Tom Patterson Theatre, Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Education Consultant Pat Quigley lead discussions on themes of the season. Free admission.
The Dynamics of MarriageJuly 4Some characters marry for love, some for convenience; some are forced to marry, others wish they weren’t married, and still others don’t marry at all. In The Three Musketeers, no married couple enjoys love, but outside marriage passionate love can be found. Noël Coward sees marriage as confinement, and although Desdemona and Othello and Romeo and Juliet marry for love, they die as a result. Are the playwrights justified in what they seem to be saying about marriage?“Who would believe thee, Isabel?”July 11In many plays this season, power structures and the exercise of power silence certain people. Isabella, Desdemona, Lucky in Waiting for Godot and Davidson in Mary Stuart are just some of the characters who are made voiceless. How do we find our voices in today’s world?Politics and PerformanceJuly 18Many characters on this season’s playbill are masterful politicians. Elizabeth understands both the necessity of Mary’s death and the necessity of controlling the spin when it becomes known. The Duke in Measure for Measure stages his return and seems to control the fates of the other characters. The Three Musketeers successfully challenge the political structure of Cardinal Richelieu. But several characters in Othello defy the established political structure and fail. Are the operations of power and politics any different today? Can they ever be different?Making MeaningJuly 25In Taking Shakespeare, the professor and her student search for meaning in the text of Othello. Many other characters in this season’s playbill also try to make sense of things. Is it preferable, like Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot, to wait for answers from outside ourselves? Or is it better, like Isabella in Measure for Measure, to actively seek meaning for our lives?The Need for the OtherAugust 1In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is needed to lend money. In Othello, Othello is needed to defend the empire. In Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues are needed to define the identity of the Capulets. In Mary Stuart, the threat of a Catholic queen justifies the existence of Protestant authority. Is the need for the other inevitable?Woman as StereotypeAugust 8Measure for Measure includes the extremes of nun and prostitute. Blithe Spirit offers the medium and rival wives. Fiddler on the Roof and The Merchant of Venice feature good daughters and bad. Other plays present the idealized beauty and the femme fatale. But the successful playwright allows some female characters to move beyond these stereotypes. Have we arrived at a time in which art recognizes the individuality and equality of women?Faith and Religion in Shakespeare's PlaysAugust 15In this special Talking Theatre event, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino talks to Paul Edmondson, Head of Knowledge and Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Rev. Dr. Edmondson was ordained as a priest in 2011.“Dying is fine, but death …”August 22In the 2013 season, authors Noël Coward, William Shakespeare, Judith Thompson and Alexandre Dumas all explore and stage the process and meaning of dying. None of them can explore death, and neither can we – and therein resides the fear.Premonitions and the SupernaturalAugust 29Shakespeare plays with dreams and premonitions in Romeo and Juliet and in Othello. Brabantio dreams of Desdemona’s betrayal before it happens, Desdemona senses her death as she prepares for bed, Juliet sees Romeo dead in a dream. In the tragic world, premonitions seem to foretell deaths that characters cannot avoid. In the comic world of Noël Coward, Ruth and Elvira don’t really die but return from the other world as ghosts to haunt Charles and entertain the audience. How do both interpretations of the supernatural function for the audience?
Support for the inaugural season of The Forum is generously provided by Kelly and Michael Meighen