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Shakespeare comes into focus at University of Ottawa - Metro US

Shakespeare comes into focus at University of Ottawa

Almost everyone knows at least a little bit about the works of William Shakespeare, said Kathryn Prince, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa.

His plays have been performed at least somewhere around the world almost non-stop since they were first written, and from time to time, they’ve been turned into films, she said.

For people in Ottawa interested in getting to know Shakespeare a little better, Prince is teaching a new Shakespeare in Performance Series, offered through the university’s Centre for Continuing Education.

The series is divided into four, two-hour workshops conducted on every other Tuesday evening starting on Jan. 26. Each session will focus on a different aspect of Shakespeare’s works from the popular comedies, to the lesser-known histories.

The lecture series will introduce the variety of Shakespeare’s plays and examine how they’ve been performed over the past 400 years.

The classes will make use of different media like performances and film clips.

Prince said the focus to examine to work as a performance piece from a playwright with an intimate knowledge of the theatre and a keen grasp of dramatic technique, not just as a work of literature.

The classes are open to members of the general public with all levels of knowledge about Shakespeare. Students in the class will not be expected to perform any of the plays, but they could if they wanted.

People taking the course do not receive a grade or credits. Sylvain LeDuc, the associate director of the Centre for Continuing Education, said it is purely for the pleasure of learning.

While the university has been offering general interest activities for decades, LeDuc said the number of courses they’ve offered to the general public has been increasing recently.

“One of the strategic objectives of the university is to get closer to the community,” he said.

“One way to do that it is to open the doors of the university by setting up activities that share the knowledge and expertise of our teaching staff.”

LeDuc said those courses have to be subjects like Shakespeare, which are accessible to members of the public.

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