Odyssey: Shakespeare 400 Years

As we celebrate the life of William Shakespeare 400 years after his death in 1616, we look at the countless ways he has influenced, and continues to influence, our lives, language, and culture. Join Odyssey for a six-session lecture series with a performance option (section 02) for a Saturday matinee of Macbeth at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.

March 28: Shakespeare and Film
The series will open with a discussion of familiar and representative plays by Shakespeare—tragedy, Tudor history, comedy—as a means of thinking about the persistence of Shakespeare in commercial cinema.
David Dougherty is professor emeritus in the Department of English at Loyola University Maryland. He is the author of Shouting Down the Silence, a biography of the critically acclaimed but popularly elusive novelist Stanley Elkin.

April 4: "Mark the music."
–Lorenzo, The Merchant of Venice
In this session we will explore the breadth of influence that Shakespeare's work has had on music, from the earliest songs in his plays, to later theater productions, to opera, to ballet, to film scores, and on the concert platform.
Judith Krummeck is a writer and the evening drive time host for Baltimore's classical music station, WBJC. She emigrated to America from South Africa, where she was the arts editor for SAfm and, before that, an actor.

April 11: Bringing Shakespeare to Life
Shakespeare's language is some of the most beautiful in the world, but unless it is energized by an actor on stage, it lies flat on the page. In this fun segment of our Odyssey session we will explore how to take those famous words and live them.
Bruce Nelson has been a professional actor and teacher in the Baltimore-DC area for nearly 30 years. In 2004 and 2006 he was awarded Best Actor by the Baltimore City Paper, and in 2014 Baltimore magazine recognized him as Best Actor for his body of work. He is a two-time winner of DC's Helen Hayes Award and a five-time nominee. Nelson has taught for Everyman Theatre, Howard Community College, Stevenson University, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and the University of Baltimore.

April 18: The Backstories of Shakespeare's Plays
This session will explore the dramaturgy—the investigative work, if you will—that goes into realizing a Shakespeare play. A dramaturge contextualizes the world of a play, establishing connections among the text, actors, and audience. Here, we will get a behind-the-scenes look into how it is done.
Gavin Witt, is associate artistic director and director of Dramaturgy at Center Stage. He is a graduate of Yale and the University of Chicago, and he was active in Chicago theater for more than a decade as an actor, director, dramaturge, translator, and teacher. Witt has been on the faculty of the University of Chicago and DePaul University, and currently teaches at Towson University.

April 25: 400 Years of Shakespeare in Books
It is widely assumed that Shakespeare was a runaway bestseller from the start. Not true. Shakespeare was arguably among the least well-known contemporary playwrights of the European Renaissance outside England. Nor did Shakespeare's oeuvre immediately leap straight across the globe. The first four folios of his collected plays, while certainly vital acts of literary preservation, were imperfect documents. It was not until the 18th century and the true ascendency of the cult of Shakespeare that the popular English imagination was fully penetrated by "Bardolatry," thanks in large part to the critic Dr. Samuel Johnson, the actor/impresario David Garrick, and the Shakespeare collectors and editors George Steevens, Edmond Malone, and others. Against that backdrop, this session will explore how the appropriation, censorship, and imitation of Shakespeare's works took off from that period as never before.
Earle Havens is the Nancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Sheridan Libraries, and adjunct associate professor, Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures, JHU.

May 2: Macbeth Talkback
In this final session, we will have a talk back about the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's production of Macbeth and learn about the running of a Shakespeare company.
Lesley Malin is a founder of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and has served as its managing director since 2003. She also works as an actor, playing such roles at CSC as Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Mrs. Bennet, Mistress Page, Lady Bracknell, the Queens in Richard III and Cymbeline, and Titania. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, NYU's Arts Management program, and Leadership Howard County.

910.761.01 Homewood campus
Monday, March 28 to May 2, 6:30 to 8 p.m. (6 sessions) Cost: $153

JHU full-time faculty/staff are eligible for 80% tuition remission. Spouse/same-sex domestic partners are eligible for 50% remission. You will be unable to register online and receive the discount. For more information, contact 410-516-8516.