Mark Rylance as Olivia at The Globe earlier this year, currently performing in Twelfth Night through Feb. 2, 2014 at the Belasco on Broadway.
Anti-Stratfordian actor Mark Rylance was re-confirmed by the new SOF board last night as the newest honorary trustee of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship. Rylance joins Sir Derek Jacobi, Michael York, Roland Emmerich, and John Orloff as honorary trustees of the former Shakespeare Fellowship, now unified with the Shakespeare Oxford Society into the new Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.
Rylance was Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe between 1996 and 2006. He has been a professional actor since 1980, and has acted in over 50 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Rylance served as an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a friend of the Francis Bacon Research Trust, President of the Marlowe Society, an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple Hall, and Chairman of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust (SAT) which holds annual authorship conferences at Shakespeare’s Globe.
SOF trustee Earl Showerman, MD, was instrumental in making the contact with Rylance last year. Showerman said:
After the SAT program at The Globe last November (Shakespeare and the Mysteries, SAT Conference 2012 ) Mark wrote to thank me for coming to London and presenting my paper on the Hermetic and alchemical influences on Shakespeare’s plays. It was then that, with the Shakespeare Fellowship board’s permission, I inquired of him of his interest in becoming an honorary trustee and he readily agreed. . . .
Mark’s unstinting support of authorship studies through his leadership of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust, his contributions to film projects, and his own creative imagination as playwright of I Am Shakespeare more than qualifies him for this recognition. He legitimizes our endeavors by simply being his own brilliant yet unassuming self.
John Hamill, President of the new unified Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, said that the SOF is deeply appreciative that Mark Rylance accepted being named an SOF honorary trustee. Hamill said:
Mark is not only one of the leading Shakespeare actors in the world, but a leader in legitimatizing the promotion of the Shakespeare Authorship Question. We are truly honored to have another creative and intellectual giant join our ranks — and a kind and gentle one too.