Date: 02/23/2015

Time: All Day

Location: Cooper Union, The Great Hall (33 E. 17th St., Manhattan)

Price: Free

Shakespeare’s plays exert their power over us through the beauty of language, the craft of drama, and something else we can’t easily name. Or maybe we can. These talks are designed as an introduction – or reintroduction – to Shakespeare the poet-playwright-player and to the world of his plays. That world can be lyrical or violent, green or desolate, a place for love and sex or for grappling with the mysteries of time and death. Shakespeare’s plays were performed at many places and theaters – the famous Globe is only one – but “globe” is as good a metaphor as any for the body of work that, quite miraculously, survived his death in 1616. Shakespeare’s plays teem with characters, and those characters have problems that draw us back again and again. Because five hundred years later, those problems are still with us, and the language in which he poses them continues to give us consolation, and joy, and hope. Each talk begins at 6:00 and lasts for one-hour. The schedule is: February 2 -- The plays as craft: Shakespeare in his poetic time February 9 -- The plays as performance: Shakespeare in his theatrical time February 23 -- Titus Andronicus: the theater of knife March 2 -- A Midsummer Night’s Dream: the theater of sleep March 9 -- Henry V: the theater of arms April 13 -- Othello: the theater of race April 20 -- Hamlet: the self as theater April 27 -- Coriolanus: politics as theater May 11 -- The Winter’s Tale: theater after the end of time

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