Listen to the latest Shakespeare Talks and Shakespeare Works Podcasts with Julie Taymor, Michael Witmore, Rob Clare, John Douglas Thompson, and more!

Shakespeare Society
With Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival  
At The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South

Our second Shakespeare Works Artist Residency of the 2015-16 season will delve into Macbeth in connection with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's upcoming 3-person, all-female production. Join Obie-winning director Lee Sunday Evans and ShakespeareSociety Artistic Director Michael Sexton for a panel discussion with all of the artists and advisors for the week's residency, including Artistic Advisor Tina Packer (founder of Shakespeare & Co., author of Women of Will); actresses Nance Williamson (Eric Tucker's A Midsummer Night's Dream), Ellen McLaughlin (Angels in America), Laila Robins(Homeland) and Stacey Yen; Text Advisor Daniel Fish, Academic Advisor Professor Nancy Selleck (University of Massachusetts Lowell), and more. Scenes from the play will also be read. 

December 14 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Talks 
In Association with Players Foundation for 
Theatre Education
At The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South

At the turn of the 19th century, acting styles were changing rapidly. In the Stanford White designed main hall of the Players, we took a behind-the-scenes look at the original promptbooks for Hamlet and Richard III as kept by Edwin Booth and John Barrymore - two titans of American Shakespeare. The evening included scenes from the plays. In 1888, Edwin Booth founded The Players, and his living quarters can be viewed at the club. A special collaboration with The Players Foundation and the Hampden-Booth Theatre Library.

November 22 at 6:30pm
Special Event
Stage to Screen - Macbeth
With Brian Walsh
At SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street

Shakespeare scholar Brian Walsh (Yale University) treated us to a special talk about the play and various film adaptations of Macbeth, followed by a free preview screening of The Weinstein Company's new Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

Brian Walsh teaches in the English Department at Yale; his is the author of Shakespeare, The Queen's Men, and the Elizabethan Performance of History (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and the forthcoming Unsettled Toleration: Religious Difference on the Shakespearean Stage (Oxford University Press, 2016) as well as several essays on early modern drama.

About the film: from the Academy Award® winning producers of The King's Speech and acclaimed director Justin Kurzel, comes a visceral and visually breath-taking retelling of the classic tale about an ambitious Scottish lord who seizes the throne with the help of his wife. Starring Academy Award® nominee Michael Fassbender and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard, MACBETH is an epic cinematic experience.

November 16 at 7pm
With Professor Richard McCoy
At The Kaye Playhouse, 68th Street between Park and Lexington Ave.

In Richard II, Shakespeare tests the limits of the ancient doctrine of the divine right of kings, as King Richard violates the very time-honored rights that made him King in the first place. When God does not in fact send "angels to fight" for the "deputy elected by the Lord," King Richard himself "undecks the pompous body of a king," and in some of the most gorgeous poetry in all of Shakespeare, explores what it means to be a "king" by beginning to realize, and express feelingly, what it means to be a man. Guided by Richard McCoy (Distinguished Professor of English, Queens College, CUNY, and author of Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation), this evening explored Shakespeare's portrayal of English kings and the shifting bases of their authority. The evening also featured readings from Richard II by a cast led by The Knick'Andre Holland, including Byron Jennings (Obie & Drama Desk Awardee for Stuff Happens), Mark Nelson (Picasso at the Lapin AgileA Few Good Men, and Amadeus) and Jacob Fishel (King LearTitus Andronicus, and The Common Pursuit).

November 3, 9:30am - 3:30pm
Ripley Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Ave.
FREE for Shakespeare Society Members

A group of teachers learned to engage students of all ages with Shakespeare's plays by attending one of The Shakespeare Society's "Teaching Teachers" workshops.  This workshop was led by Wendy Halm Violette, a veteran New York City teacher and co-founder of the Brooklyn Shakespeare Festival.  The workshop focused on Othello, but methods were applicable to all of Shakespeare's plays.

October 27, 5:30 - 8pm
ShakesFEAR Halloween Party
With The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors
The Winslow at 243 E 14th St

"I have heard (but not believ'd) the spirits of the dead may walk again..." - The Winter's Tale, Act 3, Sc. 3

The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors and guests celebrated Halloween dressed as their favorite fallen Shakespeare characters! The evening featured Shakespeare-themed trivia, prizes, and drink specials fit for the undead.

October 26 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Works
In Association with The Players Foundation for Theatre Education
At The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South

Our first Shakespeare Works Residency of the 2015-16 season looked at The Merchant of Venice with New York Classical Theatre's Artistic Director Stephen Burdman; actors William John Austin, Ian Gould, Mairin LeeJohn Michalski, and Sid Solomon; voice and speech coach Joan Melton; Yiddish advisor and actor Nahma Sandrow; and academic advisor Tanya Pollard (Brooklyn College, CUNY Graduate Center).  At the Players, we enjoyed readings from the play and discussion among the participants and special guests.

October 13 at 7pm
Shakespeare Talks
In Association with The Players Foundation for Theatre Education
At The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South

An onstage conversation with James Shapiro, Q&A, and book party on the release of The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, his much anticipated follow up to his award-winning 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare.

October 7 at 7pm
With Barlett Sher, Stephen Greenblatt, John Douglas Thompson and Michael Stuhlbarg
A Collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera 
At The New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West

Othello and Otello are both masterpieces, created by artists working at the peak of their powers, and both pack a powerful punch. At this special evening, we discussed and explored how each of these works use the related but distinct techniques of verse drama and dramatic opera to bore to the dark heart of human vulnerability, erotic passion, and evil.  We were joined by director of the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Otello, Tony-winner Bartlett Sher, Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton and the great Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, Obie-winner John Douglas Thompson, Golden Globe nominee Michael Stuhlbarg, and more actors, and MET Opera singers to perform passages from both Shakespeare's play and Verdi's opera.

September 28 at 7pm
Shakespeare Talks
Shakespeare Production After Peter Brook's 
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Collaboration with the Pearl Theatre Company and 
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
At The Pearl Theatre Company, 555 West 42nd St.

The Shakespeare Society hosted a discussion with HVSF Artistic Director Davis McCallum, author Gary J. Williams (Our Moonlit Revels: "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the Theatre), actor Jason O'Connell (Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream) and moderator Michael Sexton (Shakespeare Society Artistic Director) in connection with the forthcoming production of Shakespeare's "antique fable" at The Pearl Theatre.  Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal said, "Not since Peter Brook's now-legendary 1970 Royal Shakespeare Company version has there been so radically original or mysteriously poetic a production of the greatest of all stage comedies." We started this season's Shakespeare Talks with a look at how Brook's work changed forever the possibilities, range of expression, and expectations for Shakespeare production across the globe.

September 15 at 6pm
Special Event
At The Players Club

At this event, we celebrated the beginning of the New York Shakespeare season at the historic home of The Players off Gramercy Park. we were joined by the actors, directors and producers who will be bringing the Bard's words to vivid life in 2015-2016, including representatives of the The Public Theater, Folger Theatre and Shakespeare Library, Pearl Theatre Company, New York Classical Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem, and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. 

June 22 at 7pm
Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream
At AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street
Drinks at Bea Cocktail Bar, 403 West 43rd St. 

Supporters who made a donation of $250 or $500 attended a screening of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn in the fall of 2013.  They enjoyed drinks afterwards at Bea Cocktail Bar with Artistic Director Michael Sexton and Tina Benko (Titania).

June 16 at 7pm
Wolf Hall/All Is True
At The Players Club

Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII; Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cranmer; Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn; Hilary Mantel and William Shakespeare all gather at The Players Club in an explosion of ambition, intrigue, sex and power in the 16th century.  We joined cast members* from Broadway's smash hit Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies for readings from Shakespeare's Henry VIII and a discussion of the similarities and differences between Mantel's and Shakespeare's approaches to the same historical figures and the entire notion of fictionalizing history.

*Including Nathaniel Parker (Henry VIII, Tony Award nominee), Peter Eyre (Cardinal Wolsey), Nicholas Day (Duke of Norfolk), Giles Taylor (Archbishop Cranmer), Lucy Briers (Queen Katherine), Nicholas BoultonMadeleine Hyland, Olivia Darnley, Matthew Pidgeon, Mathew Foster, Joey Batey, Benedict Hastings, Daniel Fraser, and Pierro Niel-Mee.

June 1, 6 - 8:30pm
Honoring Dame Helen Mirren & Lily Rabe
At The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South

The Shakespeare Society's third annual Playing Shakespeare Celebration, where we celebrated the past year of Shakespeare in New York City! This year we honored Dame Helen Mirren with The Shakespeare Medal and Lily Rabe with the Linda Gross Playing Shakespeare Award. The evening will included a silent auction with items from Broadway, the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre, BAM, Theatre for a New Audience, The Folger Library & Theatre, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and many more; an awards ceremony, cocktails and canapés.

May 11 at 7pm
Fair Persuasions
An Evening with The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors
At The Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd St.

An evening of scenes from Henry VI, Part IIIRichard III, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, and Twelfth Night, all featuring The Shakespeare Society's talented and spirited Ambassadors.  The Ambassadors are a 21-member corps of young working theater artists who share The Society's passion for the warmth, wit, and wisdom of Shakespeare's works.  The event celebrated their artistry as we considered what draws audiences again and again to some of the most challenging, fascinating moments in Shakespeare's plays.

MAY 1, 2, & 3, 2015
Twelfth Night
Performed by The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble

Community Performances 
Friday, May 1 at 6pm and Saturday, May 2 at 2pm
MS424, 730 Bryant Ave., Bronx, NY

Manhattan Benefit Performance
Sunday, May 3 at 6pm
The Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker St., New York, NY

Now in its eighth year, The Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble is an extraordinary collaboration between The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx. The HPCSE will present William Shakespeare’s topsy-turvy comedy Twelfth Night.  Our merry production is set on a fantastical island in the Caribbean with originally composed music sung by the Ensemble’s 9 – 10 year old choristers and with Shakespeare’s own words marvelously interpreted by the 5th and 6th grade actors.  The children of the Ensemble have worked for 8 months to learn the play, become their characters, create a cohesive ensemble and take on the many responsibilities (and joys) of mounting a fully produced version of a Shakespeare play.

APRIL 20, 2015 at 7pm
A Book Launch & Celebration of
Tina Packer's Women of Will
At The Pearl Theatre

Come celebrate the publication of Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays (Knopf, 2015), Tina Packer's adaptation of her expansive five-part theater piece of the same name - a fierce, funny, fearless exploration of what the New York Times called Shakespeare's "mighty sorority." The evening will include Ms. Packer and Nigel Gore performing selections from the stage work; an onstage conversation with Ms. Packer about the book and her groundbreaking career as author, actress, director and founder of the legendary Shakespeare & Co; an audience Q&A; wine reception and book signing.


"Visceral and intellectual...A sparkling, insightful exploration of Shakespeare's words and world." - Kirkus Reviews

As a seasoned thespian who has explored her themes in a performance piece bearing the same name as this book, Packer recognizes in Shakespeare's full dramatic trajectory a great artist gaining ever fuller understanding of both genders' human identity.  In intercalary interludes, readers join the gifted author in pondering the unfolding insights.  An important and fascinating addition to feminist literary criticism." - Booklist, starred review

"In Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays, Tina Packer makes a passionate personal statement about what she's learned from 40 years' experience acting and directing Shakespeare...Packer never claims to offer the only truth about Shakespeare's plays, simply to have discovered an important, neglected theme: that women's voices are essential in his quest to reveal life in its essence and its entirety.Her warmhearted book will engage anyone who shares her belief that plays written 500 years ago can help us see how to live fully and happily in the 21st century." - American Theater

MARCH 16, 2015 at 7 pm
Ben Crystal on Original Pronunciation
At The Pearl Theatre

Author, actor, director, teacher, and scholar Ben Crystal returned to lead a five-day workshop with the Shakespeare Society Ambassadors on scenes and speeches in Original Pronunciation. The evening featured a showing of their work and a discussion of the joys, challenges and rewards of speaking Shakespeare's words in the earthy and energized, salty and powerful accent of his time.

MARCH 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Cymbeline - Preview Screening
With Director Michael Almereyda Q&A 
Co-Hosted by School of Visual Arts' Filmmakers Dialogue
At SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street

Academy Award® nominees Ethan Hawke (Best Supporting Actor, Boyhood, 2014) and Ed Harris (Best Actor, Pollock, 2000) lead a powerhouse cast including Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin, with Bill Pullman and Delroy Lindo in a gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. When extortion, betrayal, and fiery passions threaten his criminal empire, a drug kingpin (Harris) is driven to desperate measures in this explosive, modern retelling of Shakespeare's timeless play. Michael Almereyda's screenplay adaptation uses Shakespeare's original language. 

This special preview screening included a post-screening talkback with the film's director Michael Almereyda, The Shakespeare Society's Artistic Director Michael Sexton, and SVA's Ralph Appelbaum. Learn more about SVA's Filmmaker's Dialogue class here.  

Cymbeline is a Lionsgate film, and was released in theaters and VOD on March 13.

MARCH 9, 2015 at 7 pm
Verdi's Shakespeare
With Matthew Aucoin & Peter Holland
At the Kaye Playhouse

From his early, strange and sometimes inadvertently hilarious adaptation of Macbeth, through his titanic masterpiece Otello and his innovative Falstaff, Giuseppi Verdi carried on a lifelong love affair with the works of William Shakespeare. We joined renowned author and editor Peter Holland (Arden Shakespeare Coriolanus, Oxford Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Shakespeare Survey), composer and conductor Matthew Aucoinactors Oberon K.A. AdjepongBlair BrownDan Butlerand Sara Topham, and singers Jennifer Rowley, Brian Dalyand Davone Tines for an evening of insights and illumination, Shakespeare's words and Verdi's music.

FEBRUARY 3, 2015 at 6 pm
The Winter's Tale

Following our events in September and December, Bard Club invited attendees to weigh in on the magic and miracles of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.  Featuring The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors, it was an eve of warm and engaging conversation! 

JANUARY 15, 2015 at 7 pm
Shakespeare and the Jacobeans on Screen
A Collaboration with Red Bull Theater
At SVA Theatre

This evening focused on the relationship between Shakespeare and his darker, bloodier-minded Jacobean successors, in particular the great poet and playwright John Ford.  Using film clips from Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, Orson Welles's Othello and a rarely seen BBC adaptation of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, directed by Roland Joffé, James Bednarz (LIU professor and author of Shakespeare and the Truth of Love) revealed how Ford adapted and reworked Shakespeare's themes of violence, jealousy and desire in his own sinister, strangely hypnotic key.


January 18 at 3 pm
Franco Zeffirelli's 
Romeo and Juliet

January 25 at 3 pm
Roland Joffé's 
'Tis Pity She's a Whore

At SVA Theatre

The Shakespeare Society and Red Bull Theater joined together for the rare opportunity to see these films in their cinematic glory, along with post-screening talkbacks with Michael Sexton, Jesse Berger, and SVA's Mary Lee Grisanti.

DECEMBER 8 at 7 pm
Some New Grace Will Be Born
A Collaboration with The Pearl Theatre Company
At the Kaye Playhouse

In The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare uses the language of faith, wonder, miracle and grace to describe the reality of our earthly world and human condition.  As the play comes to its close, we learn that the greatest wonder is human forgiveness, the true miracle is the alchemical power of theater, and the faith we must all "awake" is belief in one another.  In anticipation of The Pearl Theatre's upcoming production of The Winter's Tale, directed by Michael Sexton (Shakespeare Society Artistic Director), Harvard professor and award-winning author Marjorie Garber joined a company of talented actors, including Peter Francis James, James Udom, Jolly Abraham, Rachel Botchan, Adam Green, Imani Jade Powers, and more to explore how Shakespeare spun his mingled, moving yarn - an "old tale" that comes true.

DECEMBER 15 at 8 pm
A Midsummer Night's Dream
At The Public Theater

The Shakespeare Society returned to The Public Theater for another installment of Shakespeare Works, our Artist Residency program.  Featuring Theatre Bedlam's Artistic Director Eric Tucker, Columbia University's James Shapiro and actors Paul Lazar, Sean McNall, Joey Parson and Nance Williamson with readings from the play and a discussion of A Midsummer Night's Dream

NOVEMBER 10 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Versus Marlowe
With John Douglas Thompson
At Theatre for a New Audience

When Christopher Marlowe died in 1593, his passionate, daring, and sometimes outrageous work had revolutionized the world of English drama. In celebration of TFANA's production of Tamburlaine, Parts 1 and 2, directed by Michael Boyd, we looked at the ways Marlowe and Shakespeare inspired, competed with and outdid each other. Yale Professor and General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare David Scott Kastan provided commentary, as Tamburlaine's star, John Douglas Thompson, Chukwudi Iwuji, Merritt Janson, Caroline Hewitt, and James Udom performed scenes and speeches.

OCTOBER 20 at 7 pm
The State of the Art

At The Pearl Theatre

After last season's wonderful proliferation of Shakespearean productions on Broadway, off-Broadway and regionally, we sat down with a group of experienced, creative and knowledgeable leaders in the field to ask challenging questions about the present, past and future of Shakespearean theatre. Panelists included artistic directors Bonnie Monte (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Davis McCallum (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Eric Tucker (Bedlam), Michael Feingold (theater critic, translator and dramaturg), Ty Jones (Classical Theater of Harlem), and Emily Mann (The McCarter Theatre).

OCTOBER 6 at 7 pm
The Winter's Tale

At The Pearl Theatre

Artistic Director Michael Sexton led an exploration of The Winter's Tale with a group of actors - Peter Francis James, Rachel Botchan, Bradford Cover, Dominic Cuskern - and advisors - Dakin Matthews, Broadway actor and dramaturg, and Richard McCoy, author of Faith in Shakespeare.  Part of this season's special collaboration with The Pearl Theatre Company.

SEPTEMBER 30 at 6 pm
The Tempest

Bard Club returns for the 2014-15 season! Our first discussion explored the magic and ambiguities of The Tempest, inspired by a series of upcoming productions at La MaMa Experimental Theatre.

SEPTEMBER 15 at 7pm
Directing Shakespeare

With Arin Arbus, Rebecca Taichman & Paul Mullins
At The Pearl Theatre

What does it take to stage one of the Bard's works? How does it differ from directing contemporary work? What does it mean to be faithful to a playwright who has been dead for more than 400 years? Our Shakespeare Talks season kicked off with an in-depth conversation with some of the best directors working in the field today: Theater For A New Audience's Associate Artistic Director Arin Arbus (King Lear with Michael Pennington, Othello with John Douglas Thompson; Much Ado About Nothing with Jonathan Cake); Helen Hayes Award winning director Rebecca Taichman (Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, Taming of the Shrew at The Shakespeare Theatre, DC); and Paul Mullins (upcoming Henry VIII at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey).

June 9 at 6 pm - 8 pm
Special Event
The Shakespeare Society's Summer Celebration

At The Century Club, 7 West 43rd Street, NYC

Featured Blair Brown, Jacob Fishel, Jack O'Brien, Kellie Overbey, Martha Plimpton, Lily Rabe, Jay O. Sanders, Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Cerveris and more special guests for cocktails, canapes, an auction, and awards at our Summer Celebration. The Shakespeare Medal was presented to Richard Easton, and The Linda Gross Playing Shakespeare Award to Hamish Linklater.

June 1 and 8 and at 3pm
Special Event with the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble
The Food of Love

June 1: St. Paul's Church. 199 Carroll Street, Brooklyn
June 8: St. Ignatius of Antioch. 552 West End Ave

Visit for more information.

May 18 at 6 pm Benefit Performance
The Hamlet Project
Performed by The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble

At Five Angels Theater at The 52nd St. Project. 789 10th Avenue, New York, NY

Now in its seventh year, The Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble is an extraordinary collaboration between The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx.  Sixty incredible fourth through sixth-graders spent nine months studying and rehearsing this wonderful play.

May 5 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Works: Macbeth
At The Public Theater

A panel discussion with readings of selections from the play.  Following a week of work with Macbeth, director Devin Brain and a team of actors - Laura Gragtmans, Chukwudi Iwuji, Az Kelsey, Christopher McFarland, Anne Purcell, and Claire Warden - and advisors - Richard Easton, Michael Sexton, and Tanya Pollard shared their experience.

A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Devin Brain is proud to be a company member of the Chicago based theatre company the Hypocrites as well as the Staff Repertory Director for the Acting Company.  Favorite Shakespeare productions include: Rose Mark'ed (An adaptation of Henry V, Henry VI parts 1,2,3, and Richard III)Much Ado About Nothing, and Macbeth.  Other productions include: Jean Anouilh's Eurydice, Meg Miroshnik's The Droll {or, A Stage-Play about the End of Theatre}, Sean Graney's The Fourth Graders Present an Unnamed Love Suicide, Jean Genet's The Maids, and Bones in the Basket.  Learn more at

April 28 at 7 pm
Major Evening Event
Shakespeare Without Words: The Tempest and The Dream

A collaboration with American Ballet Theatre
At The Kaye Playhouse

Over the centuries, Shakespeare's plays have inspired dozens of ballets, from Hamlet to Coriolanus, from Much Ado About Nothing to The Taming of the Shrew. This evening of dance, readings, commentary and conversation explored the Bard's appeal to choreographers by taking a close look at two very different ballets: 2013's The Tempest, choreographed by ABT's Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and Frederick Ashton's classic 1947 The Dream.

Award-winning opera and theater director Mark Lamos was joined onstage by Alexei Ratmansky, "the most sought after man in ballet" (The New Yorker), dance historian David Vaughan, actors reading scenes and speeches from Shakespeare, and ABT company members: Xiomara Reyes, James Whiteside, Daniil Simkin, Kenneth Easter, Marcelo Gomes, Sarah Lane, Craig Salstein, and Joseph Gorak
performing selections from the two ballets.

*Discounts are available for seniors and students.

April 23 at 7 pm
Special Event
Celebrate Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with
The Shakespeare Society & The Pearl Theatre Company

At The Pearl Theatre

Come raise a complimentary glass of wine at this festive and delightfully variety of readings, commentary, songs, raffles, quizzes, and much more in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. The evening with include a talk and demonstration by Ben Crystal, actor, teacher, Shakespeare on Toast author, and expert on Original Pronunciation; The Shakespeare Forum's Sybille Bruun-Moss, who will explore how Elizabethan stage conditions might affect our understanding of the hilarious confusions of Love's Labour's Lost; scenes from Waterwell's PPAS Romeo & Juliet production; Matthew Aucoin discussing Shakespeare & Verdi; Yale's Peter Francis James, and more!

April 11 at 6:30 pm
SPECIAL EVENT, Co-Produced by BAM, The Shakespeare Society & New York Review Books
Shakespeare's Montaigne: Performance & Commentary
At BAM Fisher, Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Place

Join fellow Shakespeare Society members and BAM Patrons at this exclusive event, co-produced by BAM, The Shakespeare Society, and New York Review Books. National Book Award winner, bestselling writer and Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt will collaborate with leading actors, including Denis O'Hare, Blair BrownMichael Cerveris and Michael Stuhlbarg, for an engaging look at the deep resonances and relationship between Shakespeare's work and John Florio's famous translation of Montaigne's Essais. Florio's translation is "notable not only for its stylistic range and felicity and the deep and lingering music of many passages, but also for having helped to invent the English language as we know it today, supplying it, very much as Shakespeare also did, with new words and enduring turns of phrase."

Copies of the book will be available for purchase courtesy of Greenlight Bookstore. Wine & cheese reception to follow at 8 pm. 

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre, and commonly considered the father of modern skepticism.

John Florio (1553-1625) was an Anglo-Italian linguist and lexicographer, a royal language tutor at the Court of James I, a possible friend and influence on Shakespeare, and the translator of Montaigne's Essays into English.

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of English and American Literature and Language at Harvard University. His most recent book, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

March 26 at 5pm
The Shakespeare Society
Ambassador's Bard Club
at the Pershing Square Signature Theatre

Have you been looking for a group to chat about Shakespeare's plays? At this first meeting of the Ambassador's Bard Club, members joined The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors for a casual evening gathering to discuss Richard III - the characters, plot, themes, text, and history - led by Claire Warden and Terra Mackintosh. The evening was open for anyone to attend and pose questions or ideas! No reservations necessary. To learn more about the Ambassadors - an exciting group of intelligent and accomplished young theater artists passionate about Shakespeare, click here.

March 14
Teaching Teachers
"Teaching A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Led by Wendy Halm-Violette

This professional development workshop will draw on the skills of well known educators, critics and actors to help teachers learn innovative ways to teach A Midsummer Night's Dream, and share ideas and classroom experience with one another. 
All eligible Academic members at the discount level are invited to attend. 
For more information about registering for this event, email Michelle Palmour at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (212) 967-6802.

March 3 at 7pm
Shakespeare Talks
David Scott Kastan's A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion
at The Pearl Theatre

Join us for an on-stage conversation with David Scott Kastan as we celebrate the release of his latest book
A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion (brief reception to follow). Based on the inaugural series of the Oxford-Wells Shakespeare Lectures in 2008, A Will to Believe offers a thoughtful, surprising, and often moving consideration of how religion functions in Shakespeare's plays: not as keys to Shakespeare's own faith but as registers of the ways religion charged his world.
David Scott Kastan
is the George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale University. Among his books are Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time (1982), Shakespeare After Theory (1999), and Shakespeare and the Book (2001). He has produced important scholarly editions of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One, Milton's Paradise Lost, and Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. He also edited the five-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature (2006). He currently serves as one of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare.

February 13, 14, 15, & 16 at 7 pm
Major Evening Event
Henry IV, Part 2: Hal, Henry and the Revolution of the Times

A collaboration with The Pearl Theatre
at The Pearl Theatre

Explore this under-appreciated masterpiece in four evenings of open rehearsal, staged readings and discussion with the artists and invited guests. Henry IV, Part 2, in which the young prince buries a father, banishes a friend and becomes king, is not so much a sequel to the famous Part 1, as a recapitulation of some of its major themes in a sadder, deeply human, key. Featuring selected scenes performed by Tony Award winner Richard Easton and The Pearl Theatre Company’s Sean McNall, Rachel Botchan, DomInic Cuskern, Dan Daily and Carol Schultz, along with a different special guest each night. Moderated and Directed by Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton.

January 15
Teaching Teachers
"Teaching Othello"
Led by Wendy Halm-Violette

This professional development workshop will draw on the skills of well known educators, critics and actors to help teachers learn innovative ways to teach Othello, and share ideas and classroom experience with one another. All eligible Academic members at the discount level are invited to attend. For more information about registering for this event, email Michelle Palmour at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (212) 967-6802.

January 6 at 7 pm
Major Evening Event
A Kind of Puritan: Malvolio, Twelfth Night and the Lord of Misrule
With Stephen Fry and Marjorie Garber
at The Kaye Playhouse

Who is the real insurrectionist in Twelfth Night—Malvolio or Sir Toby? Keep the holiday spirit going, and celebrate the 12th night after Christmas with an evening of performance, commentary and conversation with actor, author and dazzling raconteur, Stephen Fry (currently playing Malvolio on Broadway), and Harvard professor and award-winning author of Shakespeare After All, Marjorie Garber. Explore with them the traditional 12th Night election of a “Lord of Misrule,” the controversial rising tide of Puritanism in Elizabethan England, and the resulting question of what we are to make of Malvolio—the anti-comic spirit of “bad will.” To perform selected scenes from the play, Mr. Fry will be joined by fellow cast members Colin Hurley (Sir Toby Belch), Angus Wright (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Paul Chahidi (Maria) and others.

December 2 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Works: Measure For Measure

at The Public Theater

A panel discussion with readings of selections from the play. Director Daniela Varon, actors John Douglas Thompson, Kelley Curran, Jacob Fishel, Michael Potts, Steven Rattazzi, and guest advisors, including Peter Francis James (text) and Tanya Pollard (academic), discuss their week of work on Measure for Measure through The Shakespeare Society's Shakespeare Works Artist Residency program.

Daniela Varon is a New York-based director and acting teacher and a longtime member of Shakespeare & Company. Daniela has taught and guest-directed at Barnard, Bennington, Dartmouth, Emerson, Purchase and Smith Colleges, the University of Connecticut, and Columbia University School of the Arts, as well as many conservatories and actor training programs. She has been a Shakespeare specialist with Lincoln Center Theater's Open Stages program and with the Drama League Directors Project. She was Associate Director and co-founder, with Kristin Linklater, of The Company of Women. She is co-producer, director and moderator of Conversations with Shakespeare, which played three seasons at Symphony Space and is in development for radio. She is a founding member of the Linklater Center for Voice and Language, a Drama League Fellow, an NYTW Usual Suspect, and an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

November 25 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Talks: Shakespeare and the Avant Garde

With Anne Bogart and Scott Shepherd
at The Pearl Theatre

From Peter Brook's groundbreaking production of A Midsummer Night's Dream to the Wooster Group's multimedia mash-ups of Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare's plays have long been a part of theater's cutting edge. The evening's panel will include some of today's most inventive theater artists discussing their own and others' experiments with Shakespeare: Scott Shepherd (Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida) of the Wooster Group and the legendary Anne Bogart (Radio Macbeth), founder and Artistic Director of the SITI Company.

November 18 at 7 pm
Major Evening Event
Spirits of Another Sort: Nature, Art, and Imagination in A Midsummer Night's Dream

A collaboration with Theatre For a New Audience
at Theat
re For a New Audience's Polonsky Shakespeare Center

To inaugurate the opening of Theatre for a New Audience at Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, Julie Taymor will stage A Midsummer Night's Dream. For our second Major Evening Event of the season, Midsummer cast members David Harewood, Tina Benko and Max Casella will join Oxford professor Jonathan Bate, author of The Soul of the Age and The Genius of Shakespeare, for an evening devoted to the follies, confusion and ultimate "constancy" of love, imagination and art in one of Shakespeare's most luminous comedies. Come with the lovers, the fairies and the hard handed men of Athens into the woods and back again!

November 4 at 7 pm for pre-show discussion; 7:30 pm screening
Special Event
Cinematic Shakespeare: Watching Macbeth with Martin Amis

A collaboration with BAMCinematek
at BAM Rose Cinemas

In 1979, acclaimed novelist Martin Amis conducted a scandalous interview with Roman Polanski - the first the director gave after running from the law. Made in the aftermath of the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, Polanski's adaptation of Macbeth is an idiosyncratic adaptation "strong on youth, beauty, and inevitable gore" (Dave Kehr). Amis introduces this special screening with a 30-minute conversation about the film, the filmmaker, the play, and the Bard.

November 5
Teaching Teachers
"Teaching Macbeth"

Led by Wendy Halm-Violette

This professional development workshop will draw on the skills of well known educators, critics and actors to help teachers learn innovative ways to teach Macbeth, and share ideas and classroom experience with one another.
All eligible Academic members at the discount level are invited to attend. For more information about registering for this event, email Michelle Palmour at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (212) 967-6802.

October 28 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Talks: The End of Shakespeare's Verse?

A collaboration with Globe Education, the Shakespeare Institute, and Rutgers University
at The Pearl Theatre

A symposium exploring the speaking of Shakespeare's verse today: how it is taught in universities and approached by leading Shakespeare theaters and practitioners. The evening will feature talks from the Globe's Director of Text and author of Speaking the Speech, Giles Block, and Shakespeare Institute's Abigail Rokison, author of Shakespearean Verse Speaking. Giles and Abigail will outline their approaches to verse and verse-speaking, focusing on The Winter's Tale. This will be followed by a discussion for all attending to contribute, chaired by Patrick Spottiswoode. This event is part of a series of symposia, and the next symposium will take place at the Shakespeare Theater Association conference, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, in January 2014.

October 21 at 7 pm
Major Evening Event
Evil in Shakespeare

With Ron Cephas Jones and David Scott Kastan
A collaboration with Red Bull Theater

at The Kaye Playhouse

We ask with King Lear, "Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?," as we delve into the fascinating topic of evil in Shakespeare's plays. With the help of Yale professor, General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare and Shakespeare Society favorite, David Scott Kastan, award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones and others, we will investigate three of Shakespeare's most harrowing plays and mesmerizing characters: Iago's "motiveless malignity"; the mystery of Macbeth's headlong descent into self-destruction; and King's Lear's shattering confrontation with unadulterated and relentless cruelty.

October 8 at 8 pm
Shakespeare Talks: A Post-Show Conversation with Phyllida Lloyd

at St. Ann's Warehouse

After the 8 o'clock performance of her acclaimed all-female production of Julius Caesar, award-winning stage and film director Phyllida Lloyd joins Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton and Gail Paster, former director of The Folger Shakespeare Library, to discuss the play and why she set the Roman drama in a women's prison. Note: Discounted tickets will be available to Shakespeare Society members for this performance and post-show talk.

September 30 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Works: A Midsummer Night's Dream

at The Public Theater

A panel discussion with selected readings, featuring Gregg Mozgala, founder of The Apothetae theater company, voice coach Kristin Linklater, along with actors Michelle Beck, Adam Green, Terry Doe, Regan Linton, and academic adviser Richard McCoy for this exploration of Shakespeare's magical and mysterious Dream. Part of of our Shakespeare Works - Artist Residency program.

Gregg Mozgala is a critically acclaimed actor and playwright.  Gregg has been in various New York productions Off and Off-Off Broadway with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The LAByrinth Theatre Company, La Mama ETC, Performance Space 122, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Foolish Theatre Company, The Brick Theater, The National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, Visible Theatre and the Ensemble Studio Theatre.  Regionally, he has appeared on stage at the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts and the Spoleto Festival USA.  He has worked internationally in London, England and Zagreb, Croatia.  He has participated in Northeast Public Radio's, Playing On Air series with Mammie Gummer and Tony winning director, John Rando.

The Apothetae is a company dedicated to the production of full length plays that explore and illuminate the "Disabled Experience."  Founded in the Summer of 2012, The Apothetae has presented and developed its work at The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts, MCC Theatre and The Ensemble Studio Theatre.  In June of 2013, in collaboration with Dixon Place, The Apothetae produced its first production, a musical adaptation written by Clay Mcleod Chapman that featured a score by OBIE winning composer Robert M. Johanson, inspired by the 1920 Lon Chaney silent film, "The Penalty."  The company and the production received critical acclaim and a feature article in The New York Times.  Currently, The Apothetae is developing its plays at The Lark Play Development Center as part of their Playground Series and working toward future productions.

September 16 at 7 pm
Shakespeare Talks: Directing Shakespeare

with David Leveaux and Jack O'Brien

The Pearl Theatre

$18 for Public. $15 for Shakespeare Society Members.

At the beginning of one of New York's busiest Shakespearean seasons ever, we sit down with two directors doing the Bard on Broadway. Three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien, who will be directing Ethan Hawke in Macbeth at LCT, and David Leveaux, whose production of Romeo and Juliet with Orlando Bloom will be set to open at the Richard Rogers Theater, share the challenges and rewards of bringing Shakespeare to the Broadway stage.

June 10 at 6pm
and The First Presentation of the Linda Gross
Playing Shakespeare Award

The Century Club

The Shakespeare Society was proud to present the first annual Playing Shakespeare Celebration. Kathleen Chalfant, Jay O. Sanders, Stephen Spinella and The Shakespeare Society's Board of Directors joined us in celebrating Jacob Fishel with the first presentation of the Linda Gross Playing Shakespeare Award.
Click here to see photos from the event.

May 17, 18 & 19
Performed by
The Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble

Click here to see photos from the event.
Community Performances
Friday, May 17th & Saturday, May 18th at 6pm
The Point Theatre
940 Garrison Avenue, Bronx, NY
By invitation only

Manhattan Benefit Performance
Sunday, May 19th at 6pm
Five Angels Theater at The 52nd St Project
789 10th Avenue, New York, NY

Now in its sixth year, The Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble is an extraordinary collaboration between The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx. These incredible students spent nine months studying and rehearsing this wonderful play.

May 20 at 7pm
A Collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library

at the Kaye Playhouse, East 68th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues

$35, FREE to Shakespeare Society Members

In Shakespeare's England, everyone, from pauper to prince, was in a relationship of service with someone, and the idea of good service–the "bond that is not Bondage" –is everywhere in Shakespeare's works. In collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and Theater, David Schalkwyk (author of Shakespeare, Love and Service and Editor of the Shakespeare Quarterly) will explore how bonds of domestic and political service in the plays are essentially, or can become, bonds of love, indeed, as in Twelfth Night, a bond of marriage. Featuring scenes from the Folger Theater's production of Twelfth Night, as well as readings from King Lear, Othello and the Sonnets, the evening will examine relationships such as King Lear and Kent, Viola and Orsino and the writer of and the young man in the Sonnets. Joining David on stage will be actors Michael Brusasco, Rachel Pickup, Emily Trask and others.

Click here to see photos from the event.

April 27 at 2pm
Teaching Shakespeare: Approaches and Perspective

Featuring The Shakespeare Society's Jordan Dann
Post-Show panel Co-Presented by Epic Theater Ensemble
& The English Speaking Union
Pershing Square Signature Center
420 W 42nd St.

$20 with Special Discount Code "TEACH 20"

After a production of Richard III: Born with Teeth, expert panelists will discuss strategies for engaging young people in Shakespeare's text and explore with the audience the role of Shakespeare in education. Featuring Jordan Dann, Education Director of The Shakespeare Society and Carol Losos, Director of Educational Programs for The ESU.

April 15 at 6:30pm
Brutus and Julius Caesar: The Nature of an Insurrection
An evening with James Shapiro and members of the Royal Shakespeare Company
Co-Presented by BAM and The Shakespeare Society
BAM Fisher (Fishman Space)

Join Columbia Professor James Shapiro, award-winning author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, for an exploration of one of Shakespeare’s most complex and innovative creations – Julius Caesar’s Brutus. Beginning at 6:30pm in BAM’s new Fishman Space, the evening will feature Royal Shakespeare Company cast members Paterson Joseph (Marcus Brutus), Adjoa Andoh (Portia), Cyril Nri (Caius Cassius), and Ray Fearon (Mark Antony) performing scenes from the dynamic new production of Julius Caesar, interspersed with commentary by Professor Shapiro. This intimate co-production with BAM will focus on Brutus’s struggle with the competing values of friendship and patriotism, honor and politics, as it plays out on the streets of Rome, in his marriage, on the battlefield, and, through some of Shakespeare’s most powerful soliloquies, within himself.

Click here to see photos from the event.

March 18 at 7pm
Open Rehearsal: Julius Caesar
With John Douglas Thompson
and Rob Clare
at The Pearl Theater, West 42nd St
between 10th and 11th avenues
$18, $15 for Shakespeare Society Members

Audience members got a behind the scenes look at an actor the New York Times called "one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation" at this open rehearsal of Shakespeare's great Roman tragedy. Obie Award winner JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON (Othello, Macbeth) played Brutus to the Cassius of ROB CLARE, actor and internationally recognized Shakespeare specialist whose freelance credits include verse and text work for the RSC and Steppenwolf, in a pair of scenes directed by MICHAEL SEXTON. The audience watched as these three artists worked their way through some of Shakespeare's most dynamic and dramatic dialogue and verse.

Call (212) 563-9261 or (212) 598-9802 for Tickets

March 4 at 7pm
A Collaboration with The Pearl Theatre
at the Kaye Playhouse, East 68th Street,
between Lexington and Park Avenues
$35, FREE to Shakespeare Society Members

Yale professor and General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare DAVID SCOTT KASTAN joined BRIAN COX, BYRON JENNINGS, JACOB FISHEL, HERB FOSTER and cast members of The Pearl Theatre's production of Henry IV, Part I for a lively examination and exploration of one of Shakespeare's most famous and delightful characters.

Click here to see photos from the event.

February 25 at 7pm
with Julie Taymor & Michael Witmore
at the Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd Street
$18, $15 for Shakespeare Society Members

Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library MICHAEL WITMORE joined visionary stage and screen director JULIE TAYMOR for a fascinating conversation about Shakespeare's imagery - both the metaphors that enrich the language of his characters and the striking stage pictures created in live performance.
Click here to see photos from the event.

January 28 at 7pm

at the Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd Street
FREE to Shakespeare Society Members

A panel discussion with Jesse Berger, artistic director of Red Bull Theater, Obie winning actor Bill Camp (Broadway’s Death of a Salesman) and other actors and advisors from our Tempest residency, moderated by Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton. This panel was part of Shakespeare Works, the Society’s program in support of the theater artists and institutions. Made possible in Part by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Distracted Globe. LIMITED SEATING
Click here to see photos from the event.

December 10 at 7pm
at the Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd Street
FREE to Shakespeare Society Members

The season's first installment of our Shakespeare Works interactive panel discussions brought Tony nominated actor ARIAN MOAYED (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) together with director TOM RIDGELY (Co-founder of Waterwell Theater Company), and the rest of the actors and advisors of our upcoming Hamlet Residency. This panel was part of Shakespeare Works, the Society’s program in support of the theater artists and institutions. Made possible in Part by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Distracted Globe.
Click here to see photos from the event.

November 26 at 7pm
with Daniel Sullivan, Davis McCallum, and others
at the Pearl Theatre, 555 West 42nd Street
$18, $15 for Shakespeare Society Members

A lively conversation and Q&A session with some of New York’s most exciting directors of Shakespeare, including Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Public Theater's The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It in Central Park), Davis McCallum (February House), who will be directing Henry IV, Part One for the Pearl Theater in the spring of 2013, Liesl Tommy (California Shakespeare's current production of Hamlet), and Michael Sexton (The Public's Titus Andronicus, Two River Theater Company's current production of Henry V).
Click here to see photos from the event.

November 19 at 7pm
at the Kaye Playhouse, East 68th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues
$35, FREE to Shakespeare Society Members

A look at the role and meaning of music in Shakespeare's world and work, from the ideas of order implicit in the music of the spheres to the enchanting and healing power of "the sweet touches of harmony." With readings from the plays by JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON, live musical underscoring by musician GRANT HERREID, and commentary by Stanford University's STEPHEN ORGEL and ROSS DUFFIN, Chair of the Music Department at Case Western and author of Shakespeare's Songbook.
Click here to see photos from the event.

October 15 at 7pm
SHAKESPEARE AT THE OPERA: Robert Lepage & The Tempest
A Collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera
at the Kaye Playhouse, East 68th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues

An evening of readings, song, commentary and conversation focusing on this fall's Met premiere of Thomas Ades's The Tempest with visionary director ROBERT LEPAGE, MET opera singers, and commentary by Notre Dame's PETER HOLLAND. With readings from the play by SETH NUMRICH (War Horse), RON CEPHAS JONES (Richard III), and SAMANTHA SOULE (Dinner at Eight).
Click here to see photos from the event.

October 5 at 6:30pm
With James Shapiro and James Bednarz
The National Arts Club

A book party, onstage conversation and Q&A with Professor JAMES SHAPIRO and JAMES BEDNARZ, author of Shakespeare and the Truth of Love, a fascinating look at Shakespeare's under appreciated foray into the world of metaphysical poetry.
Click here to see photos from the event.

September 24 at 7:30pm
With Michael Sexton, actor Jacob Fishel
The Pershing Square Signature Center

One week into their rehearsal process, director Michael Sexton and cast members of Two River Theater Company’s upcoming production of Henry V invited the audience behind the scenes for an open rehearsal and interactive conversation about this fascinating play.
Click here to see photos from the event.

May 21 at 7pm
Shakespeare's Green World
A collaboration with the Public Theater
NYU Skirball Center

In anticipation of the summer’s Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It, The Shakespeare Society joined forces with The Public Theater to take a celebratory look at Shakespeare’s exploration and transformation of the pastoral tradition. Stretching back to the 3rd century B.C.E. the pastoral’s world of poetry, myth, heartsick shepherds and the riches of simplicity has captured the imagination of some of the world’s greatest authors. With readings by members of the Central Park cast, including STEPHEN SPINELLA, DAVID FURR and WILL ROGERS, and guest artists FREDDY ARSENAULT, REBECCA BROOKSHER and RICHARD EASTON. Commentary was provided by literary historian PAUL ALPERS, author of the award-winning What Is Pastoral?
Click here to see photos from the event.

May 20 at 6pm

in a benefit performance of

Five Angels Theater at the 52nd Street Project - 6:00pm
789 10th Avenue, New York

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, April 9, 2012, at 7:00pm

Becoming Shakespeare
Simon Callow & Jonathan Bate

The Kaye Playhouse
68th Street between Park and Lexington

Actor and author SIMON CALLOW, whose performance in Being Shakespeare The Daily Mail called "Bard to the bone, a genuine tour de force" joined Oxford University's JONATHAN BATE, whom James Wood hailed as "the sanest, shrewdest scholar of Shakespeare at present" for BECOMING SHAKESPEARE, a delightful, illuminating evening of performance and commentary including selections from Love's Labor's Lost, The Tempest, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus and more. They were joined onstage by fellow artists SEAN MCNALL and ANDREW WEEMS.

The evidence of what books and authors Shakespeare read appears throughout his plays and poetry. Far from the "natural genius" of the romantic imagination, he was a wide and deep reader, producing works that not only engaged in the intellectual and spiritual life of his age, but dramatically changed it. In 90 lively, entertaining minutes, Professor Bate and Mr. Callow will revealed the ways in which Shakespeare internalized and transformed the work of the classical authors of his youth along with that of the most influential thinkers of his own time, from Ovid's Metamorphoses to the Essais of the great humanist Michel de Montaigne.

Jonathan Bate is the author and editor of numerous books on Shakespeare, including the heralded Soul of the Age and The Genius of Shakespeare.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, March 19, 2012, at 8:00pm


Dicapo Opera Theatre - 184 East 76th Street

Currently starring on Broadway in Other Desert Cities, Stacy Keach is a stage and screen legend who has been described as "the finest American classical actor since John Barrymore." In a lively conversation with Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton and Shakespeare Guild President John Andrews, Mr. Keach will revisited his vast experience with The Bard's major roles - from Hamlet to Flastaff and every king in between. Audience members delighted to see and hear one of the American theater's greatest contributors to acting the classical canon. Presented by The Shakespeare Society, Shakespeare Guild and Dicapo Opera Theatre.

December 9, 2011, at 7pm


The Shakespeare Society in association with the Rubin Museum of Art presented Ralph Fiennes with The Shakespeare Society Medal in honor of his distinguished contributions to the world of William Shakespeare. Held at the museum, proceeds benefited the artistic and educational programs of The Shakespeare Society.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, December 12, 2011, at 7pm

The Enchanted Island - A Collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera

The Kaye Playhouse - 68th between Park and Lexington

A delightful evening of music, readings and commentary inspired by the Metropolitan Opera’s highly anticipated world premiere production of The Enchanted Island, featured music by Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau and others. Hosted by Tony Award winning director JACK O'BRIEN, joined by the work’s librettist JEREMY SAMS, the evening included insights from Stanford University’s STEPHEN ORGEL, performances by Met stars OREN GRADUS, LAYLA CLAIRE, HEATHER JOHNSON, PAUL APPLEBY and ELLIOT MADORE, and readings from the Shakespeare plays by ANNIKA BORAS, LEIGHTON BRYAN, RICHARD EASTON and HOON LEE.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, November 7, 2011, at 7pm

Cinematic Shakespeare - Coriolanus

The Kaye Playhouse - 68th between Park and Lexington

Yale University's DAVID SCOTT KASTAN gave our audience a penetrating look at Shakespeare's tragic warrior and his struggle with the demands of honor, family and politics, using exclusive clips from the upcoming film starring and directed by RALPH FIENNES a full month before its public release. The film also stars VANESSA REDGRAVE, BRIAN COX and GERARD BUTLER.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 5pm

Play On - Sharing a Passion for the World’s Most Essential Playwright
A Post-Show Discussion with Artistic Director Michael Sexton and TFANA Associate Artistic Director Arin Arbus

Produced in collaboration with the Westport Country Playhouse

The Westport Country Playhouse
WCP Jason Robards Theatre
Immediately following the 3:00 p.m. matinee of 12th Night, directed by Mark Lamos
Free and open to the public

Michael Sexton, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Society, and Arin Arbus, Associate Artistic Director of Theater for a New Audience, are passionate advocates of accessible Shakespeare for all. The event, in which the two discussed their work, was part of the Playhouse's Shakespeare In Our Time series of talkbacks, panel discussions, screenings, classes and more. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Monday, October 3, 2011, at 7pm

Dream in Shakespeare - Marjorie Garber

The Kaye Playhouse
68th Street between Park and Lexington

Harvard's Marjorie Garber, author of Shakespeare After All, explored the rich world of dream, fable and imagination in Shakespeare's plays. Drawing on her groundbreaking book Dream in Shakespeare: From Metaphor to Metamorphosis, Professor Garber traced this fascinating subject from the prophetic dreams of Richard III through the quicksilver landscape of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the personal myth-making of Antony and Cleopatra and finally, the late romances' healing worlds of poetry, fable and music. Professor Garber was joined onstage by Tony Award winner JEFFERSON MAYS, Obie Award winner

Click here to see photos from the event.

Friday, July 15, 2011, at 6pm

Panel Discussion: Directing Shakespeare
A collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company

The Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue

How is directing Shakespeare different from working on contemporary plays? Is there a difference between American and British approaches to the Bard? And what is "director's theater" anyway? Join David Farr (director of the RSC's Winter's Tale and King Lear at PAA), Karin Coonrod (Coriolanus at Theater for a New Audience and the upcoming Love's Labor's Lost at the Public Theater), and Tony Award winning theater and opera director Mark Lamos (most recently Cymbeline at Lincoln Center Theater and As You Like It in Central Park) for a spirited discussion moderated by Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 6pm

Panel Discussion: Speaking Shakespeare
A collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company

The Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue

Five masters of the spoken word gather for a fascinating discussion of the challenges and glories of giving Shakespeare's language life. The world renowned Cicely Berry (Voice Director of the RSC) will be joined onstage by Deborah Hecht (Professor of Voice and Speech at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts); Ralph Zito (Chair of the Department of Drama at Syracuse University and longtime Chair of Juilliard's Voice and Speech department); Louis Scheeder (Director of NYU's Classical Studio and member of The FactoryUK); and the evening's moderator, Barry Edelstein (Director of the Public Theater's Shakespeare Initiative and author of Thinking Shakespeare).

Monday, June 6, 2011 at 7pm


with performances by

The Kaye Playhouse 695 Park Avenue at 68th Street Stephen Greenblatt, the best-selling author of Will in the World, returned for a provocative evening focusing on sex and lust in Shakespeare's plays. From Angelo's self-flagellating lust to Juliet's full-bodied desire, from the adolescent profanity of Mercutio to Pandarus's dirty jokes, the evening examined a wide range of attitudes and experiences presented in Shakespeare's never less than fully human characters. With excerpts from Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter's Tale and the Sonnets, and performances by Jonathan Cake (Cymbeline, Desperate Housewives), Stephen Spinella (Intellignet Homosexual's Guide..., The Iliad), Cristin Milioti (That Face, Stunning), Santino Fontana (Importance of Being Ernest, Billy Elliot) and Francesca Faridany (Orlando, The New York Idea).

Click here to see photos from the event.

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm


Live at the Edge Theater
The Point
940 Garrison Avenue
The Bronx, NY


Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Five Angels Theater at the 52nd Street Project
789 10th Avenue
(between 52nd and 53rd Streets)

Performed by the students of The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble, a joint project of The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children. Our talented cast from the South Bronx returned to the stage after last year's triumphant production of As You Like It with another fully produced Shakespeare play. Hundreds came out to support these wonderful young people!

Thursday. May 12, 2011 at 7:00pm


at L&M Arts
45 E 78th Street

The Shakespeare Society celebrated the launch of Kenji Yoshino's new book, A Thousand Times More Fair. The Shakespeare Society and Bookperk hosted Mr. Yoshino as he spoke about the book while members sipped chilled white wine and took in some Shakespeare-worthy entertainment including a performance by Tony award winning actor Michael Cerveris!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


at The Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Avenue

The Morgan Library and Museum hosted an open rehearsal of Much Ado About Nothing as part of The Shakespeare Society's popular Shakespeare Works series, aimed at supporting the performance and production of Shakespeare in New York City. This evening featured scenes and speeches performed by Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope), Obie Award winner Jeremy Shamos (Clybourne Park), Bill Buell (Kin), Herb Foster (Merchant of Venice), and Oscar Isaac (Romeo and Juliet). Directed and moderated by Michael Sexton, Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society.

Monday, April 4 , 2011


at The Creative Center at Manhattan Theater Club
311 West 43rd Street, 8th floor

Company: Fiasco Theater Company
Jesse Austrian, Noah Brody, Paul Coffey,
Andy Grotelueschen, Ben Steinfeld, Emily Young
Artistic Adviser: Richard Easton
Academic Adviser: Richard McCoy (Queens College, CUNY Graduate Center)
Voice-Text Adviser: Andrew Wade
Moderator: Michael Sexton

Fresh from their critically-acclaimed Cymbeline at Theater for a New Audience, Fiasco Theater Company tried out their "dynamic, actor-driven" approach on Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1.

This stimulating evening of conversation and readings with the company and advisers was moderated by Shakespeare Society's Artistic Director Michael Sexton.

Shakespeare Works is series of week-long residencies aimed at supporting the performance and production of Shakespeare in New York City and creating connections between the theatrical and academic communities.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, March 28, 2011


at The Kaye Playhouse
695 Park Avenue at 68th Street

Far from the ambitious butcher of popular imagination, Macbeth is more complex and more terrifying. His highly developed ethical vision allows him to see clearly the unnatural horror and "deep damnation" of the actions he contemplates. Although he knows the result will be that "tears will drown the wind," he commits a series of increasingly savage crimes. Why?

Cast members of Theater for a New Audience's spring production, including John Douglas Thompson , Annika Boras and Peter Jay Fernandez performed scenes from the play, as Yale professor and General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare David Scott Kastan provided incisive commentary.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


at The Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Avenue

This event was made possible through the generous support of the law firm of McKool Smith. In connection with The Morgan Library and Museum 's exhibition The Changing Face of William Shakespeare, featuring the newly discovered Cobbe portrait, The Shakespeare Society announced this exciting evening of commentary and performance with Harvard University professor and bestselling author of Will in the World, Stephen Greenblatt.

The relationship between Shakespeare and the Earl of Southampton has long been a subject of speculation and conjecture. In this illuminating evening of performance and commentary, professor Greenblatt examined the connections, real and hypothetical, between the Bard and his young friend, whose astonishing portrait was on display at the Morgan alongside Shakespeare's. Richard Easton and Michael Cumpsty read selections from the Sonnets and the two poems Shakespeare dedicated to Southampton: Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.

Click here to see photos of the event.

February 25-27, 2011

Adapted and Directed by Michael Sexton
with selections from Shakespeare's Henry VI, Pts 1, 2 and 3, and Richard III
Presented in collaboration with RED BULL THEATER's In the Raw Series


Theater at St. Clement's
423 West 46th Street

Read the Time Out New York article
Read the New York Times article Focusing on Margaret of Anjou from Shakespeare's Henry VI, Pts 1, 2 and 3, and Richard III, this Lab Production explored the journey of one of Shakespeare's most remarkable characters, a woman of astonishing variety with an extraordinary arc over four history plays.

Margaret: A Tyger's Heart is a theatrical work for eight performers that tells the riveting story of Margaret's progress from young woman to queen, lover, wife, mother, political operator and battlefield commander, exploring the comic and macabre, as well as the human and loving sides of Shakespeare's Margaret.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, February 21st & 28th, 2011

Sponsored by The Shakespeare Society
in connection with Classic Stage Company's production of Double Falsehood

Classic Stage Company
136 E 13th Street a

An expanded version of Classic Stage Company's popular Open Rehearsal Series, produced in association with The Shakespeare Society, to complement CSC's production of Double Falsehood, directors Brian Kulick and Michael Sexton joined the cast for two open rehearsals of this controversial play, believed by many to be based on Shakespeare and Fletcher's lost play, The History of Cardenio.

Monday, February 21 at 8pm: Directed by Brian Kulick
Monday, February 28 at 8pm: Directed by Michael Sexton

Monday, December 13th


The Kaye Playhouse
East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues

After leading last season's wildly enjoyable Marlowe vs. Shakespeare evening, the prize-winning author of 1599 and Contested Will James Shapiro turned to comedy in this penetrating and hilarious look at these famous rivals and close friends. Professor Shapiro was joined by Academy Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham, Jay O. Sanders and Christopher Evan Welch.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, November 8th

Preview Screening and Panel Discussion

The Paris Theatre
4 West 58th Street at 5th Avenue

An exclusive preview screening and panel discussion of the visionary director's much anticipated film starring Helen Mirren as Prospera. Panelists in the post-showing discussion included Julie Taymor, Elliot Goldenthal, David Strathairn, and Bryn Mawr professor Katherine Rowe, co-author (with Thomas Cartelli) of New Wave Shakespeare on Screen. Guest and non-Member ticket proceeds from this event benefited the Shakespeare Society's extensive Education Programs.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, October 25th

An evening of conversation and readings

The Mint Theater
311 West 43rd Street, 3rd Floor

Shakespeare Works is a series of week-long residencies aimed at supporting the performance and production of Shakespeare in New York City and creating connections between the theatrical and academic communities. This event proved to be a truly stimulating evening of conversation and readings with all of the participants, moderated by Shakespeare Society's Artistic Director Michael Sexton .

Participants included director David Herskovitz (Artistic Director of Target Margin Theater), actors James Ferguson, Daphne Gaines, Clare Barron, Steven Rattazzi, Hubert Point du Jour, and Meg MacCary, academic advisers Professor Richard McCoy (Graduate Center at CUNY) and Ruth Carpenter (The Shakespeare Society), voice and text adviser Kristen Linklater (Columbia University), and artistic adviser Michael Kahn (Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC).

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Kaye Playhouse
East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues All actors have dream roles they never had the opportunity to play. In this delightful evening of readings and conversation, two of the best got their chance. Broadway star Kate Burton took a run at the witty and “curst” Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, and Shakespeare & Company’s legendary founder Tina Packer tried Hamlet’s inky cloak on for size. Michael Cumpsty, Herb Foster, Byron Jennings and Laila Robins joined the fun, and theater and opera director Mark Lamos moderated.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, June 7, 2010



The Kaye Playhouse
East 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues

The grand and simple language of Abraham Lincoln is steeped in the rhythms and figures of Shakespeare. Beyond their rhetorical echoes and linguistic similarities, Lincoln and Shakespeare shared an abiding concern with the nature of ambition, as well as a view of civil war as the great human catastrophe. In this fascinating and moving evening, essayist and author Adam Gopnik (Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life) examined the works and words of these two great writers. With readings from Macbeth, Henry IV, Henry VIII, and Hamlet as well as a selection of Lincoln's writing. The evening featured Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Jefferson Mays (Measure for Measure, I Am My Own Wife), Obie and Lortel Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Othello, Emperor Jones) and Obie winner Sean McNall (Hamlet, Twelfth Night).

Click here to see photos of the event.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

on the release of his new book
Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

The Players Club
16 Gramercy Park South

At this intimate evening with prize-winning author James Shapiro, we celebrated the publication of his latest book, Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? In the lovely setting of The Players Club, Professor Shapiro spoke about his lively and controversial new book, took questions and signed copies.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Moderated by Tony Award-winning opera and theater director
BARTLETT SHER (South Pacific, Barber of Seville, Joe Turner's Come and Gone,
Tales of Hoffman


A collaboration with
The Metropolitan Opera

Peter Norton Symphony Space
95th and Broadway

Timed to coincide with the Met's production of the opera Hamlet, The Shakespeare Society presented an evening of music, drama and commentary devoted to one of Shakespeare's most tragic and least understood heroines. Soprano Leah Partridge performed selections from Ambroise Thomas's opera Hamlet. Reading selections from Shakespeare's play were Tony Award-winner Blair Brown (The Clean House, Copenhagen, Arcadia), Drama Desk Award-winner Lauren Ambrose (Exit the King, Hamlet, Awake and Sing), Larry Bryggman (Proof, Top Secret), Christopher Evan Welch (Festen, Romeo and Juliet), Jennifer Ikeda (Hamlet, Top Girls), Santino Fontana (Hamlet, Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot), and others. The evening also included soprano Julie Boulianne singing Berlioz's haunting "La Mort d'Ophelie." Commentary was provided by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher and scholar Elaine Showalter, author of "Representing Ophelia" and A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx.

Click here to see photos of the event.

Monday, January 11, 2010
With choreographer-director Martha Clarke, Elizabeth Marvel and Bill Camp
Made possible with the generous support of
The Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, The JKW Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

at the Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue (between 66th and 67th Streets)

Shakespeare Works is series of week-long residencies aimed at supporting the performance and production of Shakespeare in New York City and creating connections between the theatrical and academic communities. The week culminates with a stimulating evening of conversation and readings with the cast, director and advisors, moderated by Shakespeare Society’s Artistic Director Michael Sexton.

Director: Martha Clarke
Academic Advisor: Ruth Carpenter, Head Teacher, Shakespeare Society
Artistic Advisor: Michael Sexton, Artistic Director, Shakespeare Society

Actors: Bill Camp, Jennifer Ikeda, Elizabeth Marvel, Cristin Miliotti, Mark Nelson, Michael Potts & Gareth Saxe

Click here to see photos from the event.

Sunday, December 13, 2009
A Tiger's Heart Wrapped in a Woman's Hide
A collaboration with the NYU's Graduate Acting Program

at the Skirball Center for the Arts
566 LaGuardia Place (Washington Square South)

Appearing in four separate plays, speaking more than 800 lines, Margaret of Anjou is the largest woman’s part in the canon and clearly fascinated the young Shakespeare. Known primarily as the fierce warrior of her famous “molehill” speech, she is much more than that: young lover, adulterous wife, canny backroom operator, leader of an army, and finally, bereaved mother. In this open rehearsal, Artistic Director Michael Sexton explored the many sides of the role with Kate Forbes (Othello, All’s Well That Ends Well), legendary voice teacher and actress Kristin Linklater, Steven Skybell (Age of Iron, Troilus and Cressida) and a group of recent graduates of NYU's Graduate Acting Program, including Gretchen Hall, Chris Bolan, Cary Donaldson and Lee Aaron Rosen. Featuring selections from King Henry VI, parts 1, 2 & 3, and Richard III.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, November 23, 2009
Made possible with the generous support of
The Tony Randall Theatrical Fund, The JKW Foundation,
and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

at The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street

Shakespeare Works is series of week-long residencies aimed at supporting the performance and production of Shakespeare in New York City and creating connections between the theatrical and academic communities. The week culminated with a stimulating evening of conversation and readings with the cast, director and advisors, moderated by Shakespeare Society's Artistic Director Michael Sexton . Director: Rob Melrose
Text Advisor: Barry Edelstein
Academic Advisor: James Bednarz, Long Island University, author of Shakespeare and the Poets' War Actors: Philip Callen, Carson Elrod, Peter Jay Fernandez, Glenn Fleshler, Roderick Hill, Ezra Knight, Derek Lucci, Christian Rummell, Elisabeth Waterston & Anne Louise Zachry

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, November 9, 2009
Rivalry, Imitation & Influence
with James Shapiro, John Douglas Thompson, Matthew Rauch
& Christopher Evan Welch
Presented in association with Red Bull Theater

A thrilling look at two giants of the Elizabethan stage. Born in the same year as Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe died at the age of 29, having revolutionized English dramatic poetry with a series of dark, exuberant and wildly theatrical plays. The rivalry between these two great poets and Marlowe's influence on Shakespeare's work were the subjects of this evening, which featured readings from the works of both playwrights and commentary by one of the world's greatest Shakespeare scholars.

JAMES SHAPIRO is currently Larry Miller Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1985. He the author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991), Shakespeare and the Jews (1996), Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World’s Most Famous Passion Play (2000), and 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), which was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book published in Britain in 2005. His next book, out in April 2010, is Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? He has been awarded fellowships from the NEH, the Guggenheim Foundation, and The New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He works regularly with theaters and acting companies in the US and Britain and is a member of the Board of Governors at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

RED BULL THEATER is an Off Broadway theater dedicated to the presentation of vital and imaginative productions of heightened language plays and to the development of new plays written in a similar vein. With a special focus on the Jacobean plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Red Bull Theater aspires to challenge the intellect and engage the imagination of today’s theatergoers through language-based, company created, resonantly provocative stagings of great classic stories. (

Click here to read The New York Times article about John Douglas Thompson which notes "Mr. Thompson has become a Shakespeare specialist, winning Obie and Lucille Lortel awards this year for his portrayal of Othello with Theater for a New Audience."

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, October 5, 2009
With David Scott Kastan, Christian Camargo, Richard Easton & Josh Hamilton.

Hamlet, far from being the delicate flower of the Romantic imagination or the "man who could not make up his mind" of some 20th-century interpreters, is by nature an impetuous, rash and strong-willed prince. Whether Hamlet's rational "judgment" is a match for his passionate "blood" as he navigates the treacherous waters of Denmark's court was the subject of this fascinating evening, featuring David Scott Kastan , General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare, and Christian Camargo, of whose Hamlet The New York Times raved, "a virtually perfect portrayal... to perform this bounteous, demanding role... with such intelligence, sensitivity and truth is a major accomplishment." Also joining us was Tony Awars-winner Richard Easton (The Invention of Love, Henry IV) and Josh Hamilton (Coast of Utopia, The Winter's Tale).

Monday, June 8, 2009
A Collaboration with the New York City Ballet
Made possible with the generous support of the Jerome Robbins Foundation

OBIE Award-winner John Douglas Thompson , Jan Maxwell, Aunjanue Ellis, Carson Elrod, Andre Holland, Jennifer Ikeda, and Benjamin Walker joined forces with company members of the New York City Ballet - including Wendy Whelan in the role of Titania - for an evening of live dance, theater and commentary, featuring selections from Balanchine's Midsummer Night's Dream, scenes from Shakespeare's play and commentary by director Mark Lamos and City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Read a Review and See Photos of the Event Here The Shakespeare Society's FREE celebration of the Bard's birthday returned to Peter Norton Symphony Space with some of NYC's most talented actors, singers, scholars and schoolchildren for five hours of scenes, speeches, songs, film, commentary, and more. The 2009 marathon was a celebration of Shakespeare in New York, and many of the city's theaters, theater training programs, academic departments, and city schools participated, including Classic Stage Company's Young Company, Theater for a New Audience, The Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab, The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble, The Pearl Theater, The Epic Theater Ensemble, NYU's Graduate Acting Program and many of the Shakespeare Society's partner schools. The event featured appearances by Rebecca Brooksher, Christian Camargo, Michael Cerveris, David Costabile, Veanne Cox, Michael Cumpsty, Barry Edelstein, Stephen DeRosa, Ned Eisenberg, Kate Forbes, Andrea Frierson, Jason Butler Harner, Jeffrey Horowitz, Jennifer Ikeda, John Christopher Jones, Ezra Knight, Patricia Lennox, Hamish Linklater, Roberta Maxwell, Sean McNall, Nyambi Nyambi, Denis O'Hare, Martha Plimpton, Matthew Rauch, Steven Rattazzi, Laila Robins, Juliet Rylance, Isaiah Sheffer, Elizabeth Shepherd, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Douglas Thompson, Tony Torn, Elisabeth Waterston, and students from the Bronx Charter School for the Arts, Chelsea High School, LaGuardia High School, Franklin K. Lane High School, Middle School 48 and the St. Ignatius School.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Small Venue Event - Shakespeare Works: The Merchant of Venice
Made possible with the generous support of the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund and the JKW Foundation.

Now in its second year, Shakespeare Works is an ongoing series of residencies for actors and directors. This Small Venue Event was a stimulating evening of readings and conversation with the cast, director and advisors for The Merchant of Venice, moderated by Artistic Director Michael Sexton. Participants: Director Rebecca Taichman ; Academic Advisors Ruth Carpenter and James Shapiro ; Voice-Text Advisor Shane Ann Younts ; and actors Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Cumpsty, Hannah Cabell, Amanda Fulks, Michael Milligan, Joseph Paulik and Jesse Pennington.

Monday, March 2, 2009
Simon Russell Beale and Sam Mendes

Simon Russell Beale and Sam Mendes, the star and director of the Bridge Project's production of The Winter's Tale, and Gail Paster, the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, took the stage for an evening of conversation and performance devoted to this late-career masterpiece. Joining Mr. Beale for performances of selected passages were fellow cast members Rebecca Hall and Josh Hamilton.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, December 15, 2008
Shakespeare in Progress: As You Like It

A collaboration with the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU Graduate Acting Program
After a two-week residency at New York University, the Shakespeare Society presented an open rehearsal of one of Shakespeare’s most delightful and insightful comedies. Artistic Director Michael Sexton took to the stage with some of New York’s finest actors for a celebration of the sheer joy of performing Shakespeare’s glorious language. Featuring Michael Cumpsty, David Costabile, Kate Forbes, and graduates of the Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Monday, November 3rd, 2008
David Scott Kastan: Politics, Prince Hal & the Making of a Leader

On the eve of the 2008 elections, one of America’s most celebrated Shakespeareans took a look at Shakespeare’s most successful political leader, Henry V. Featuring our signature combination of performance and commentary, we will trace the progress of this remarkable figure, role-playing his way from prodigal son to the leader of a nation. Professor David Scott Kastan (General Editor of the Arden Shakespeare and George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale University), joined by Christian Camargo, Richard Easton, Jeremy Strong, and Elisabeth Waterston, presented a hugely entertaining, illuminating, and topical evening.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, September 15, 2008
Robert Pinsky / Lyrics by W. Shakespeare

From Thomas Arne and Vaughan Williams to Duke Ellington and Stephen Sondheim, composers have long been drawn to Shakespeare’s songs and poems for inspiration. One of the greatest living American poets as well as a passionate advocate for poetry, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky will guide the audience through some of Shakespeare’s finest lyrics, set by some of the world’s greatest composers. Joining him onstage will be a host of singers and actors. Pinsky Captivates the Shakespeare Society,

Click here to see photos from the event.

Monday, June 2, 2008
Lynn Redgrave in Rachel & Juliet

From the creator of Shakespeare for my Father and Nightingale comes a new solo work in progress. In a thrilling evening of theater, Redgrave shared with us this tribute to her mother, the actress Rachel Kempson, and her lifelong love of the role of Juliet. Interweaving remembrance, anecdote, and passages from Shakespeare, Redgrave created a companion piece to her unforgettable Shakespeare for my Father, in which, as New York magazine wrote, “the actress brings Shakespeare and contemporary audiences closer together than most of them have ever been.”

Monday, May 5, 2008
Small Venue Event - Shakespeare Works: The Winter's Tale
Made possible by a grant from the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund

directed by Sam Gold
With actors Jacob Fishel, Philip Goodwin, Austin Lysy, Erika Newhouse, Henry Stram, and Nick Westrate
Academic Adviser: Ruth Carpenter (Shakespeare Society)
Voice-Text Adviser: Elizabeth Smith (Bard, Juilliard, Yale)
Theatrical Adviser: Ron Daniels (RSC, A.R.T., TFANA)
at New York Theater Workshop

Monday, April 7, 2008
Small Venue Event - Shakespeare Works: Henry V
Made possible by a grant from the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund

directed by Davis McCallum
with actors Andre Holland, Hannah Cabell, Mike Crane, William Jackson Harper, and Andrew Weems
Theatrical Adviser: Broadway Director Doug Hughes (Doubt, Inherit the Wind), Jesse Berger (Red Bull Theater)
Voice-Text Adviser: Deborah Hecht (NYU)
Academic Adviser: Richard McCoy (Queens College/The Graduate Center, CUNY)
at The Mint Theater

February 11, 2008
Marjorie Garber – Unequal Friends: Antonio, Falstaff, and Orsino

Harvard professor and author of the award-winning Shakespeare After All Marjorie Garber was joined on stage by Byron Jennings (Is He Dead?), Kate Forbes (Merchant of Venice), Logan Marshall-Green (King Lear), and Shakespeare Society favorite David Costabile. This evening of performance and commentary explored the striking pattern of deep and often troubled friendships between older and younger men in Shakespeare's work. Using the Sonnets as a starting point and touchstone, Professor Garber explored three parallel relationships: Falstaff and Hal, Antonio and Bassanio, and Orsino and the disguised Viola. With readings from the Sonnets, Henry IV, pts. 1 & 2, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night.“Like most Shakespeareans at work today, I’m deeply indebted to Marjorie Garber; she is a brilliant cultural critic and a dazzling interpreter of Shakespeare’s works.” – James Shapiro, Columbia University.

December 10, 2007
Shakespeare in Progress: Richard II at The Skirball Center at NYU

We brought the rehearsal room onstage for a look at Shakespeare’s most poetic and reckless monarch with Tony Award winner Stephen Spinella and Obie Award winner Steven Skybell as King Richard and the usurping Bolingbroke. Artistic Director Michael Sexton lead the audience through the challenges and rewards of performing some the Bard’s most beautiful language. Also featured were Tisch Alumni Andre Holland, Bhavesh Patel, Stephen Plunkett, and NYU Speech intructor Deborah Hecht. As part of our effort to give the city’s younger actors the chance to work with and learn from their more experienced Shakespearean colleagues, The Shakespeare Society collaborated with NYU’s renowned Graduate Acting Program and invited recent graduates to participate in this unique event.

November 12, 19, 26, & December 3, 2007
Monday Night Macbeth

at Classic Stage Company | Sponsored by The Shakespeare Society
The latest in Classic Stage Company’s Open Rehearsal series features great actors and directors taking a stab at Shakespeare’s dark tragedy of blood. On November 26, The Shakespeare Society’s Executive and Artistic Director Michael Sexton directed David Strathairn as Macbeth and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth.

November 5, 2007
An Evening with Trevor Nunn

A tribute to and live conversation with this great Shakespearean. With special guest performers, readings, film clips, and more. Appearing along with Trevor Nunn were Sinead Cusack, Rufus Sewell, Playwright Richard Nelson, Director David Jones, and via video Patrick Stewart. Mr. Nunn was presented with The Shakespeare Society Medal for his contribution to the appreciation of the works of William Shakespeare.

September 17, 2007
Shakespeare Goes to the Opera

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera , The Shakespeare Society presented an unforgettable evening of scenes and song. Michael Cerveris (Lovemusik, Sweeney Todd), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls; Caroline, or Change), Linda Emond (Homebody/Kabul, Life x 3), and Sean McNall (Hamlet) read from Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Macbeth, as singers Adrzej Dobber, Olivia Gorra, Raúl Melo, and Courtney Mills performed selections from the Shakespeare-inspired operas of Verdi and Gounod. Adrian Noble – former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and director of this season's production of Verdi's Macbeth at the Met – provided commentary. READ THE MUSIC REVIEW IN THE NEW YORK TIMES FOR SHAKESPEARE GOES TO THE OPERA

April 9, 2007
Shakespeare Birthday Marathon:
Comedy, Music, Romance

A celebration of the Bard’s 443rd Birthday where actors, singers, and musicians performed scenes, speeches, and songs from Shakespeare’s greatest Comedies and Romances in a non-stop, energy-filled festival. Performers included Peter Ackerman, Cherise Boothe, Philip Bosco, Alyssa Bresnahan, John Cariani, Ruth Carpenter, Michael Cerveris, Kathleen Chalfant, David Costabile, Aisha deHaas, Darius deHaas, Autumn Dornfeld, John Egan, Jennifer Ikeda, Oscar Isaac, John Christopher Jones, Richard Kind, Tom Kozurnplik, Norm Lewis, Kathryn Meisle, Debra Messing, James Naughton, Kristine Nielsen, David Oyelowo, Gerald Pinciss, Jeremy Shamos, Gary Simpson, Daniel Stewart, David Turner, Mark Verdino, Tom Wopat, Lee Wilkof, and students from The Society's Adopt-a-School program.

February 12, 2007
History Girls: Constance, Elizabeth, and Margaret

Three great women of the American theater took on three epic roles from Shakespeare's history plays. Kathleen Chalfant (Wit, Angels In America), Kate Mulgrew, and Marian Seldes (Three Tall Women, Dinner at Eight, A Delicate Balance) gave vivid life to three of the most spirited women in history: Constance (King John), Elizabeth (Richard III) and Margaret (Henry VI, Part 3 and Richard III). Shakespeare clearly had a taste for passionate, furious, eloquent women, and these extraordinary actresses served up a feast of language. The ladies were joined on stage by Brian Murray, Joe Plummer, and Christopher Evan Welch. Commentary was provided by Dympna Callaghan (Professor, Syracuse University and editor of The Feminist Companion to Shakespeare), who returned after appearing in the previous season's very popular program Boys Will Be Girls.

December 11, 2006
Shakespeare in Progress: Antony & Cleopatra

A look at the rehearsal process and how it can deepen our understanding of Shakespeare's vision. Artistic Director Michael Sexton led an open rehearsal with four-time Obie Award winner Elizabeth Marvel (NYTW’s Hedda Gabler, Seascape), Bill Camp (Broadway’s Heartbreak House, Macbeth), Andre Holland (The Blue Door), Jennifer Ikeda (As You Like It, Shakespeare on Broadway), Francois Battiste, and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe. This event was at The Public Theater and gave our members an inside look at how Shakespearean actors face the challenges of acting in one of the Bard's greatest achievements.

November 6, 2006
Filming Shakespeare with Kenneth Branagh

With his latest film (As You Like It) soon to be released, we thought it a great moment to savor the work of this remarkable Shakespearean. From the raw brutality of his early Henry V to the delightful frippery of Love’s Labour’s Lost, from his epic Hamlet to the intimate and closely observed Much Ado About Nothing, Branagh’s virtuosic acting and passionate directing was on splendid display. Commentary was provided by Russell Jackson, Editor, Cambridge Guide to Shakespeare on Film, and text consultant on Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean films. The evening featured a special videotaped appearance by Kenneth Branagh, accepting The Shakespeare Society Medal

September 25, 2006
Shakespeare on Broadway

Broadway stars Marin Mazzie (Kiss Me, Kate, Passion), Jason Danieley (The Full Monty, Candide), Richard Kind (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Producers, TV's Mad About You), Brian D'arcy James (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), and Tom Wopat (Glenngarry Glenn Ross, Annie Get Your Gun, TV's The Dukes of Hazzard) broke into song in celebration of the American musical theater's adaptation of Shakespeare. Tony Award winning director Jack O'Brien (Hairspray, Henry IV, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Invention of Love, The Full Monty), provided commentary as scenes and speeches from The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo and Juliet are paired with the incomparable songs of Rogers and Hart (The Boys from Syracuse), Cole Porter (Kiss Me, Kate), and Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story).

June 5, 2006
A Question of Genius

What makes a genius? Three contemporary thinkers joined by a cast of actors including Tony Award winner Richard Easton, Linda Emond, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Steven Skybell addressed the size, scope, and enduring mystery of Shakespeare's accomplishment. Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker, Paris to the Moon) explored Shakespeare's use of multiple tones and voices. Ron Rosenbaum (New York Observer, The Shakespeare Wars) explored whether Shakespeare was a "natural genius" who never blotted a line or a conscientious artist who revised his work in important ways. Director Mark Lamos (Seascape, As You Like It), looked at the music and renewal of the late romances. Featuring scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale.

April 23, 2006
Shakespeare Birthday Marathon

The Shakespeare Society presented the first ever Shakespeare Birthday Marathon. This free community event commemorated Shakespeare's 442nd birthday with stage and screen actors reading the Bard's plays and poetry – as well as music and song from the city's finest singers and musicians – in a five-hour celebration. The first event of its kind, the Marathon was a gift to the City of New York. Attended by more than 1100 people, the event featured actors, singers, musicians, commentators, and hosts: Marsha Stephanie Blake, Philip Bosco, Avery Brooks, Alyson Cambridge, Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Cumpsty, Keith David, Autumn Dornfeld, Oskar Eustis, Peter Jay Fernandez, Christopher Fitzgerald, Kate Forbes, Alexandra Foucard, Marjorie Garber, Eric Michael Gillette, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeremiah, John Christopher Jones, Ezra Knight, Robert Sean Leonard, Kristin Linklater, Mark Linn-Baker, Florencia Lozano, Elizabeth Marvel, Denis O'Hare, Sarah Paden, Estelle Parsons, Dimitri Pittas, Joe Plummer, Jean Randich, Matthew Rauch, John Rothman, Amy Ryan, Marian Seldes, Isaiah Sheffer, Robert Stanton, Scott Thornton, David Townsend, Maria Tucci, Fritz Weaver, and Matthew Willis. Major support for this production was provided by Sotheby's.

February 13, 2006
Boys Will Be Girls: Cross-dressing in Shakespeare

Boys Will Be Girls was an irreverent examination of cross-dressing and sexual role-playing in Shakespeare featuring Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife), Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck), Michael Cumpsty (The Constant Wife), and Hamish Linklater. Commentary was by Dympna Callaghan, Syracuse University professor and author of Shakespeare Without Women.

December 5, 2005
Small Venue Event: Good Men and True
The Common (Non) Sense of Dogberry, Costard and the Shepard's Son

Artistic Director Michael Sexton, joined by noted comic actors Bill Buell and David Costabile, lead a lively and informal discussion on three characters Shakespeare clearly and uniquely loved. He examined the curious and malappropriate ways they serve as social correctives, bringing a sense of common decency to the lives of their betters. With an odd dignity and an even odder vocabulary, these men prevent disaster and preserve life: "what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light."

November 14, 2005
Shakespeare on Film: Othello

Three great actors perform one of Shakespeare's most challenging roles. Jesse McKinley of the New York Times lead a discussion with Tony-winning actor-writer-director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and The New Yorker's Hilton Als as we view scenes from Orson Welles's haunting and recently restored masterpiece, Laurence OIivier's famously outrageous Moor, and Laurence Fishburne's emotional and understated power. With a few surprises were thrown in for good measure.

October 17, 2005
A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
Special Event for Members

Book party and discussion with Professor James Shapiro, Columbia University, celebrated his eagerly awaited book A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare:1599.

September 26, 2005
Antony & Cleopatra

Who are Antony and Cleopatra? Is he the resolute soldier or the moody lover? Is she the steadfast champion of Egypt or the jealous mistress? Does love change or reveal our true selves? And why are the sexiest speeches in this play preludes to suicide? Joining us were award-winning actors Elizabeth Marvel as Cleopatra, Byron Jennings as Antony, Kristine Nielsen, Andy Weems, Sean McNall and Peter Jay Fernandez. Commentary was by Columbia University professor, author, and Shakespearean expert Kristin Linklater.

June 6, 2005
How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Society was pleased to present two charismatic, dynamic and exciting personalities - Stephen Greenblatt and Robert Brustein - in a discussion on Shakespeare’s world and theater. References were drawn from Professor Greenblatt’s New York Times best-seller, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Actors F. Murray Abraham and Joe Plummer read selections from Venus and Adonis, the Sonnets, The Merchant of Venice, and other works.

April 18, 2005
Shakespeare's Fathers and Daughters

Marjorie Garber, Harvard professor and prominent author of the recently published and critically acclaimed Shakespeare After All provided commentary on the relationship between fathers and daughters in Shakespeare's plays. We were joined by actors Cherise Boothe, Richard Easton, Michael Emerson, and Maryann Plunkett.

April 4, 11, 25 & May 2, 2005
Monday Night Hamlet
Co-produced by The Shakespeare Society and Classic Stage Company.

A series of open rehearsals in which a distinguished company of seasoned actors and directors worked their way through selected scenes from Shakespeare's masterpiece. Participants included actors Michael Cumpsty, Hamish Linklater, James Urbaniak, and Michael Stuhlbarg, and directors Brian Kulick, Karen Coonrod, and Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton.

February 7, 2005
A Film Retrospective: Ian McKellen

Celebrating the illustrious and outstanding Shakespearean film career of Sir Ian McKellen with selections from Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard II, Richard III and Sir Ian's solo Shakespeare film. Commentary by actor Roger Rees and critic John Simon.

November 15, 2004
Hamlet's Appeal

The State of Denmark v. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, in a Shakespearean moot court with prominent New York lawyers, scholars, and Judges. Participants included noted jurists Robert D. Sack, Colleen McMahon, Jed S. Rakoff, attorneys Mary Jo White, Daniel Kornstein, K. Ann McDonald, Norman Greene, and NYU law professor Stephen Gillers.

October 18, 2004

A play reading about a Shakespeare forgery. Written by William Kinsolving, Directed by Roger Rees. A bonus event for Shakespeare Society members at the New York Society for Ethical Culture.

September 20, 2004
The Macbeths' Murderous Marriage

Michael Kahn, Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theater, Washington, DC, presented selected highlights from his production of Macbeth, with members of the cast, including Kelly McGillis as Lady Macbeth and Patrick Page as Macbeth. Mr. Kahn discussed the process of creating a performance, giving the audience insights into the actor-director collaboration. The event culminated with the presentation of The Shakespeare Society Medal to Mr. Kahn for his outstanding achievement in the world of William Shakespeare.
(Pictured to the right: Kelly McGillis)

June 3, 2004
Christopher Plummer in 'Shakespeare with Music'

A unique evening created for The Shakespeare Society by Christopher Plummer and Michael Lankester in which Mr. Plummer performed excerpts from Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, and The Tempest accompanied by live music by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Walton, and Lankester.

April 19, 2004
Shakespeare's 440th Birthday Celebration

We toasted the Bard's 440th birthday in a festive gathering, featuring readings by Shakespeare Society members and actors Philip Bosco, Bill Buell, Joe Plummer, Laila Robins, Steven Skybell, and Maria Tucci.
This event was held at The Explorers Club.

February 2, 2004
A Director's Perspective: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Acclaimed director Mark Lamos and actors discussed and performed scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

December 15, 2003
A Shakespearean Tribute to Sir Peter Hall

Hosted by composer, conductor, and opera and theater director Michael Lankester, with personal reminiscences and readings by special guests John Guare, Patrick Stewart, Vanessa Redgrave, Rosemary Harris, Jeffrey Horowitz, Rebecca Hall and Tony Walton. The evening culminated with the presentation of The Shakespeare Society medal to
Sir Peter in honor of his distinguished contributions to the world of William Shakespeare.

November 10, 2003
Laurence Olivier's Shakespeare : A Film Retrospective

Distinguished stage and film actor Roger Rees and film and drama critic John Simon returned to our stage to give commentary on a series of film clips of some of Olivier's finest Shakespearean roles. Film clips included Olivier's leading roles in Henry V, Richard III, Othello, Hamlet, and King Lear.

October 20, 2003
Shakespeare's Kitchen

A Book Party for Shakespeare's Kitchen by Francine Segan with white wine and hors d'oeuvres.

September 29, 2003
Book-in-Hand: The Tempest

Tony Award-winning actor Richard Easton was Prospero and Michi Barall was Miranda. The reading featured specially composed music by Andrew Sherman and a quartet of Philharmonic musicians. Directed by Erica Schmidt.

June 2, 2003
Shakespeare's Clowns and Fools

Shakespearean actor and veteran clown David Costabile took us through the evolution of Shakespeare's clowns and fools with a talented band of comic actors. Clowns and fools discussed ranged from the beloved figures Trinculo, Launce, and Feste to Lear's Fool and the Gravedigger.

November 18, 2002
The Lunatic, The Lover, and The Poet

Brian Bedford, one of today's most distinguished classical actors, returned to our stage with memorable moments from Shakespeare's greatest works. Using a bare stage and stool, the Tony Award winner presented a wide range of characters in his acclaimed solo performance.

October 28, 2002
Book-in-Hand: The Merchant of Venice

Academy Award winning actor F. Murray Abraham was Shylock and Vivienne Benesch was Portia in a two-hour staged play reading. No sets, no costumes, just Shakespeare's language and a company of some of New York's finest actors. Directed by Brian Kulick.

September 23, 2002
A Director's Perspective: Antony and Cleopatra

In launching our new series A Director's Perspective, acclaimed director Mark Lamos took us through the process of bringing Antony and Cleopatra to life on stage. Selected scenes were read by award-winning actress Kate Burton, actors Steven Skybell, Vivienne Benesch, and Boris McGiver.

May 20, 2002
Comedy Tonight! The Taming of the Shrew

Mel Shapiro, Tony Award-winning director, and Brian Kulick, creative director of The Shakespeare Society, took us through the key scenes of Taming of the Shrew, discussing the nature of comedy and the eternal battle of the sexes. Film clips featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and John Cleese were shown.

April 22, 2002
Book-in-Hand: King Lear

Philip Bosco (Lear), Richard Easton (Gloucester), Laila Robins (Regan), Blair Brown (Goneril), Jessica Hecht (Cordelia), Boris McGiver (Edmund), Michael Cumpsty (Edgar), Philip Goodwin (Kent), Mark Linn-Baker (Fool), and other prominent actors, directed by Brian Kulick.

March 11, 2002
Shakespeare's Women

Professor Harold Bloom, best-selling author of Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human and America's leading literary critic, spent the evening with Cleopatra, Gertrude, Cressida, Hermione, Isabella, and Lady Macbeth. He was joined on stage by actors Rosemary Harris, Maria Tucci, Vivienne Benesch, Boris McGiver, and Sam Tsoutsouvas.

January 28, 2002
Book-in-Hand: Much Ado About Nothing

A two-hour staged reading featuring Christine Baranski (Beatrice), Michael Cumpsty (Benedick), Herb Foster (Leonato), Miriam Laube (Hero), Jessie Pennington (Claudio), Robert Sella (Don John), Boris McGiver (Borachio), Philip Goodwin (Don Pedro), Bill Buell (Dogberry). Directed by Brian Kulick.

November 5, 2001
Shakespeare: Stage vs. Screen

A lively debate among film and theater directors, actors, and critics on what is gained and lost when Shakespeare makes the transition from stage to screen. Film clips ranging from Orson Welles' classic Chimes at Midnight to the most recent Hamlet starring Ethan Hawke.Moderator: Ron Rosenbaum of The New York Observer. Panelists: John Simon, theater critic, New York Magazine; Michael Almereyda, film director, Hamlet; Michael Kahn, artistic director, The Shakespeare Theater, Washington, DC, and director of Juilliard’s Drama Division, and actor Liev Schreiber.

September 24, 2001
The Lunatic, The Lover, and The Poet

Brian Bedford, Tony Award winner and one of the most distinguished Shakespearean actors of our time, presented a wide range of Shakespeare's characters including Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, as well as Richard II and Hamlet.

June 18, 2001
Shakespeare Goes A-Wooing

Brian Kulick, The Shakespeare Society's creative director, discussed Shakespeare's portrayal of romantic relationships. He illustrated his commentary with film excerpts from these plays: The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry
, and The Tempest.

March 12, 2001
Shakespeare's Humor

Harold Bloom, America's foremost literary critic, acted Falstaff in several scenes from Henry IV, Parts I & II. Professor Bloom was joined on stage by Christine Baranski, Vivienne Benesch, Philip Bosco, Matthew Cowles, and Steven Skybell in scenes from As You Like It, Measure for Measure, and Twelfth Night.

January 29, 2001
Claire Bloom's Shakespeare

Roger Rees discussed with Claire Bloom her many Shakespearean roles and her leading men. Film clips of her great performances were shown. The Shakespeare Society Medal was presented to Ms. Bloom in recognition of her extraordinary contribution to our appreciation of the works of William Shakespeare.

October 30, 2000
The Hamlet Problem: What's Rotten in the State of Denmark?

Professor Arnold Weinstein, Brown University, discussed Shakespeare's tragedy.
Brian Murray and Marian Seldes read scenes from the play.

September 18, 2000
A Shakespearean Tribute to The Late Sir John Gielgud

Sheridan Morley, authorized biographer of John Gielgud, was the Master of Ceremonies. Personal reminiscences and readings were given by some of Sir John's Shakespearean colleagues in the theater: Edward Albee, Keith Baxter, Brian Bedford, Philip Bosco, Zoe Caldwell, Hume Cronyn, Ralph Fiennes, Barrie Ingham, Anne Jackson, Tony Randall, Maria Tucci, Eli Wallach and Robert Whitehead.

May 8, 2000
A Midsummer Night's Dream

This program was hosted by Barrie Ingham (Shakespearean scholar & actor) and featured video clips of great performances and readings by: Roy Dotrice, Lisa Harrow, Neal Huff, and Sybil Lines.

March 6, 2000
Sir Derek Jacobi: My Life with Shakespeare

Roger Rees discussed with Sir Derek his outstanding career as a Shakespearean actor and director. The program concluded with the presentation of The Shakespeare Society Medal to Sir Derek in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to our appreciation of the works of William Shakespeare.

January 17, 2000
Shakespeare's Great Soliloquies

Performance and discussion of Shakespeare's great soliloquies by actors Barrie Ingham, Dana Ivey, Tony Randall, Roger Rees, and Robin Weigert.

November 15, 1999
Othello: Sexuality, Jealousy and Evil

Commentary by Professor Arnold Weinstein, Brown University and performance by
John Neville.

October 4, 1999
The Tragedy of King Lear

Commentary by Ruth Carpenter, Shakespearean scholar, and Dr. John Ross, psychoanalyst with videos of great performances. Roger Rees, special guest.

May 24, 1999
A Director's Perspective: Romeo and Juliet

Brian Kulick, then artistic associate of the Public Theater and recent director of the acclaimed production of Shakespeare's Pericles, discussed the theme of the play as love and violence, and their interaction. He illustrated his discussion of Romeo and Juliet with video excerpts from three very different productions: 1936 directed by George Cukor; 1968 directed by Franco Zeffirelli; and 1996 directed by Baz Luhrmann.

March 8, 1999
The Macbeths

Professor Irene Dash and Professor Gerald Pinciss, Hunter College, presented a lively character analysis pitting Macbeth against Lady Macbeth in an attempt to determine the play's true villain. Comparative excerpts featuring legendary Macbeth performances were featured.

January 11, 1999
The Merchant of Venice

Professor James Shapiro of Columbia University, author of the acclaimed book Shakespeare and the Jews, hosted an evening of commentary and performance. Comparative performances on video by Sir Laurence Olivier, Patrick Stewart and David Suchet in the role of Shylock were used along with live performances.

November 9, 1998
Shakespeare's Villains

David Scott Kastan, professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, explored the nature of evil in Richard III and Othello. Special guest appearances were made by Tony Randall as Iago and Steven Skybell as King Richard III.

September 14, 1998
Hamlets on Film: Barrymore to Branagh

Professor Peter Saccio discussed the many ways great actors interpret Hamlet, utilizing comparative film clips from throughout the 20th century.

June 29, 1998
Women of Will: Ladies who Shake the World of Shakespeare

A lively discussion of some of Shakespeare's most memorable heroines - Portia, Cleopatra, and Rosalind. An informal, participatory evening featuring actress Maria Tucci and Shakespearean scholars Robert Macdonald (Smith College), Jill Smith(Columbia University), and Ruth Carpenter (The Brearley School).

June 1, 1998
Love and Courtship in Shakespeare

This program presented enactment and discussion of scenes between Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, the first courtship of Olivia by the disguised Viola in Twelfth Night, and several speeches from Love's Labour's Lost and The Taming of the Shrew. Commentary by Professor Peter Saccio of Dartmouth, and four Shakespearean actors of the Shrew. Commentary by Professor Peter Saccio of Dartmouth, and four Shakespearean actors

Past Events

Find out what's next HERE

To see pictures from past events, click HERE

Tuesday, June 28 at 7:00 pm


At The Pearl Theatre  (555 W 42nd St)

We continue our look at Shakespeare’s most political and controversial play with the brilliant Chukwudi Iwuji in the title role. After a week spent studying, discussing, reading and exploring the play as part of our Shakespeare Work Artist Residency program, actors Peter Francis JamesMerritt JansonJesse PerezJay O. SandersPhumzile Sitole, and more will take the stage of the Pearl Theatre Company with director Michael Sexton for an evening of lively conversation and readings from the play.  .  

Sunday, May 15 at 6pm

The Shakespeare Society & Hunts Point Alliance for Children

present a Benefit Performance

The Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble in 


At New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St.

Falling in love can make fools of us all! Take a magical journey to the woods outside of Athens in this lively and heart-warming production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring the talented and hard-working young members of the Hunts Point Children's Shakespeare Ensemble. Now in its ninth year, the Ensemble is an extraordinary collaboration between The Shakespeare Society and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx. Through a combination of close reading, acting, and rehearsal techniques, the Ensemble's participants - forty 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from schools in Hunts Point - are completely immersed in a Shakespeare play. They develop their capacity for teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking, while testing their capacity for commitment and rigor; and each May, they put on an unforgettable show for their families, friends, and you!

May 4 at 7pm


Skirmishes of Wit

An Evening with The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors

At the Pearl Theatre, 555 W. 42nd St.


We all know them - the dueling duos of Shakespeare's plays who captivate us with their witty repartee, from Beatrice and Benedick, to Kate and Petruchio, to Rosalind and Orlando, and even to Isabella and Angelo, albeit in a more sinister tone. During this evening, The Shakespeare Society Ambassadors will present their favorite examples of "skirmishes of wit" from Shakespeare's plays as we consider how these moments reveal character, build excitement, and draw us deeper into a play's world. The scenes they perform will be further illuminated by commentary from professor of English at Barnard College Peter Platt, Head of Voice at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting Alithea Phillips, and Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael SextonAnd after the event, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and the chance to mingle with the Ambassadors and other special guests!

Wednesday, April 20 at 10am - 3:30pm


At Ripley Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Avenue

Join us for our third and final professional development workshop for teachers of the 2015-16 season. Workshop participants will close read passages from Hamlet and develop sample lessons with guidance from veteran classroom teacher and Shakespeare Society Teaching Artist Wendy Halm-Violette. This workshop is especially suited for teachers who have limited experience with Hamlet and want to improve their own basic comprehension of the play.

Monday, April 18 at 6:30pm


With James Shapiro

A Collaboration with BAM and the Royal Shakespeare Company

At BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn 

James Shapiro and cast members of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Shakespeare's titanic second tetralogy, will bring to a glorious close our yearlong look at the Henriad, one of his most compelling and enduring achievements. In our November program on Richard II, we looked at the ways Shakespeare tested the limits of the divine right of kings and revealed the fragile man beneath the mantle. This evening with the RSC will explore the men -- Henry Bolingbroke and his son Hal -- who supplanted and succeeded Richard -- leaders who gained and maintained power not through their status as "God's anointed," but through political acumen, military might, and most of all, a new kind of role playing and rhetorical prowess.

Friday, April 1 at 7pm

Shakespeare vs. Mozart: A Literary Debate

A Collaboration with the New York Public Library & Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival

With Michael Sexton & Adam Gopnik

At the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza

For four hundred years, western culture has continuously looked to Shakespeare to share the truth of the human condition. On the other hand, the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart miraculously captures the sublime and expresses the inexpressible. As the Library presents concurrent exhibitions celebrating the work of Shakespeare and of Mozart, the question must be answered - who is the greatest genius? In one corner: Shakespeare experts including Michael Sexton from The Shakespeare Society and Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker magazine. In the other corner: Mozart defenders from the Mostly Mozart Festival and the Mozart Society of America. Each side will battle with competing evidence, utilizing live performances and historic materials from The Library's archives.  Q2 Music's Brothers Balliett moderate this epic clash of titans. One night only. Who will win? This is not a joke!

Saturday, March 26 at 6:30pm
What Makes It Shakespeare?
With Tina Packer, and James Shapiro
Presented by Letter of Marque Theater Company
At The Irondale Center, 85 S. Oxford St., Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Join Letter of Marque Theater Company along with Tina Packer (author, Women of Will) and James Shapiro (author, The Year of Lear), for a Full Frontal Panel Discussion on Double Falsehood, and how this "lost" play stands up to the rest of Shakespeare's works in terms of character, style, and themes.

MEMBERS & NON-MEMBERS: Click HERE to reserve.

Monday, March 21 at 7pm


Shakespeare and Modern Poetry

With Robert Pinsky

In Association with Poets House

Supported by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities

At the Kaye Playhouse, 68th Street between Park and Lexington

Robert Pinsky (former Poet Laureate of the United States) will explore the influence of Shakespeare's work on the imaginations of 20th century poets. From Yeats and Eliot to Langston Hughes and Allen Ginsberg, modern poetry can be wonderfully surprising prism through which to view Shakespeare. The evening will focus first on poems that resonate with Shakespeare directly (e.g., Eliot's Coriolan poems, Cavafy's "The God Leaves Antony" and Delmore Schwartz's "Gold Morning Sweet Prince") and will include readings from the plays addressed in those poems by some of New York's finest actors including Andy GrotelueschenJennifer Ikeda, Merritt Janson and Will Swenson. Then Mr. Pinsky will surprise us with some mash-ups of his own- poetic collages, originally composed for this program, that combine Shakespeare's sonnets with modern poems and in which the sometimes invisible seams suggest intriguing insights about both art forms.

March 7 at 7:30pm

Special Event
A Collaboration with Red Bull Theater
With David Barlow, Chukwudi Iwuji, Peter Francis James, 
Merritt Janson, Estelle Parsons, Jay O. Sanders, and more
At the Lucille Lortel Theater, 129 Christopher Street

The Shakespeare Society teams up with Red Bull Theater to present Coriolanus as part of their OBIE Award-Winning Revelation Readings series. What was Shakespeare's take on politics? Between the competing claims of democracy and aristocracy, amidst the din of famished citizens and enraged soldiers, looms the personal tragedy of one man’s, and his mother’s, emotional blindness. Chukwudi Iwuji (Old Vic's Richard III, TFANA's Tamburlaine, and The Public's King Lear) will star, and Shakespeare Society Artistic Director Michael Sexton will direct. Following the reading, LIU Professor of English James Bednarz (author ofShakespeare and the Truth of Love) will lead a post-reading discussion of the play and its themes with director Michael Sexton and members of the company.

February 22 at 7pm
PERICLES: Bringing Back the Dead
With Professor Tanya Pollard
Hosted by Theatre for a New Audience 
At Polonsky Shakespeare Center

After the avalanche of losses in his tragedies, in Pericles, the first of his late-career theatrical experiments, Shakespeare looked back to ancient story patterns to explore how seemingly impossible new life can emerge following great loss. Professor Tanya Pollard will illustrate how Shakespeare's revival of old literary forms-from the ventriloquism of the medieval poet John Gower to the mingling of ancient Greek romance with newly fashionable tragicomedy-animates the recoveries in Pericles, including the miraculous return from the "dead" of a wife and daughter a broken man had counted lost. Selections from the original score composed by Tony-nominated Shaun Davey help convey the mystery and magic of this tale of redemption, reconciliation, and forgiveness. With cast members from Trevor Nunn's new production at Theater for a New Audience.

February 16 at 7 pm 


Related Links

Resource Links