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            Shakespeare on Stage

                           English 378 (Cross-listed as Theater 378)


6/19-7/14 2006 5:50-8:00pm M-F      
STV 101 and often meeting at Ewing Manor


Bill McBride            Associate Professor of  English

Course Number:       ENG 378                                    Office:            STV 336

Credit Hours:            3                                                 Office Hours:   T&W 4:30-5:30p

Meeting Times:         5:50-8p M-F                               Telephone:        438-7998

Building/Room:         STV 101or Ewing                     E-mail Me

Required Texts   

Any text is acceptable as long as you have a hardcopy on hand or e-text on lap in class. Here they are on-line: http://www-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/works.html

I've ordered the following editions from the bookstores:

Comedy of Errors [1594]

•  ISBN: 014071474X
Julius Caesar  [1599]
•  New Folger Library

•  ISBN: 0743484932

Pericles  [1607]
•  New Folger Library

•  ISBN: 074327329X


Illinois Shakespeare Festival Web Site


Secondary Texts:

Plutarch's Lives available on-line:  http://www.gutenberg.org

Public Document Folder


   We will follow the plays from late rehearsal into opening night, paying special attention to the multiple ways of constructing meaning in the theater and also to the ways in which the rehearsal process is an interpretive field governed by a series of choices which a director and company attempt to coordinate, in constructing a performance of  a text which is already overdetermined by its own history.

   Each member of the class will adopt a perspective on the interpretive process which engages the theatricality of the play in its critique.  Thus actors and directors are important sources, and attendance at rehearsals and previews is required.



   The class meets five nights a week (to be negotiated) for four weeks, sometimes in the theater, sometimes informally with the directors. Three weekly web postings (350 word minimum) after Thursday's class due Sunday midnight.  A rehearsal notebook is required, with at least 4 afternoon rehearsals (6 days a week) and 4 others before previews.  The papers focus on aspects of production as situated within critical and theoretical debates,  15 page minimum.  Pedagogical papers for secondary teachers are always encouraged. Final papers are due


Grading Equation                                 

Class Participation:                                    15 points

3 Electronic Postings: (5 points each)         15 points

Rehearsal Notebooks:                                15 points

Presentation:                                             20 points

Final Paper:                                               35 points



Announcing the 29th Season

from The Spring The Bard’s Gazette The Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is preparing for

another great season at Ewing Manor! This

summer features a tour of the Mediterranean with

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Pericles, and The

Comedy of Errors.

Pericles-Pericles is the ancient tale of the Prince

of Tyre, who travels the earth encountering love,

loss, and a terrible secret. One of the Bard’s most

adventurous works, Pericles is set in a world of

assassins, pirates, and the dead coming back to life.

The play extols some favorite Shakespearean

themes: the evil are punished, the virtuous find

redemption, and fortune rules the day. Written late

in Shakespeare’s career, Pericles was last produced

by the Festival in 1993. Henry Woronicz, former

artistic director of the esteemed Oregon

Shakespeare Festival, directs Pericles.

The Comedy of Errors-While mistaken identity

is a regular occurrence in Shakespeare's comedies,

it is multiplied twofold in The Comedy of

Errors. Twin brothers Antipholus of Syracuse and

Antipholus of Ephesus, who were separated in a

shipwreck twenty-five years earlier, are on a search

to reunite their family. In his travels, the brother

from Syracuse stumbles upon the other brother’s

life in Ephesus. Not only are these twin brothers

identical, they also have identical twin servants

both named Dromio. Comic chaos ensues when

they both arrive unaware in the same town to the

utter confusion of Antipholus of Ephesus's

wife Adriana and her sister Lucinda. The Festival

welcomes director Charles Ney, formerly the

artistic director of Idaho Repertory Theatre, who

promises to reveal the absurd in what is often

viewed as ordinary and conventional.

Julius Caesar- Julius Caesar follows the rise and

fall of Rome’s greatest warrior and first dictator.

But the play also follows the decision of Brutus,

Caesar’s great supporter and friend, to assassinate

him. The responsibilities of political power and the

moral consequences of political murder are tautly

examined in this great tragedy. Staged by Illinois

State University’s Debbie Alley, the play still

resonates with its passionate arguments and its

political warnings.


Henry Woronicz spent 11 seasons at the

Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a resident

actor and director and served as Artistic

Director from 1991 - 1995. His regional

work as an actor and director includes

Delaware Theatre Company, American

Conservatory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory

Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, The

Shakespeare Theatre, Center Stage,

Meadow Brook Theatre, Indiana Repertory

Theatre, Syracuse Stage, The New Jersey,

Pennsylvania, Utah, and Alabama

Shakespeare Festivals, and The Boston

Shakespeare Company. Television work

includes “Seinfeld”, “Ally McBeal”,

“Cheers”, “Pickett Fences”, “Third

Watch”, “Star Trek”, and “Law & Order”.

From Henry Woronicz: “I'm very excited

to be directing Pericles for the Illinois

Shakespeare Festival this season. Pericles

is a play that I have acted in once before,

but that I've never had an opportunity to

direct; and I'm grateful to Cal MacLean for

the chance to work at the Festival on this

fascinating play. We've assembled a

terrific cast and a wonderful design team,

and I'm very pleased with our work to date

in bringing this challenging and seldom

performed play to ISF audiences.”

Charles Ney:

“Last fall I directed the world premiere of

Romulus Linney’s Going After Cacciato,

based on the award-winning novel by

Tim O’Brien. I’ve also directed at Idaho

Repertory Theatre, Texas Shakespeare,

Theatre Austin, Mary Moody Northen

Theatre, and Zachary Scott Theatre

Center. Past credits include founding

artistic director at Manhattan Clearing

House Contemporary Performing Arts

Center and producing artistic director of

Idaho Repertory Theatre. My article,

“Force of Will,” on the current artistic

direction of Shakespeare production in

the U.S. appeared in American Theatre

last year. Currently I’m working on a

book, Directing Shakespeare in America:

Early 21st Century Perspectives. I teach

acting and directing at Texas State

University where I also serve as head of


“My interest in ISF comes from attending

several seasons’ productions and talking

with members of the company. I like the

outdoor facility a lot. Its sleek

contemporary update of an Elizabethan

theatre is a clever mixture of new and old.

Its quaint setting on the grounds of Ewing

Manor is charming and unusual for

downstate Illinois. The facility is one of

the newest in the country, built the same

year as Chicago Shakespeare’s facility on

Navy Pier.

“Through the years that I’ve known him,

artistic director Cal MacLean has

impressed me with his careful attention to

the development of the Festival in all

aspects. His vision of a supportive

collaborative working environment with

high standards is evident in the work and

company. Everyone with whom he works

speaks highly of him and warmly regards

him—a testament to his outstanding


The Comedy of Errors promises to be

zany, wacky fun. Set on a Caribbean like

island around 1800, a multi-cultural stew of

European, African, and Native influences.

Really a situation comedy with elements of

farce, this production starts with a big

‘error’ that continues to snowball into a

finale that is full of surprises. Fun for all


Debbie Alley has worked for the Illinois

Shakespeare Festival six times in the past

ten years, as Production Manager, Stage

Manager, and Company Manager but is

delighted to make an appearance this

summer in a new role, as director of Julius

Caesar. Ms. Alley has worked in

professional theatre for over 25 years. She

was co-founder and Managing Director of a

professional theatre in Columbus, Ohio;

served as the Director of Children’s Theatre

at Circa 21 Dinner Playhouse; and was

stage manager on three national tours. She

has directed productions in Chicago (and

received a “best show” nomination for her

production of Pippin). Her regional credits

include shows as varied as Othello, My Fair

Lady, The Rivals, Caucasian Chalk Circle,

Cabaret, Pride’s Crossing, The Skriker, and

The Arkansas Bear. In the fall, Ms. Alley

directed the world premiere of Nancy Van

de Vate’s one-act opera, Where the Cross is

Made. Ms. Alley currently teaches stage

management and directing at Illinois State