Jeffrey H. Boutwell


 The Shakespeare Section

Denise Burbach of the ASC, photo by Michael Bailey
Identity Politics and
The Merchant of Venice

Paper written for the American Shakespeare Center 
2017 Blackfriars' Conference, 
Staunton, VA
October 24-29, 2017
The March Madness of Willie the Shake
As we approach March Madness and the NCAA Men's Basketball tourney, read how the little-known seer of Staunton, Virginia - Willie the Shake - makes his picks with the help of quotes from Shakespeare's greatest hits!
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
The CSC performed Cymbeline at Oliver's Carriage House in Columbia, Maryland in March 2011.  There were about 30 of us in the audience, sitting in chairs in a big circle on the second floor with fireplace and open rafters, and the CSC cast performed in the play in that circle, as if we were being treated to Shakespeare in our living room!
Completing the Cycle:
 Shakespeare's 38th Play!

On Monday, October 27, 2014 at Stratford-upon-Avon in England, I saw my 38th and final Shakespeare play of the extant canon, Love's Labour's Lost, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.  I enjoyed the evening with friends Gwythian and Virginia and much appreciated being recognized by the RSC and given a free brandy during intermission!  My wonderful journey began over Labor Day Weekend in 2008 when I first experienced the magic of the American Shakespeare Center and its Blackfriars Theater in Staunton, Virginia, seeing King Lear and Twelfth Night.  The ASC captivated me (see article in column to the right) and I resolved to try and see all 38 of the Shakespeare plays that are performed today.  It was wonderfully appropriate that I saw my 37th play, Pericles, at the ASC in Staunton on October 11, 2014.  I then flew to England on October 25 for my first ever visit to Stratford-upon-Avon to see LLL on October 27. Thank you to all the actors, directors, costume and set designers, and others, including of course the author, for making this venture "such stuff/As dreams are made on." 

Roster with comments of Shakespeare Plays I've Attended,

Shenandoah Shakespeare: A Profile of Ralph Alan Cohen, Jim Warren and the American Shakespeare Center
I first went to the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia in August 2008 to see weekend performances of King Lear and Twelfth Night, and my theater-going hasn't been the same since.
Blackfriars Playhouse - Home of the American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, Virginia
Me and Helen Mirren
I saw Helen Mirren in a production of Henry VI by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London in April 1978, and didn't really realize it was her until more than 30 years later!