globe led by Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director, Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Education, and Peter McCurdy, the builder of the Globe. We traveled to the nearby site of the original Globe, a few blocks away and passed by the site of the Rose Theater.
Saturday’s highlight was a visit to Middle Temple Hall, built between 1562 and 1573. In 1602 William Shakespeare’s acting troupe, the Chamberlain’s Men, were invited to perform there, which is the first recorded performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and it is believed that Shakespeare was included in the cast. Tim Carroll, the director of the Globe’s 2002 memorial production of Twelfth Night at Middle Temple Hall spoke to our group.
Sunday’s Keynote Speaker was Adrian Noble, former artistic director and chief executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A lovely banquet on Sunday night at the Swan Brasserie was the perfect ending of a well-planned event.
Bob and I were part of a panel on “Cutting Shakespeare and Teacher Ownership” chaired by Kevin Costa of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company along with Karen Libman from the Grand Valley Shakespeare Company. I was part of a panel called “The Internet Owns Shakespeare” chaired by Casey Gallagher, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University. The other panel members were Sarah Enloe, American Shakespeare Center and Ryan Nelson from Shakespeare’s Globe.
Jim Helsinger, the Artistic Director at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival was elected president at Sunday’s business meeting. He will host the 2012 conference and outgoing president, Philip Sneed will host the 2011 conference at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder.
A full listing of all 120 member festivals with links to each is on the STAA site. I welcome other attendees to add their comments and memories to this Blog.