Lecture, reception highlight ‘Shakespeare in Prague’

Special to the LOGOS

A lecture and reception on Friday, Sept. 8, will spotlight an art exhibition — “Shakespeare in Prague: Imaging the Bard the Heart of

Europe” – at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Dr. Joe Brandesky Jr., a noted author and curator, will lecture 5-6 p.m. in Ingrid Seddon Recital Hall of the Luella Bennack Music Center. Brandesky serves as the Martha W. Farmer Endowed Professor in Theatre at Ohio State University in Lima.

Following Brandesky’s lecture, a reception will be conducted 6-8 in Kelso Art Center’s Semmes and Student Galleries.

Until Sept. 29, the “Shakespeare in Prague” exhibit will be available for viewing 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. It displays the history and depth of Shakespearean productions in central Europe and highlights the work of dozens of central European theater artists and designers, said Roland Sul, director of the art gallery.

From the Machiavellian rise and fall of Richard III to the fantastical world of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” this exhibition explores the myriad ways stage design in central Europe adapted the bard’s plays into their world.

Prague was one of the first cities outside of England to embrace William Shakespeare’s plays, which were performed during his lifetime in the Bohemian capital.

In the 20th century, under the Nazi and Communist grips on Czechoslovakia, the strengths, weaknesses, yearnings and foibles expressed in Shakespeare’s work allowed artists to express themselves, even under strict censorship. This exhibit highlights the ways in which these plays were used by artists and designers in central Europe throughout the 20th and 21st centuries to explore the universal aspects of our shared humanity.

The works on display illustrate the varied responses of Czech and Slovakian artists and designers. Original and reproduction costumes, set and costume renderings, maquettes and models of sets, photographs, prints and ephemera are all included in the exhibition,
from early 20th-century modernism to surrealism to post-modern references to popular culture are represented and underscores the significant contributions of these Czech and Slovak artists and designers to world culture and to the continued proliferation of Shakespeare’s work.

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