Pace University professor Martha W. Driver, author of Shakespeare and the Middle Ages, will be giving a free “Centerpiece Lecture” on Saturday, November 6 at 5:00 p.m., between the matinee and evening performances of the Shakespeare’s Globe production of Shakespeare’s comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor at Pace University’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts on Spruce Street, in Lower Manhattan.
Dr. Driver’s talk will focus on Falstaff, and explore some of the medieval underpinnings of his character, including two historical figures who may have helped to shape Shakespeare’s comic creation. In Falstaff, according to Dr. Driver, Shakespeare created something quite new, a rogue-hero who has been popular with audiences from the Elizabethans to modern moviegoers down to the present day. Dr. Driver is also the co-editor (with Pace professor Sid Ray) of The Medieval Hero on Screen: Representations from Beowulf to Buffy.
The lecture will also examine the climactic scene of Merry Wives, the midnight dance at Herne’s oak. Writing for the Associated Press, Michael Astor praised the Globe company’s presentation of that scene as exhibiting “a beauty that borders on transcendent.”
An example of such a traditional dance will be performed by Pace students to conclude the event. Admission to the lecture is free to all ticket holders of the matinee (which ends at approximately 4:40) and as a pre-theatre bonus for holders of tickets to the 7:30 performance.
The next offering in Pace’s 2010-2011 Shakespeare season will be the Theater for a New Audience production of The Merchant of Venice, starring Academy Award-winner F. Murray Abraham, February 27-March 13. Performance tickets for Merry Wives, which closes November 7, Merchant of Venice, and The Acting Company’s Comedy of Errors (April 5-17) are available by calling toll-free 1-855-SHAKESPEARE or at Shakespeare at Pace.
David G. Watson
Director, Cultural Events
New York, NY