Classics in Context fulfills our audience’s desire for in-depth information on the plays before attending each production. This new series will feature a pre-season article and two panel discussions aimed at increasing audience engagement with classic theatre by providing a window into its origins, critical response, as well as scholarly and artistic perspectives. The pre-season article will focus on all six productions providing background information on the cultural, economic, and historical context of the plays. The discussions will feature a panel of scholars and artists selected by the project scholar and project director, focusing on two or three of the season’s offering.

2016 Classics and Context Preshow Discussion Topics, Schedule, and Panelists:

Friday, July 8, 5:30-6:30 in Cumston Hall

“Jack hath not Jill”: The Comedy of Love in Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, Beaumarchais’ The Barber of Seville, and Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost

Charlotte Daniels, Professor Romance Languages & Literature, Bowdoin College
Charlotte Daniels teaches courses on language, literature, cinema and contemporary French culture. Most recently she taught “French Theatre Production,” another version of “Vive la France.” Students
directed and presented five plays to the Bowdoin community: Marivaux’s Slaves’ Island, Ionesco’s The Lesson, Sartre’s Huis Clos, Maryse Condé’s Two Brothers, and Yamina Reza’s Art. Her research focuses on eighteenth-century France. She is currently working on a project examining the relationship between book culture and the slave trade.

Dawn McAndrews, Producing Artistic Director and Director of Love’s Labour’s Lost
Dawn has worked at theatres across the country including Shakespeare Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Portland Stage Company, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Directing credits include Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Colby), The Language Archive (Public Theatre); The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, The Mousetrap, Henry IV Part 1, Of Thee I Sing (TAM); The Glass Menagerie; Holiday, and Three Days of Rain (1st Stage); Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Antigone, as well as adapting and directing A Christmas Carol at Portland Stage

Steve Urkowitz, Shakespeare scholar and director
With 50 years of teaching experience, Steve Urkowitz is a leading scholar on teaching institutes at the Folger Library, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He currently sits as a trustee on the boards of the Shakespeare Association of America and the American Shakespeare Center at the Staunton, Virgina, Blackfriars Theater. He is a published revising playwright, “Shakespeare’s Revision of King Lear“ (Princeton, 1980). He has directed multiple full length productions ranging from Sophocles and 12th century French liturgical drama through 15th century English plays and Shakespeare.

Matthew Arbour, Director of Barber of Seville
Matthew is glad to return to TAM where he previously directed Romeo and Juliet (1999), Tartuffe (2012) and The Real Inspector Hound (2015). His work has been seen Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and around the country. He began his career as dramaturg/literary manager at Portland Stage Company from 1992-1998. Matthew is a Drama League Directing Fellow, proud member of SDC, as well as a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Washington in Seattle.

Friday, July 22, 5:30-6:30 in Cumston Hall

“Les langues des hommes sont pleines de tromperies”: War, Love, and the Magic of Theater in Shakespeare’s Henry V and Kushner’s The Illusion

Benjamin Bertram, English Professor, University of Southern Maine
Benjamin Bertram’s areas of interest include sixteenth and seventeenth-century English literature and culture, Shakespeare, early modern studies, ecocriticism, animal studies, film studies, and critical theory. He currently working on a book on war and ecology in early modern England that will be published by Routledge Press in 2017. His most recent articles are “Webster’s Geometry” (English Literature 1, 2014), “Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and the Discourse of Husbandry” (Modern Philology 110:4, 2013) and “Falstaff’s Body, the Body Politic, and the Body of Trade” (Exemplaria 21:3, 2009). His first book, The Time is Out of Joint: Skepticism in Shakespeare’s England, appeared in 2004. He has also published essays on postmodernism and politics.

Cristina Malcolmson, Professor Emertia of English at Bates College
Cristina Malcolmson previously taught Shakespeare, seventeenth-century literature, and women and gender studies at Bates College. She has also taught at Yale University and Reed College. Her publications include two books on the poet George Herbert, and her most recent book considers studies of skin color in the earliest scientific society in England. Her article “’What You Will’: Social Mobility and Gender in Twelfth Night” appeared in The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, ed. Valerie Wayne (Cornell, 1991).

Mark Mineart, Associate Professor of Theatre at Otterbein University and Director of Henry V
Mark Mineart has been a member of the professional theatre community for over a quarter-century, working as an actor, director, and fight director.  Mark has appeared on and off Broadway with such stars as Denzel Washington and Kelsey Grammer and he has worked at many of the nation’s most well respected and award-winning regional theatres. In addition to being an accomplished, classically trained actor, he is an award-winning Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. He has directed highly acclaimed plays in international venues, including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest , A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Little Shop of Horrors in Egypt.

Classics in Context Dialogues are supported through a joint grant from the Maine arts Commission and Maine Humanities Council.