Renowned Shakespearean Expert to Lecture at The University of Scranton

11/4/10

        A lecture on the portrayal of the most famous negative Jewish stereotypes in the theater will be presented by Barry Edelstein, director of the Shakespeare Initiative at the Public Theater in New York City, at The University of Scranton on Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute of The University of Scranton will present “Staging Hatred on Broadway: Shylock, Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice” in room 405 of the Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center on campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

        Edlestein, one of the leading Shakespeareans in the United States, has earned acclaim as a director, author and educator. As director of the Shakespeare Initiative at the Public Theater, he oversees all of the company’s Shakespearean productions, as well as the its extensive educational, community outreach and artist-training programs. He is an associate producer of the Public Theater’s current Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino. Other productions he has supervised include Twelfth Night, with Anne Hathaway; Othello, with Philip Seymour Hoffman; and Hamlet, with Michael Stuhlbarg. He also has staged Julius Caesar, starring Jeffrey Wright, and The Merchant of Venice, featuring Ron Leibman’s OBIE award-winning portrayal of Shylock in the 1995 production.

        From 1998 to 2003, Edelstein was artistic director of Classic Stage Company, where he directed Richard III, starring John Turturro and Julianna Margulies, and The Winter’s Tale, starring David Strathairn. At the Williamstown Theater Festival, he directed As You Like It, starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Other New York credits include the world premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants, which he commissioned; Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist; Moliere’s The Misanthrope, starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut; Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, which won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival; and Steve Martin’s Wasp and Other Plays. Edelstein’s first film, My Lunch with Larry, starring Lisa Edelstein and Greg Germann, played the festival circuit in 2006 and 2007.

        His book “Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions” (HarperCollins, 2009) “instructs and entertains” (New York Post), and was re-released in paperback by Harper Perennial in 2010. His book “Thinking Shakespeare,” called by New York Magazine “a must-read for actors,” was published in 2007 and is now a standard text on American Shakespearean acting.

        Edelstein has taught at the Juilliard School, New York University’s Graduate Acting Program and the University of Southern California. He has lectured on theater around the world, and has written on the subject for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic and American Theater Magazine. He is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

        For further information, contact Marc Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of theology/religious studies at The University of Scranton, at 941-7956.

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