Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wed, April 28th @ 6 P.M: The Word's the Thing at The Drama Book Shop

In Celebration of Shakespeare's Birthday: A FREE Panel Discussion with Special Guests: B. H. Barry, Barry Edelstein and Tina Packer; along with the Exhibition of a Unique Copy of the First Edition of the First Shakespeare Concordance.

The importance of words in Shakespeare's works is obvious. Now, more than 400 years since he penned them; in the era of Tea Baggers, Birthers, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, et al; words are as significant (and slippery) as ever. In publishing, a "concordance" is an alphabetical list of the words (especially the important ones) present in a text, usually with citations of the passages concerned. The first Shakespeare concordance, by English author Mary Cowden Clarke, was published in 1847. "The Word's the Thing" was inspired by a recently rediscovered--and unique edition--of her concordance.

TINA PACKER (Actor, Teacher, Director and Scholar) is one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts. She created the renowned acting troupe Shakespeare & Company in 1978, the goal of which is to be an American Shakespeare company of the highest standard that holds language at its center. Recognized by more than 20 awards, honors and fellowships, Tina has twice received Boston’s coveted Elliot Norton Award, as well as the state’s highest cultural honor, The Commonwealth Award, and Guggenheim and Bunting Fellowships. She has directed nearly every Shakespeare play.

B.H. BARRY (Fight Director) creates fights for Broadway, opera, ballet, TV and film ("Addams Family" "Glory" and "Mulan"). In the last fifty years he has been connected with 27 of Shakespeare's plays--some of them many times. He worked for the RSC in England and the NYSF here in New York; and has been awarded both a Drama Desk and an Obie for his fight direction.

BARRY EDELSTEIN (Theater Director and Writer) is known as one of the leading Shakespeareans in the United States. He has directed nearly half the canon at both The Public Theater and at venues across country. He has taught at the Juilliard School, NYU's Graduate Acting Program, and USC and has written on the subject of Shakespeare for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and American Theater Magazine. In 2007, Edelstein was appointed Director of the Public Theater's Shakespeare Initiative. In this capacity he oversees all Shakespearean production at the theater, as well as the Public's extensive educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs.

From 1850 until his death in 1861, Robert Balmanno, a prominant American collector, and Mary Cowden Clarke, author of the first Concordance to Shakespeare, exchanged a series of intimate letters which, 50 years later, were published as "Letters to An Enthusiast". On display at the event will be Mr. Balmanno's personal (and personalized) copy of the first edition of the Concordance to Shakespeare, letters from Mary Cowden Clark, 64 pages of the original, hand-written manuscript, dozens of newspaper clippings, and extensive material relating to Mrs. Clark and her supporters. The majority of 64 manuscript pages that Mrs. Clarke sent to Mr. Balmanno were entries for "Friendship" and "Loyalty," and though Clarke and Balmanno never met in person, these pages embody their close relationship.

Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions
By Barry Edelstein

Tales from Shakespeare
By Tina Packer, Gail De Marcken, Leo Dillon


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