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September 21, 2009

Shakespeare & the Law: scenes and panel on legal issues from King Lear, September 23, 2009

Actors from Spirit of Shakespeare, a University of Texas student organization, will perform scenes from King Lear as part of a panel discussion entitled “‘By Order of Law’: Shakespeare’s King Lear” on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, in the Eidman Courtroom at the University of Texas School of Law from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The event, free and open to the public, begins with a reception 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 for information about getting to the Eidman Courtroom.)

The panel’s title, “By Order of Law,” taken from an early speech in the play by the Earl of Gloucester, raises issues central to King Lear: legitimacy, inheritance, and proprietary rights within the kingdom and the family.

This event is part of an annual program, Actors from the London Stage (AFTLS), a celebration of Shakespeare at the University of Texas-Austin. Since 1999, AFTLS has brought its unique educational and theatrical program, which features a troupe of five classically trained actors from major English theaters, to this campus for week-long residencies. During that week, the actors will teach twenty-five classes and workshops; offer a one-person show in the Harry Ransom Center’s Poetry on the Plaza series; and perform, with minimal props, King Lear.

Similar panels exploring other Shakespeare texts and legal issues have been offered every year since the 2002 interdisciplinary conference, “From Text to Performance: Law and Other Performing Arts,” a week-long investigation of interpretations of drama, music, law, and art. It included four different productions of the courtroom scene in act 4 of The Merchant of Venice.

Such legal and related issues will be discussed by the panelists, who include:

  • Julius Getman, the Earl E. Sheffield Regents Chair at the University of Texas School of Law, panel moderator
  • Douglas Bruster, professor of Renaissance English
  • Matthew Davies, actor, associate director of actors from the London Stage, and English Department PhD candidate
  • Alan Friedman, professor of English, coordinator of Actors from the London Stage, and faculty advisor for the Spirit of Shakespeare at the University of Texas

Residency events

Wednesday, September 30, noon, “The Sand and the Oyster: The Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy” by Caroline Devlin. Harry Ransom Center plaza. Free admission.

Wednesday, September 30, 7:30 p.m., King Lear. Actors from the London Stage performance (Q&A with actors to follow). University of Texas at Austin, B. Iden Payne Theatre, Winship Drama Building.

Thursday, October 1, 7:30 p.m., King Lear. Actors from the London Stage performance. University of Texas at Austin, B. Iden Payne Theatre, Winship Drama Building.

Friday, October 2, 7:30 p.m., King Lear. Actors from the London Stage performance. University of Texas at Austin, B. Iden Payne Theatre, Winship Drama Building.

Saturday, October 3, 7 p.m., King Lear. Actors from the London Stage performance. Winedale Theatre Barn, Winedale Historical Center, Round Top, Texas.

Ticket information

B. Iden Payne performances on September 30, October 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m.: tickets available at the Performing Arts Center website, 477-6060, or 1-800-982-2386. Tickets may be purchased without a service charge in person at the Frank Erwin Center Box Office (Monday–Friday, 10 a.m. –6 p.m.) and the Bass Concert Hall Ticket Office (Monday–Friday, 11 a.m. –2 p.m. inside lobby, and 2–6 p.m. outside ticket window).

Winedale performance on October 3 at 7 p.m. (Winedale Historical Center): ticketing information available on the Shakespeare at Winedale webpage.

For more information, please visit the College of Liberal Arts webpage on Shakespeare Studies, or the Actors from the London Stage website.

Contact:

Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu.

Matt Harvey, UT English Department, 512-471-8567, mnh@mail.utexas.edu