Many of us are looking forward to 2019, when the University celebrates its bicentennial. But another important anniversary is already upon us. On July 1, 1977, the University will mark its 40th anniversary as a state-affiliated institution. Prior to 1977, the University of Cincinnati was overseen by the City of Cincinnati. Continue reading 40th anniversary of University of Cincinnati state affiliation
In my previous blog I mentioned that the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company would be putting on free productions of Merry Wives of Windsor this summer as part of its Shakespeare in the Park series. If you’ve read the play or seen the show, you know a main plot point is about Sir John Falstaff and how he tries to seduce Mistress Page and her best friend, Mistress Ford—at the same time. Both women, faithful to their husbands, decide to create quite the fool out of Falstaff by feigning interest and arranging secret meetings between Falstaff and Mistress Ford. Those meetings are always interrupted by Master Ford coming home, thus putting Falstaff in precarious positions. One of the most notable scenes involves Falstaff donning a dress, pretending to be the fat aunt of the Fords’ servant so he can leave the house without being recognized. It’s been long thought of as one of the funniest scenes in the play…why? What is it about a man in a dress that gives us a big chuckle? Continue reading Dudes in Drag: An Exploration of Humor through Merry Wives of Windsor
Congrats to all the Bearcats who graduated and to those who celebrated surviving another semester! Now that it’s summer time, you might be looking for some fun things to do. I can tell you about one that’s right in your backyard…well, park. Once again the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will offer their free Shakespeare in the Park summer series. It opens July 14th and runs through September 4th. Each year Cincinnati Shakes prepares two shows for their various performances at parks around the city and Hamilton County. This year’s shows are Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Past years included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing. The official schedule hasn’t been posted yet, but it will be coming soon! You can check their website for updates. Continue reading A Very Shakespeare Summer
In the spring of 1883, Cincinnati held its first Dramatic Festival at Music Hall, performing for a consecutive six days. The show had a lineup of performances of all sorts of dramatic works, with many of them holding Shakespearian titles. The festival was such a big deal that even the Chicago Tribune sent someone over to see what it was all about but unfortunately, the Tribune was less than impressed with Cincinnati’s efforts, claiming that the largeness of Music Hall drowned out the performances of almost all the actors. However, the critics did have some kind words for the orchestra as well as the performances of Hamlet and Julius Caesar. Apparently, these were the only two plays that were “great” enough to be worthy of performance while simultaneously using the space effectively. It certainly helped that in the role of Hamlet was the famous thespian James E. Murdoch.
Founded in 1819, Cincinnati College was home to two literary societies, the Philomathic Society and the Erophoebic Society (which had a bit of a rivalry between them). Students of the College formed the Philomathic Society prior to the opening of the College, on January 18, 1818. The Society’s aim was “for mutual literary improvement” and its first members were John Hough James, Junius James, George Mackey Wilson, Lemuel D. Howells, Robert T. Lytle, and Edward L. Drake. Soon after its creation, the student members created a separate branch of the Philomathic Society for elected members consisting of William Henry Harrison, Thomas Peirce, Daniel Drake, Benjamin Drake, Peyton Short Symmes, as well as “other gentlemen, well known at that day… interested in literary affairs.” On April 3, 1821, Daniel Drake invited the members of the Philomathic Society to join the public commencement of the Medical College being held the following day at Cincinnati College’s Chapel. In the early part of 1821, the Society created a semi-monthly paper called The Olio, which featured local literature and was “the first effort on the part of a literary society, in the West, for development of poetic ability.” The publication contained historical essays, articles, poetry, and the occasional “humorous essay.”The Olio, published and edited by John H. Wood and Samuel S. Brooks, ended after just one year of publication.Continue reading History of the Philomathic Society of Cincinnati College
Happy National Poetry Month! In 1996, the Academy of American Poet designated April as the month to officially celebrate poetry. Here at ARB, we celebrate poetry all year round, but figured we would take this opportunity to talk some about Shakespearean sonnets. Continue reading That Time of Year Thou Readeth Poetry
The Archives and Rare Books Library is proud to announce our partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center. The Museum Center just announced their Shakespeare exhibit, which ARB is helping them prepare! Opening August 25th, the exhibit will be centered on Shakespeare’s First Folio (published 1623). The Folio is generously being lent to CMC by the Folger Shakespeare Library, which toured the work throughout the U.S. just last year. The exhibit will explore Shakespeare through time—how his works have adapted, what’s influenced new interpretations, and how appreciation of his work has evolved. There will be a focus on how Cincinnati has interacted with Shakespeare over time. Continue reading Exciting News from the Archives and Rare Books Library!
It’s that time of year again. Winter is *hopefully* leaving and making room for spring. March brings a lot to look forward to, especially for the Irish-American community. Every year since 1991, the president has declared March to be National Irish Heritage Month. But what does Irish heritage mean? One University Honors class is on a mission to find the answer to that question. It turns out that “to be Irish” means a lot more than having red hair, drinking beer, and being one with a short temper. Led by professor Kevin Grace, along with Debbie Brawn of University Honors, 20 students will travel to Ireland over spring break to get an in-depth look at the country from where so many Americans emigrated. The weeks leading up to the study tour were filled with readings of Irish-American literature, such as Angela’s Ashes and Irish America: Coming Into Clover, as well as the viewing of films and many discussions about what Irish heritage means. Continue reading The Children of Lir: Ireland’s Sweethearts
Almost one year ago, Jeremy Dubin, Artistic Associate with at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, was kind enough to answer some questions we at the ARB had about the company. After writing our last blog on the costume designs in King Lear, we decided we were curious about what goes on in the mind of a costume designer. So, we went back to the CSC. Resident Costume Designer, Amanda McGee, answered everything we wanted to know. Below is the full copy of the interview with images.