Imprimis: Links and Tidbits, 22 October 2010

We’re instituting a new feature here on the OCS Education Blog, a weekly “links round-up” that I’ll be posting every Friday. So much happens in the world of Shakespeare, so many people write interesting articles, and we don’t have the time to respond in-depth to each one — but we don’t want to pass up the opportunity to comment or to send the articles your way, either. Fridays will now feature short blasts of things the education team found interesting during the week.

  • The Shakespeare Authorship Debate, by Allan Batchelder. Sarah says: Allan starts this piece with an interest grabber that won’t immediately turn off the doubters and then moves on to, shall we say, refudiate their claims with some modern day links and analogies. Thanks, Allan.
  • Op-Ed piece – Save the Arts and They’ll Save Us. Sarah says: SMAT (that is Science, Math, and Technology) folks are clamoring for a more creative worker. In this article, a coed explains her worries about a post-theatrical (read: post-collaborative and creative) world at her university. Advocates for the arts must grab a mic and spread the word that kids who study theatre, visual, musical, and written art do better in the very aspects we are looking to improve. By removing those subjects from our curriculum, we are only endangering our futures.
  • An Op-Ed at the Sydney Morning Herald wonders about the value of teaching social media, blogs, and TV shows in English class. Cass says: While I’m glad Shakespeare made the cut to stay in the curriculum, I’m with the author of the article — study social media in a social studies class, by all means, I think it’s important and worth examining, but it isn’t the same as literature, not by a long shot.
  • American Theatre Wing blog entry asks how long plays ought to be. Cass says: The article seems to lament a trend towards 90-minute, no-intermission plays. The criticism is leveled against new plays, but I think the issue can extend to all performances. What do we think? The OCS aims for the “2 hours traffic,” so we certainly value fast-paced performances, and we’re against the three-hour-long shows lots of theatres produce — but is less always more in this case? Personally, I’d rather a two-hour show with an interlude (and the music played by our wonderful casts) than a 90-minute with no interlude.
  • Op-Ed: “Making Ignorance Chic?” by Maureen Dowd in the NYTimes. Cass says: Only a brief mention of Shakespeare in here — recalling Sarah Palin’s “refudiate” controversy from the summer — but the article on the whole is quite good, examining the current trend in America towards glamorizing ignorance. I’ll refrain from offering my opinion on the article’s political commentary, but I think you can all probably guess where I stand on the issue of fashionable ignorance.
  • Finally, the Guide to Online Schools posts their top 30 Shakespeare Blogs — and two of the OCS blogs are on the list! If you’re in need of more items for your RSS feed, this list is a great place to start.

Enjoy your weekends, everyone — we’ll be hearing soon from Sarah, who’s at the Virginia Association of Teachers of English conference in Virginia Beach this weekend. I, in the meantime, will finish off this post with a little shameless self-promotion; I’ll be performing in The Shoemaker’s Holiday, a directing project by MFA candidate Casey Caldwell, Sunday and Monday nights — and you can bet I’ll be blogging about that next week. If you’re in the area, you should definitely come see the show — it’s a guaranteed laugh riot (and free of charge).