Celebrate the Bard! 400th Years.


April 23, 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the passing of William Shakespeare, the one born and raised in Stratford on Avon and that a lot of people, especially English teachers and people with an equity interest in Stratford real estate, believe wrote the plays and sonnets. The entire world is celebrating the event, including the Roundtable. If you’re local or in town, PLEASE JOIN US!

On Sunday, April 24, at 2:00 we will join with the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition and the Shakespeare Center at Los Angeles to host a celebration of the Bard and at the same time pose a challenge to the orthodox view that the fellow from Stratford authored the plays. The event will be “spear” headed by John Shahan and the Coalition, which is the group that published and promoted The Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. In the face of some pretty nasty intimidation by orthodox Shakespeare scholars, the “Declaration” offered a simple forum where people could stand up and declare what any unbiased person would say is just common sense: that is, there is room for doubt on this subject. Thousands of people – scholars, Supreme Court judges, psychologists, theater professionals — have since signed the document, including great Shakespearean actors like Mark Rylance and Sir Derek Jacobi It’s basically a way to stand together against intimidation and censorship and for free inquiry. If you haven’t already, please check it out and sign. (Declaration of Reasonable Doubt about the Identity of William Shakespeare.)

The co-sponsored event on Sunday will open with an introduction from Actor-Author, Michael York. We’ll screen about 30 minutes of the terrific documentary film that was produced by Roland Emerich, Last Will. & Testament, the portion of the movie that deals with reasons to doubt that Shakespere of Stratford was the author of the plays. Then our own Sylvia Holmes and John will talk about new evidence and arguments that have turned up since the Declaration was issued in 2007.

This is going to be a provocative, enlightening and more than likely emotional event. So mark your calendar. NOTE: it is free, but ticketing is required.

Date:  Sunday, April 24, 2016

Time:  2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Place:  The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

1238 West First St, Los Angeles. Street parking available on First and Second Streets, Edgeware Road, and Bixel St.

To order tickets to this free event, just go to: “Beyond Reasonable Doubt” at the SCLA website. The SAC website is at: DoubtAboutWill.org, and the SAR site is at: shakespeareauthorship.org/


Congratulations Mark Rylance

Rylance Wins Oscar

Rylance Wins Oscar

Mark Rylance recently won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel, in, “Bridge of Spies.” It was a thrilling honor for Mark, and huge event for us, too. Mark has been an eloquent spokesperson for the right to inquire into the Shakespeare authorship question for many years.

For a lot of people it was probably the first time they’d ever heard the name, Mark Rylance. Everyone knew Christian Bale, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hardy and of course the sentimental favorite, Sylvester Stallone. After all, they’re movie stars. But many were asking, “Who’s Mark Rylance?” (Sylvester Stallone’s brother was one of them.)

To those of us trying to make sense of the bedeviling questions that surround the authorship of the Shakespeare canon, Rylance has been a bright star for decades. While still artistic director of the Globe Theater in London, (a position he held for over a decade) we’ve often witnessed his genius on stage. In fact, he’s been called the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation, and in England is considered a national treasure. So while many are discovering his gifts as a screen actor, we’ve always known Rylance as Hamlet, Richard III, Vincentio, The Duke in Measure for Measure and yes, even Olivia in 12th Night. His artistry and insights have helped us interpret the plays. And his deep knowledge of Elizabethan historical contexts helped us better understand how those plays may have come about. Mark has questioned the academic conjecture about the man from Stratford for many years. It’s part of his genius: an open-, infinitely curious and chimerical mind, which he brings to his art and life. He is quite certain that “certainty” about “authorship” is not justified. There are just too many unanswered questions. For Rylance it remains a mystery, and one that enhances rather than detracts from the beauty and majesty of the work.

“Our fact-based culture is so terrified by anything mysterious or inexplicable. Being curious outside the set cosmology is still something of a sin. And it’s hard for those people to be faced by mockery and lies, to diminish the question. Life is so much more beautiful and indefinable than our culture seems to admit to.”

The stature that Mark has in the literary, theatrical and now the cinematic world has helped us all stand up to institutional censorship and untoward “slings and arrows” slung our way by the academic defenders of orthodoxy. Never mean spirited. Always thoughtful and optimistic. Rylance has carefully but persistently argued for an “open-minded” inquiry into the subject. And for that we are grateful. Congratulations.