CU-Boulder springs into Shakespeare Jan. 16-May 1

This is a movie poster for “Omkara,” an Indian version of “Othello,” which will be shown during the Spring Into Shakespeare series of events celebrating the bard.

By Clay Evans

William Shakespeare probably didn’t expect the whole to become his stage when writing plays for the Globe Theatre. But nearly four centuries after his death, the impact of his work extends far beyond the Western civilization he helped to shape.

From Bollywood to Hollywood, West Africa to East Anglia, Vladivostok to Boulder, Shakespeare in the 21st century is truly a global phenomenon.

“Shakespeare is not just the province of English or theater departments,” says Philip Sneed, producing artistic director of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. “It’s something that crosses cultural and geographic boundaries of time and space.”

In celebration of that influence and Shakespearean performances at the University of Colorado Boulder from March through August, the Division of Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences is sponsoring weekly Spring into Shakespeare events from Jan. 16 through May 1.

Affectionately dubbed “Wednesdays with Will,” the events will include everything from the screening of “Omkara,” an Indian version of  “Othello” and a birthday party for the Bard, to operatic performances and a debate over the perennial — and controversial — question of whether Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. All events are free and open to the public.

This image, from a poster advertising a presentation on the Shakespearean authorship debate, depicts a portrait incorrectly thought to be of Shakespeare superimposed on a portrait of the playwright himself.

“These events show the breadth and reach of Shakespeare. There are so many different angles taken by people from so many different departments,” including geography, English, theater, anthropology, and music, says Shirley Carnahan, director of undergraduate studies in the humanities program.

The series dovetails with CU Opera’s performances of Verdi’s “Falstaff” March 15-17 and the Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of “As You Like It,” Feb. 15-24.

Spring into Shakespeare also will pave the way for CSF’s 56th annual summer season, featuring productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Macbeth,” “Richard II” and the raucous sendup, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).”

There also will be two very special performances of Tina Packer’s “Women of Will, the Overview,” an exploration of Shakespeare’s evolving views of women through his most famous female characters. CSF’s 2012 production of “Women of Will, the Full Cycle” was named one of the top 10 highlights in Colorado theater by the Denver Post’s Lisa Kennedy.

“There is truly something here for everybody this spring and summer,” Carnahan says.



Spring into Shakespeare  

Weekly Shakespeare-themed events, Jan. 16 to May 1

Jan. 16

Stratford or Oxford? A Discussion of the Shakespearean Authorship Question

Participants: Katherine Eggert (English), Bob Bows (KUVO-FM), Philip Sneed (Colorado Shakespeare Festival)

Place: British Studies Room (Norlin Library, 5th floor)

Time: 7:30 p.m.


Jan. 23

“Shakespeare and Violence Prevention in Colorado Schools: Twelfth Night and The Tempest.

Participants: Amanda Giguere and Timothy Orr (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), and the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Place: Institute of Behavioral Science, first-floor conference room

Time: Noon


Jan. 30

Shakespeare, War, Soldiers

Participants: RL Widmann (English), with Spenser Morris, Trey Torres, and Maggie Corcoran (students)

Place: Humanities 150

Time: 5 p.m.


Feb. 6

A Bollywood “Othello”: Screening Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara

Participant: Laura Brueck (Asian Languages and Civilizations)

Place: Humanities 1B50

Time: 7 p.m.


Feb. 13

“As You Like It”: A Director’s Perspective

Participants: Lynn Nichols, Lee Potts, Cookie Hetzel

Place: TBA

Time: TBA


Feb. 15-24

CU Theatre and Dance production of “As You Like It”

University Theatre, CU-Boulder campus

Click here for tickets and showtimes


Feb. 20

Revisiting Bohannan’s “Shakespeare in the Bush”: A West African interpretation of Hamlet

Participants: Laura Deluca, Ajume Wingo (Philosophy), Alphonse Keasley

Place: TBA

Time: TBA


Feb. 27

Shakespeare and Opera

Participants: David Rollman and cast members from Falstaff

Place: British Studies Room (Norlin Library, 5th floor)

Time: 7:30 p.m.


March 6

Title: Shakespeare in Film

Participant: Brian Talbot (Philosophy)

Place: TBA

Time: TBA


March 13

Shakespeare in Mask: A Magical Journey

Participants: Tamara Menghini (Theatre) and her students

Place: Movement Room (Theatre Building)

Time: 11 a.m.


March 15-17

CU Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Falstaff”

Place: Macky Auditorium, CU-Boulder campus

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Click here for tickets and showtimes


March 20

Shakespeare’s Ambiguities: That’s True Too

Participant: Ralph Williams (University of Michigan)

Place: British Studies Room (Norlin Library, 5th floor)

Time: 7:30 p.m.


April 3

Stella Sings (and Shakespeare Listens!): A New View on the Role of Music in the Sidney/Shakespeare Cultural Divide

Participant: Jeremy Smith (Music)

Place: British Studies Room (Norlin Library, 5th floor)

Time: 4 p.m.


April 10

Shakespeare at the World Affairs Conference

Participants: TBA

Place: TBA

Time: TBA


April 17

West Side Story

Participant: Ernesto Acevedo-Munoz

Place: TBA

Time: TBA


April 24

Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak (In honor of Shakespeare’s birthday)

Participants: Anne Sandoe, Giulia Bernardini, Shirley Carnahan (and friends), with the Boulder Renaissance Consort

Place: Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Café

Time: 7 p.m.


May 1

“Richard II”: discussion

Participants: Paul Hammer (History) and Jim Symons (Theatre)

Place: British Studies Room (Norlin Library, 5th floor)

Time: 7:30 p.m.


June 8

Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s 56th season opens with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

For tickets and other information, go to


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