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Throughout the year, enjoy fascinating lectures, performances, and discussions about exciting topics in Shakespeare’s plays. Select from the months below for information on upcoming lectures and topics.

 

 

Troilus and Cressida: The Best Shakespeare Play You’ve Never Heard Of!

2008 Pericles_019Led by scholar-in-residence, Dr. Annalisa Castaldo
Date: March 16, 2016; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library)
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Free street parking after 5pm

Troilus and Cressida is Shakespeare’s take on the Trojan War. It’s cynical, parodic, profoundly ambiguous, and none of the characters are likeable. In other words, it’s perfect for our post-modern age!

Click here to register today!

Macbeth on the Couch

macOnCouchLed by Dr. Dan Gottlieb
Date: April 19, 2016; 6pm-7:30pm
Location: WHYY; 150 N. 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Admission: $15/WHYY Members; $25/General Admission
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

In 2013 we partnered with Dr. Dan Gottlieb of WHYY to bring you “Iago on the Couch”: A riveting one hour therapy session, with the noted psychologist and one of Shakespeare’s most heinous villains. This spring we join Dr. Gottlieb again for “Macbeth on the Couch”, featuring a marriage counseling session with Macbeth and Lady Macbeth! We have no idea what will be unearthed with this twisted murderous power duo, but it is sure to be thrilling and interesting.

Click here to register today!

Two Gentlemen of Verona: Shakespeare Before He Was “Shakespeare”

TNK 2013 HANDSHAKELed by scholar-in-residence, Dr. Annalisa Castaldo
Date: May 25, 2016; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library)
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Free street parking after 5pm

Many scholars consider this Shakespeare’s very first play. So what is Shakespearean juvenilia like? On the good side, there’s some beautiful verse, the first female heroine to disguise herself as a boy, and noble outlaws. On the bad side, one of the “gentlemen” is a rapist and the other “gentleman” offers the rapist the woman he loves as a token of their friendship.

Click here to register today!

Shakespeare and Zen

A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Kendall WhitehouseLed by scholar-in-residence, Dr. Annalisa Castaldo
Date: June 1, 2016; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library)
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Free street parking after 5pm

There is no possibility that Shakespeare ever even heard about Buddhism, let alone had any in-depth knowledge. And yet there are a surprising number of connections, and looking at familiar lines through the lens of Zen offers new insights. Come learn about the basics of Zen Buddhism and how Shakespeare and Zen interact.

Click here to register today!

Titus Andronicus: The Elizabethan Chainsaw Massacre

2012 Titus_162Led by scholar-in-residence, Dr. Annalisa Castaldo
Date: September 21, 2016; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library)
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Free street parking after 5pm

In the late 1580s, Thomas Kyd wrote The Spanish Tragedy (a play which culminates in a man biting his own tongue off) and started a craze for inventively bloody revenge plays. Shakespeare said “I can do that” and did. In spades. A play so unrelentingly violent that for almost 300 years people pretended it wasn’t by Shakespeare (people who clearly should have been pretending King Lear was by someone else as well)!

Click here to register today!

Merry Wives of Windsor: Shakespeare’s Worst Play?

2013 Much Ado_376Led by scholar-in-residence, Dr. Annalisa Castaldo
Date: November 16, 2016; 6pm-7pm
Location: The Free Library of Philadelphia; 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Parkway Central Library)
Admission: Free with advance registration
Parking: Metered street parking, and nearby garages and lots

This is the only play that has a (probably apocryphal) story to explain why it’s so bad. So why come to a lecture about it? Come on . . . aren’t you just a tiny bit tired of everyone going on about Shakespeare’s genius? Don’t you want to see what bad Shakespeare is like (without having to actually read the whole play)?

Click here to register today!


 

 

Special thanks to our “Shakespeare in the World Lecture Series” Partners:

 

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