Oklahoma City University will celebrate ShakespeareOCU from March 30 to April 24 to honor the greatest playwright in history.
A list of William Shakespeare-themed events and performances will officially begin with a staged reading of “Wit,” a drama about a professor who is diagnosed with cancer, opening March 30 in the Kramer School of Nursing at N.W. 27th Street and Blackwelder Avenue. The play mentions Richard Strier, a professor at the University of Chicago who focuses on English and American literature during the Early Modern Period that includes the work of Shakespeare. Strier will give guest lectures during his visit to Oklahoma City University.
“ShakespeareOCU is chance for the liberal arts and the performance studies to come together to celebrate the greatest and most influential writer in the English language,” said theater professor D. Lance Marsh. “Shakespeare is something that we feel we do very well here at OCU. In fact, with our partnership with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, our classics-heavy season programming and our curriculum that highlights Shakespeare, you could argue that TheatreOCU is already a Shakespeare destination in this region.”
Other events throughout April, the month in which many historians believe Shakespeare was born, will include professional actors from the community and a variety of activities.
“We will be presenting a wide range of events that will appeal to a broad spectrum of the community, on and off campus,” Marsh added.
The climax of ShakespeareOCU will be “Bard Week,” beginning April 9 with a parade of costumed characters. The week will include a Sonnet Sale, Shakespeare-themed stage combat demonstrations and a Bard insult machine, which will help participants learn to use Shakespeare-style words as comedic insults. It will also include a high school Shakespeare festival.
Other highlights are a series of six abridged plays that organizers are calling “Wee Shakespeares,” a production of “Hamlet” and a keynote performance called “In Acting Shakespeare” featuring James Devita. ShakespeareOCU will conclude with the Sonnet-a-Thon festival at the state Capitol April 24.
For more information or a schedule of events, visit www.okcu.edu/shakespeare.
OCUShakespeare event schedule:
* 8 p.m. March 29 — “Wit” staged reading by Margaret Edson in the Kramer School of Nursing
* 8 p.m. March 30 — “Wit” staged reading by Margaret Edson in the Kramer School of Nursing
* 10:15 p.m. March 30 — Talkback after “Wit” led by Richard Strier in the Kramer School of Nursing
* 8 p.m. March 31 — “Wit” staged reading by Margaret Edson in the Kramer School of Nursing
* 8 p.m. March 31 — Richard Strier lecture about the versions of “King Lear,” including the corto vs. folio endings, in the Burg Theatre
(We then take a week off for Easter. Jesus is the only one that trumps Shakespeare in the School of Theatre.)
* Noon April 9 — Announcement of “Bard Week” by Herald, dress parade in Shakespearian costumes, in the OCU cafeteria in University Center
* 5:30 p.m. April 9 — “Wee Shakespeare” version of “The Tempest” in the Black Box Theatre
* 8 p.m. April 9 — Screening of "Hobart Shakespeare" in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business
* 11:30 a.m. April 10 — “Hamlet” round table discussion in the Bass School of Music atrium
* Noon April 10 — Sonnet Sale in the University Center
* 5:30 p.m. April 10 — “Wee Shakespeare” presentation of “Romeo and Juliet” in the Black Box Theatre
* Noon April 11 — Sonnet Sale in the University Center
* 5:30 p.m. April 11 — “Wee Shakespeare” presentation of “Julius Caesar” in the Black Box Theatre
* 8 p.m. April 11 — Screening of "Shakespeare Behind Bars" in the Kerr McGee Auditorium in Meinders School of Business
* Noon April 12 — Stage combat demonstrations on OCU quad lawn
* 5:30 p.m. April 12 — “Wee Shakespeare” presentation of “Twelfth Night” in the Black Box Theatre
* 8 p.m. April 12 — “Hamlet” opens in the Burg Theatre
* Noon April 13 — Shakespearean Insult Machine on OCU quad lawn
* 5:30 p.m. April 13 — “Wee Shakespeare” presentation of “Taming of the Shrew” in the Black Box Theatre
* 8 p.m. April 13 — “Hamlet” in the Burg Theatre in Bass Music Center
* 11 p.m. April 13 — “Hamlet” talkback with director Lance Marsh in the Burg Theatre
* 10 a.m. April 14 — High School Shakespeare Festival, hosted in conjunction with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park
* 5:30 p.m. April 14 — “Wee Shakespeare” presentation of “A Midsummer Night's Dream” in the Black Box Theatre
* 8 p.m. April 14 — “Hamlet” in the Burg Theatre
* 11 p.m. — Open Mic Shakespeare Jam in the Burg Theatre
* 2 p.m. April 15 — “Hamlet” in the Burg Theatre
* 4 p.m. April 21 — “In Acting Shakespeare” featuring James Devita in the Burg Theatre
* 6:30 p.m. April 21 — James Devita talkback session Burg Theatre
* 2 p.m. April 22 — “In Acting Shakespeare” public performance featuring James Devita Burg Theatre
* All day April 24 — Sonnet-a-Thon at the state Capitol in conjunction with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park
** The Black Box Theatre and Burg Theatre are in the Bass Music Center at N.W. 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.