Kicking off the season will be the Society's first installment of Shakespeare Talks, a new series of intimate events — presented in partnership with The Pearl Theatre Company — aimed at "opening up the conversation about Shakespeare with the audience and colleagues in the theatrical, academic and educational fields."
An open rehearsal for director Sexton's Henry V, which begins performances at New Jersey's Two River Theater Company in October, will be held Sept. 24 as part of Shakespeare Talks. Sexton will host the rehearsal, which will feature a discussion with members of the cast, including Jacob Fishel (Titus Andronicus, The Common Pursuit) in the title role and Shakespeare scholar David Scott Kastan.
Other Shakespeare Talks events include "Directing Shakespeare," a conversation with Tony Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan (The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It) and Davis McCallum (February House, The Pearl's Henry IV Part One), moderated by Michael Sexton, about the challenges and rewards of directing Shakespeare (Oct. 29); and a conversation with Michael Witmore, the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library (Feb. 25, 2013).
The Society will host a book party Oct. 5 with Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, who will be joined by James Bednarz, for a conversation and Q&A in celebration of Bednarz's new book, "Shakespeare and the Truth of Love."
On Oct. 15, the Shakespeare Society will hold its first "Major Evening Event" with readings, opera, commentary and an onstage conversation with director Robert Lepage, focusing on the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Thomas Adès' The Tempest on Oct. 23. The evening also features commentary by Notre Dame's Peter Holland, selections from the Adès opera sung by Met singers, and readings from the play by Numrich, Samantha Soule (Dinner at Eight) and others. The Nov. 12 "Major Evening Event," "The Concord of Sweet Sounds," will examine the role and meaning of music in Shakespeare's world and work with a conversation featuring Ross Duffin, chair of the music department at Case Western Reserve University and author of "Shakespeare's Songbook," and Stanford University professor Stephen Orgel. They will be joined by actor Thompson.
Other "Major Evening Events" include an examination of the character of Falstaff, in conjunction with the Pearl's production of Henry IV, Part One, with scholar David Scott Kastan (March 4); and an exploration of Shakespeare's vocabulary with Folger Shakespeare Library director of research David Schalkwyk, featuring a performance from Folger's Twelfth Night (May 20).
The first "Shakespeare Works" interactive panel discussion will take place Dec. 10 with Moayed, director Tom Ridgely (co-founder of Waterwell Theatre Company) and a cast of actors to explore Hamlet. The second panel will focus on The Tempest, featuring Red Bull Theater artistic director Jesse Berger and actor Bill Camp (Death of a Salesman), who takes on the role of Prospero, and will be held Jan. 28, 2013.
The Shakespeare Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to "increasing the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of William Shakespeare's works through performance, commentary, and educational activities." A portion of the Society’s membership dollars is used to support educational activities in New York City schools.