While many theories surround Shakespeare's "Lost Years," between the time he left Stratford-Upon-Avon and his arrival in London, one centers on the possibility that he spent time in Lancashire as a teacher on the estate of Alexander Hoghton, a wealthy Catholic landowner, whose home was a safe house for Catholic priests under persecution from the crown. While living there under the name Shakeshafte, young Will encounters Edmund Campion, a Catholic priest who would later be martyred and canonized as a saint. Rowan Williams' play imagines the effect Campion may have had on the Bard's spiritual and philosophical makeup before he ever wrote a word.
The theatrical reading by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino, will be the United States premiere of Dr. Williams's play. An informational talk begins at 9:45 am with Peter Garino. A roundtable discussionwill follow the performance at 12:30 noon, chaired by Benjamin Schmidt, University of Washington, featuring Simon Goldhill, University of Cambridge; Winnifred F Sullivan, Indiana University; and Paul Yachnin, McGill University.
Run time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, with a 10-minute intermission
Download a PDF flyer for this year's Shakespeare Project of Chicago programs at the Newberry, to post and distribute, and explore the Newberry's collection of early Shakespeare editions.
This performance concludes the Center for Renaissance Studies co-sponsored conference The Politics of Conversion, which is part of Religious Change, 1450 - 1700, a yearlong multidisciplinary project. The project is generously supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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