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Published 11/4/2005

Owens Community College Hosts 2005 Ohio Shakespeare Conference, Nov. 10-12

The influence of "the Bard" is still alive and well, and will serve as the focus to a three-day Ohio Shakespeare Conference occurring at Owens Community College, November 10-12. The theme of this year's annual statewide conference is "Shakespeare and the Law" and will examine various issues of law and its many manifestations in Renaissance literature.

Sponsored in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, the 2005 Ohio Shakespeare Conference will begin each day at 9 a.m. with various seminars and workshops occurring in the College's Audio/Visual Classroom Center and the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre on the Toledo-area Campus. Sessions will continue throughout each afternoon. Owens is located on Oregon Road, four miles from downtown Toledo. Admission to conference sessions is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

"Owens Community College is proud to serve as the first community college in Ohio to host the Ohio Shakespeare Conference," said Dr. Russell Bodi, Owens assistant professor of Communications and Humanities and conference coordinator. "The statewide conference will allow both students and the local community to learn alongside humanities scholars about a variety of issues related to law, literature and theatrical performance, and how it relates to the study of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries."

Dr. Bodi added, "This event will not be confined to a narrow scholarly audience and we welcome the public, professionals and students to attend the sessions and performances that are lined up."

Daily sessions will provide an opportunity for students and scholars from around the country to view and present research, participate in panel discussions and attend workshops to learn about Shakespeare in performance, including how to improvise and stage combat scenes. Additionally, there will be three plenary sessions occurring throughout the three-day event on the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

Serving as the conference's keynote speaker is nationally recognized literary scholar Dr. David Bevington of the University of Chicago. The topic of Dr. Bevington's keynote address is "Usurpation" and will occur at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. His lecture will highlight Shakespeare as a model of English common law and how it has greatly influenced our American justice system.

Additionally, Dr. Laurie Shannon of Duke University will address the topic of natural law and its underlying importance for any discussion of ethics or legality in a speech titled "Hang-dog Looks: Animal Trials and Early Modern Ecopolity." Dr. Shannon's lecture will occur on Saturday, November 12, and begin at 10 a.m. Prior to Dr. Bevington's keynote address, he will join Dr. Laura Bates of Indiana State University at 11 a.m. on Saturday to lecture on "Teaching in Prison." The lecture will focus on teaching Macbeth to murderers and other institutionalized convicts.

On Friday, November 11, Ohio Judges David Katz and William Skow will conduct the Judges' Plenary Session at 2 p.m. Judge Katz will speak to the continued relevance of legal situations in Shakespeare and Judge Skow will discuss executions.

Each day of the conference will conclude with an exciting and lively performance of a Shakespeare play by the internationally renowned Shenandoah Blackfriars Stage Co. The theatrical productions will begin at 7:30 p.m. and occur on the Owens Center for Fine and Performing Arts' Mainstage Theatre. Owens' three Shakespearean theatrical works appearing as part of the Atomic Fission Tour include "Much Ado About Nothing" (Nov. 10), "Richard III" (Nov. 11) and "Return to the Forbidden Planet" (Nov. 12). Additionally, each theatrical production will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience and cast members.

To purchase tickets for the performances, visit www.stagetix.com or contact the College's Box Office at (567) 661-2787 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. ARTS (2787). For more information on the 2005 Ohio Shakespeare Conference, call (567) 661-7524 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7524.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students, making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, and Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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