RE: SOF Shakespeare Identified Centennial (SI-100) progress update
FROM: SI-100 committee members Linda Theil, Jennifer Newton, and Kathryn Sharpe
It was a pleasure to meet many of you at the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship (SOF) conference in Madison and begin to explore ways that Oxfordians could celebrate John Thomas Looney’s 1920 publication of “Shakespeare Identified.” We’re writing to you because you indicated an interest in the centennial or because of your key position in the Shakespeare authorship investigation. (If you don’t want further communications, reply to this email and let us know.)
SI-100 committee member Linda Theil reported on the results of the “Shakespeare Identified brainstorm” at the Madison Conference. If you haven’t read it, plase see the SOF news page: https://www.shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/shakespeare-identified-brainstorm/
In addition to the conference brainstorm, people have shared ideas through an online survey. Ideas so far include:
- Celebrating Looney at the 2020 SOF conference; choosing a significant location.
- Commissioning a Looney biography.
- Publishing a new, annotated edition of Looney’s “Shakespeare Identified,” with updates on its more contentious issues.
- Making a documentary film featuring Looney and his impact, possibly by a Cable company. Distributing a powerful trailer for that film. Include quotations from the Looney family on how to pronounce their name (similar to Roosevelt, pony, and Scroope). Send notes to scholars who persist in the wrong pronunciation.
- Commissioning a theatrical performance; taping it to make it widely available.
- Staging a production of a Shakespeare Play, such as Twelfth Night, prefaced by a reading of a de Vere poem and a performance of music by de Vere
- Online video blog leading up to the centenary, featuring an actor playing de Vere, that explains the facts of de Vere’s life.
- Soliciting and writing articles for SOF publications in 2020 (journals, newsletter, Web site).
- A public performance of a Keir Cutler show in NY City. Public showings of Oxfordian films.
- Brainstorm and carry out oddball events that get wide attention.
- Developing an educational project for schools.
- Raising funds to support selected efforts.
- Using the centennial to explore newly available, online communications (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, etc.).
- Coordinating with other doubter organizations, Oxfordian groups, bloggers, and filmmakers (De Vere Society, Shakespeare Roundtable, Neue Shakes Gesellschaft, Shakespeare Authorship Trust, Shakespeare Authorship Coalition, ShakesVere, Wilson sisters, Mark Anderson, Cheryl-Eagan-Donovan, etc.).
- Reaching out to organizations (American Psychoanalytic Association, International Psychoanalytic Association, Kreeger Museum, Folger Shakespeare Library, American and English historical and medical societies, the Manx regional history society, MacArthur Foundation, Book Critics Award organization, Actors’ Guild).
- Reaching out to individuals (Supreme Court Justices Stevens, O’Connor, Scalia; Princes Philip, Charles, and William, actors who support Oxford or otherwise doubt traditional authorship, talk show hosts, sympathetic reporters such as Renee Montaigne and Al Austin, etc.).
- Taking another anonymous survey of English Literature professors regarding their degree of doubt about Shakespeare authorship.
- Humorously pushing back against the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
- Beginning some of these efforts in two years, to coincide with the 2016 anniversary of Shakspere of Stratford’s death. Creatively broadcast doubts about his authorship. (Hire a plane to pull a sign. Flashmob. Acrobatic troupe doing commedia dell’arte spoof. )
- Memorial plaque for Looney in his hometown, or the school where he taught.
- Celebration at Castle Hedingham, through the De Vere society.
How to get involved:
- Tell us the top five ideas you consider most valuable, and which, if any, you’d be most likely to work on.
- Start working on a project for the SI-100 centennial and let us know what it is.
- Volunteer to help coordinate the SI-100 centennial with the SOF communications group.
We’ll be contacting other Oxfordian organizations and researchers, working on PR and news releases, keeping a list of projects, and creating a calendar of events.
- Share this information with anyone who might be interested.
- Encourage people to take the survey (link below) where we’re soliciting ideas and help.
- SI-100 committee email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web link to the questionnaire http://www.surveymoz.com/s/124026VMSFO
- Shakespeare Identified Centennial page on SOF website https://www.shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/shakespeare-identified-100/
- Twitter @ShakesOxFellows #2020Looney