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Shakespeare and the Law: Scenes and a Panel on Legal Issues from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, September 22, 2010

Actors from Spirit of Shakespeare, a University of Texas student organization, will perform scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of a panel discussion titled “According to our Law: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, in the Eidman Courtroom at the University of Texas School of Law from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Law.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Jamail Pavilion adjacent to the Eidman Courtroom in the Law School’s John B. Connally Center. (See Maps and Directions.) The panel, which includes the performance, starts at 7:00 p.m.

The panel’s title, “According to our Law,” is taken from the play’s first scene, when the harsh patriarch Egeus demands that his daughter marry the man of his choice or be executed “according to our law.” The play’s actions find a way to reconcile “harsh Athenian law” and the erotic desires of the young lovers.

This year, four panelists will discuss legal and related issues central to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They are:

  • Zipporah Wiseman, Thomas H. Law Centennial Professor at the University of Texas School of Law
  • James Loehlin, director of Shakespeare at Winedale and professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Robert Matney, actor, Austin Shakespeare, and graduate of the Shakespeare at Winedale program
  • Alan Friedman, professor of English, coordinator of Actors from the London Stage, and faculty advisor for Spirit of Shakespeare at the University of Texas at Austin

Spirit of Shakespeare (SOS) is a group of University of Texas students involved in promoting Shakespeare programs on campus and in the community. For several years now, the SOS players have performed scenes from the annual Actors from the London Stage (AFTLS) play and have helped to augment and elucidate the Shakespeare and the Law panel discussions.

Shakespeare and the Law grew out of the AFTLS residency, a familiar and regular part of the University’s Shakespeare offerings since 1999, and a conference on “The Law and Other Performing Arts” held at the Law School in 2002. AFTLS, a London-based theatrical touring company, brings its unique educational and theatrical program, which features a troupe of five classically trained actors from major English theaters, to this campus and city for week-long residencies every year.

This year, these actors will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their week-long residency begins September 27, 2010, with performances at UT’s McCullough Theatre running from September 29 to October 1, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets from Texas Performing Arts online ticket office. On October 2, 2010, the play will be performed at the Winedale Historical Center in Round Top, Texas, at 7:00 p.m. For more information, log on to the Winedale website.

Contact:

Laura Castro, UT Law Communications, 512-232-1229, lcastro@law.utexas.edu.

Liz Fisher, UT English Department, 512-471-4726, lfisher@mail.utexas.edu .

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