In celebration of our state's bicentennial, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival presents a ground-breaking symposium that explores the ties between Abraham Lincoln and William Shakespeare. Produced in partnership with Bloomington’s Lincoln festival and the Looking for Lincoln organization in Springfield, the symposium includes four lectures by leading Lincoln scholars. The free lectures will be held in the lower level of historic Ewing Manor next door to ISF’s home stage, Ewing Theatre. Reservations recommended.
James M. Cornelius, Ph.D. July 14 at 2 p.m.
Curator of the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, Illinois, Cornelius was previously at the University of Illinois Library’s Illinois Historical and Lincoln Collections for eight years.
Michael Anderegg, Spotlight Speaker, July 21 at 4 p.m.
A professor of English for most of his career, Michael Anderegg has written several books including Cinematic Shakespeare and Orson Welles, Shakespeare, and Popular Culture. In Lincoln and Shakespeare, Anderegg describes how Lincoln discovered the Bard’s works at a time when they were first being widely distributed and read in the U.S. The words and stories resonated with the future president. Anderegg states, “It was to Shakespeare’s dramatic universe that Lincoln turned to again and again for intellectual nourishment, emotional support, and sheer pleasure he could find nowhere else.”
Guy Fraker, Ph.D. July 28 at 2 p.m.
A Lincoln scholar and author, Fraker has written two books about Lincoln: Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Court and Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: A guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Court which is a part of the Looking for Lincoln book series.
Robert Bray, Ph.D. August 4 at 2 p.m.
Bray has authored multiple works on Lincoln including Reading with Lincoln which describes the influence on the president’s speeches, writing, and policies. Bray also co-wrote the play, Lincoln’s in Town!, that tells of a young Lincoln’s historical connections to the Bloomington area. A scene from this play will be read at this session.
Reservations are recommended for these lectures. Reserve your seat online now.
On the same theme, the Festival’s Theatre for Young Audiences premiers Double Double, a new play for all ages about how a young Abe discovers the genius of Shakespeare’s works and carries that knowledge through his extraordinary life. Written by Nancy Steele Brokaw.
All performances are FREE!
View the special collections on Shakespeare and Lincoln, presented at the Illinois State University Milner Library, July 22 only from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Details available beginning June 1 at library.IllinoisState.edu. Also free!
Supported by the Illinois Humanities Council in partnership with Lincoln's Festival on Route 66, Looking for Lincoln, and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.