"Shakespeare at Yale" this week: March 12-18

When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o’ the year; …
With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!

— “The Winter’s Tale,” Act IV, scene 3

The opening of two exhibitions — one on David Garrick, the renowned 18th-century actor and impresario of the London stage, at Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, and another featuring Edwin Austin Abbey’s illustration of a famous scene from “Richard III” — and the premiere of the Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s tragi-comedy “The Winter’s Tale” are the highlights of the Shakespeare at Yale celebration this week.



“‘The God of Our Idolatry’: Garrick and Shakespeare”

The Lewis Walpole Library exhibition showcases the contribution made by the actor David Garrick, who has been called the 18th-century’s greatest man of the theater, to the understanding of Shakespeare in the 1700s. Featuring printed texts, manuscript letters, drawings, prints, and portraits, the exhibition illustrates how, on stage and off, Garrick influenced the public’s view of Shakespeare, inspiring what Bernard Shaw later called “bardolatry.”

The Lewis Walpole Library is located at 154 Main Street in Farmington, CT. Primarily a research library for students of 18th-century England, it has significant holdings of 18th-century British books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, and paintings, as well as important examples of the decorative arts.

There is no admission charge, but the exhibition is open to the public only on Wednesday afternoons, 2-4:30 p.m. (without a prior appointment). To make an appointment to visit the exhibition on other weekdays, call 860-677-2140.

For more information and to get directions, visit the Lewis Walpole Library website.

Edwin Austin Abbey: “Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Anne”

Among some 185,000 objects in the collections of Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., are more than 3,000 paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings by Edwin Austin Abbey (1852–1911), an American artist known for his illustrations of the works of William Shakespeare. This exhibition shines the spotlight on Abbey’s painting “Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Anne” (1896), along with three preliminary studies. The painting depicts the scene from Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” in which the hunchbacked Richard proposes to the grieving Lady Anne, who knows that he has murdered both her husband and her father-in-law, King Henry VI.

“The three sketches show Abbey’s creative process as he moves Richard ever closer to the foreground, ultimately to command both the pictorial as well as the psychological space,” write exhibition organizers.

The exhibition opens Tuesday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, June 10. The Yale University Art Gallery is open to the public free of charge Tuesday–Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, until 8 p.m., and Sunday: 1 – 6 p.m.


The Winter's Tale poster

“The Winter’s Tale”

Rarely performed and considered one of Shakespeare’s hard-to-classify works, “The Winter’s Tale” begins in tragedy when King Leontes of Sicilia imprisons his queen, orders the death of her suspected lover, and banishes his own newborn daughter. Yet the play has a fairy-tale ending, involving a shepherdess, a prince in shepherd’s clothing, and the “resurrection” of two individuals long believed dead.

OBIE Award-winning resident director Liz Diamond “delves deep into a trunk of old-fashioned stagecraft to bring to life the Bard’s surprising tale of blinding jealousy and forgiveness,” note the production organizers.

“The Winter’s Tale” will be playing at the University Theatre, 222 York St, March 16–April 7. Tickets range from $20 to $88 and are available online, by phone at 203-432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep box office, 1120 Chapel St. at York Street. Student, senior, and group rates are also available.

Click here for more information.


Continuing exhibitions

“Shakespeare & the Law”

This interactive, multimedia exhibit opening at the Yale Law School offers a legal perspective on the enormous body of knowledge Shakespeare had at his command. It features the Law Library’s collections of books and recent student publications exploring the Bard through the prism of the law; quotations from his works about the law; a QR code directing smart-phone users to a suggested reading list; and sound recordings of a number of Shakespeare’s most law-related plays, available at a listening station in the third-floor reading room of the Law School, 127 Wall St. The exhibition is open to the public, free of charge, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. “Shakespeare & the Law” will run until Aug. 15.

For more information, click here.

“Yale’s Shakespeareans”

Shakespeare has been a focus of study and performance at Yale since its emergence as a secular institution. This exhibition at Sterling Memorial Library draws on university records, personal papers, and collected materials found in the Manuscripts & Archives division to highlight how the works of Shakespeare have been brought to life in the classroom and on the many stages of Yale. Free and open to the public, “Yale’s Shakespeareans” will be on view through May 18 at the Memorabilia Room of Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High St.

For more information, click here.

“Remembering Shakespeare”

This exhibition at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library brings together works from Yale’s diverse holdings from the Elizabethan Club, Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale Center for British Art, Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut, and the Beinecke itself. “Remembering Shakespeare” offers a unique visual history of how the “Booke” of Shakespeare was made and read, written and remembered, from his lifetime through the present. The exhibition will be on view through June 4. The Beinecke Library, 121 Wall St., is open to the public free of charge Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; and Saturday: noon–5 p.m.

For more information, click here.

“Making History: Antiquaries in Britain”

This exhibition celebrating the achievement of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the oldest independent learned society concerned with the study of the past, will be on view Feb. 2–May 27 at the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St. A portion of “Making History: Antiquaries in Britain” will complement “Shakespeare at Yale” by featuring portraits of rulers such as Henry VI, Richard III, Elizabeth I, and Henry V.

To read about the exhibition, click here.

“Shakespeare at Yale Rep”

The show features posters and photographs documenting 46 years of Shakespeare at the Yale Repertory Theatre. The exhibition is on view Monday and Wednesday, 3–5 p.m. through Friday, June 29, at the Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall St.

For more information, click here.

“‘While these visions did appear’: Shakespeare on Canvas”

Drawn from the permanent collections of the Yale Center for British Art, the paintings on display reflect how artists working in Britain in the 18th and 19th century envisioned the scenes and characters of Shakespeare’s plays. The exhibition is on view through June 3.

The Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St., is open to the public free of charge Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m.

For more information, click here.

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