“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Performance Augments Shakespeare and the Law Panel

Sept. 21, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — Actors from Spirit of Shakespeare, a University of Texas at Austin 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," Wednesday, Sept. 22, 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, is sponsored by the university's Department of English and 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 p.m.

The panel's title, "According to our Law," is taken from the play's first scene, when the harsh patriarch Egeus demands 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.

Four panelists will discuss legal and related issues central to "A Midsummer Night's Dream." They are: Zipporah Wiseman, the 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; and Alan Friedman, professor of English, coordinator of Actors from the London Stage, and faculty adviser for Spirit of Shakespeare at The University of Texas at Austin.

Spirit of Shakespeare (SOS) is a group of 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 the 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 Sept. 27 with performances at the university's McCullough Theatre running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets from Texas Performing Arts online ticket office. On Oct. 2 the play will be performed at the Winedale Historical Center in Round Top, Texas, at 7 p.m. For more information, log on to the Winedale Web site.

For more information, contact: Laura Castro, director of media relations, School of Law, 512-825-9525 (cell); Liz Fisher, Department of English, 512-471-4726.