Ford Center Continues Annual Shakespeare Symposium

New schedule and performance will enhance the lecture program and strengthen campus participation

OXFORD, Miss. – With generous support from the Ford Foundation, the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts will continue the annual Shakespeare Symposium, a crowd-favorite from the discontinued Oxford Shakespeare Festival.

The symposium will be expanded to include a performance and will be rescheduled from the summer to the fall or spring semester to allow more participation from the university community.

“With the closing of the Shakespeare Festival, there was a desire on campus to continue the lecture portion of the summer festival for the benefit of the students and faculty,” said Norm Easterbrook, Ford Center director. “This symposium is important to our campus. The addition of the performance activity will enhance the lecture and capture the inspiration that began with the Oxford Shakespeare Festival organizers.”The symposium will memorialize Gertrude C. Ford’s keen interest in the Shakespearean canon. Ford analyzed scholarly research relating to Shakespeare and held a particular interest in theories surrounding the authorship of works attributed to him.

“We are grateful to the Ford Foundation for their continuing support of the symposium and performance,” Easterbrook added. “Not only has the Ford Foundation memorialized Gertrude through their gift of the Ford Center to the university, but they continue to honor her legacy with the addition of this programming, which will engender lively discussion and exploration of the works of Shakespeare.”

Symposium activities will be based in and administered by the Ford Center. Programming will be determined by a campus-based committee, which will include the Lecture Series and Artist Series committees together with representatives from the departments of English and theatre, as well as the campus at large. All members of the university community are encouraged to contribute ideas for topics, speakers and performances to be considered by the symposium committee.

It is anticipated that the size and focus of the Gertrude C. Ford Shakespeare Symposium will vary from year to year depending upon the needs of the university’s faculty and students.

All programs and services of the Ford Center are made possible through private contributions. For information about making a contribution to support future programs, contact the Ford Center administrative office at 662-915-2787.

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