On Mondays, June 8, 15, 22, and 29, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents The Merry Wives of Windsor: The Earliest Sitcom, a series of programs celebrating one of Shakespeare’s rollicking comedies.
The series coincides with the Festival’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, which runs in Southmoreland Park from June 16—July 5, 2009.
On June 8, the program topic is Playing the Play, which delves into planning, casting, and developing the show. On June 15, Dr. Laurie Ellinghausen, assistant professor in the Department of English at UMKC, will present Merry Wives in Jolly Old England, touching on plots, subplots, characters, domestic virtues, and slapstick humor. On June 22, Don Dagenais of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City focuses on Merry Wives, Merry Music: The History of Shakespeare’s Influence Upon Opera. The presentation concentrates on Merry Wives and the character of Falstaff and features excerpts from several operas based upon this story. The series concludes on June 29 with The Many Faces of Falstaff, a discussion on the opportunistic schemer who has been the inspiration for songs, paintings, and operas.
The series is sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, and SPARK (Senior Peers Actively Renewing Knowledge), an affiliate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.