February Shakespeare News

05 March 2014 | Nothing is Truer Than Truth

Controversy Films presents Nothing is Truer than Truth

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman, upcoming Shakespeare conferences, study Shakespeare in Italy, and more…


From The New York Times, Bruce Weber Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Actor of Depth, Dies at 46

FEB. 2, 2014

By Bruce Weber
Philip Seymour Hoffman, perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation, who gave three-dimensional nuance to a wide range of sidekicks, villains and leading men on screen and embraced some of the theater’s most burdensome roles on Broadway, died on Sunday at an apartment in Greenwich Village he was renting as an office. He was 46.

In his final appearance on Broadway, in 2012, he put his Everyman mien to work in portraying perhaps the American theater’s most celebrated protagonist – Willy Loman, Arthur Miller’s title character in “Death of a Salesman.” At 44, he was widely seen as young for the part – the casting, by the director Mike Nichols, was meant to emphasize the flashback scenes depicting a younger, pre-disillusionment Willy – and though the production drew mixed reviews, Mr. Hoffman was nominated for a Tony Award.

Read the entire article here, which includes a slide show of photos and a video of clips from his films. 

We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman a truly great actor, brilliant artist, forever in our hearts.

International Shakespeare: Translation, Adaptation and Performance at The University of Massachusetts Amherst, March 7 – 9th


The Translation Center in partnership with The Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, co-sponsored by the English Department and the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, invites scholars to its first annual conference, “International Shakespeare: Translation, Adaptation, and Performance,” on March 8-9, 2014. There will be a welcoming reception and film screening at 7pm on March 7th for all early attendees.

Two of our esteemed colleagues and members of the Advisory Committee for the film NOTHING IS TRUER THAN TRUTH will be presenting their work at this conference. Dr. Roger Stritmatter and Dr. Earl Showerman, will speak on a panel on Sunday, March 9th. Roger, professor at Coppin State University, will present his lecture “Small Latin and Less Greek”: Anatomy of a Misquotation, and Earl, an independent scholar and former president of the Shakespeare Fellowship, will present his paper on A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Shakespeare’s Aristophanic Comedy.

More information and a complete schedule of speakers here.

From The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, news about the Shakespeare Authorship Research Center Conference at Concordia University


(SARC) conference will be held at Concordia University, Portland, OR, April 10-13, 2014. The conference will convene Thursday evening at 6 PM with a reception and screening of Joss Whedon’s contemporary film version of Much Ado about Nothing, followed by a short presentation on Shakespeare’s sources for this comedy in the context of literary patronage and attribution. The conference will conclude at midday on Sunday, April 13, with an informal brunch and open discussion on future endeavors of the SARC.

Registration and additional information here.

From Linda Theil and the Oberon Shakespeare Study Group, news of an exciting summer course:


Shakespeare Summer School in Urbino, Italy. July 12th – 26th 2014.

Professor Giuseppe Giliberti of the University of Urbino has invited Shakespeare in Italy to organise a 14-day residential Summer Course, in July 2014. Three of the so-called ‘Italian’ plays will be examined, namely The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado about Nothing. The study of each will be led by a different well-known actor or director from the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Learn more here.

From Hank Whittemore, author of The Monument, and another respected colleague who serves on the Advisory Committee for NOTHING IS TRUER THAN TRUTH, more about Shakespeare’s knowledge of Greek:

The Bard was Highly Educated in Greek

One of the thrilling, ongoing stories of the modern Oxfordian movement is the work of Earl Showerman MD, who, over the past decade (2004-2014), has been systematically recovering Shakespeare’s profound knowledge of the Greek language and the ancient Greek drama; and his work is offered here as one more “reason” to conclude that the Earl of Oxford was Shakespeare.

Read Hank’s excellent blog here.

From Grub Street Center for Creative Writing:

Hello, My Name Is…: Using Journal-Writing for Character Development

By Sara Letourneau

Main characters can’t be names floating on a page or perfectly rounded people who never evolve. They have to be flawed, challenged, motivated. They have to change and enforce change as a result of the story. That’s one of the reasons why character development is a crucial aspect of fiction writing. So, before getting too far into a story – or even before beginning to write a story – it’s important to get to know your protagonist as closely as you know your friends, parents, even yourself.

Last summer I took Cheryl Eagan-Donovan’s “Character Development Intensive” at Grub Street. My goal for the class was to find ways of digging to the heart of my novel-in-progress’s protagonist. I wanted to make her as authentic as possible. Cheryl’s workshop turned out to be an incredible learning opportunity. We watched film clips to see examples of dynamic characters and did in-class writing exercises to develop different angles of our own main characters, or MCs. Which exercise inspired me the most? The one where we wrote a journal entry from our MC’s point of view.

Read the entire article here.

Thanks Sara!

My next Introduction to Screenwriting Class begins April 2nd.

Register or find out more about the course.

Awards Season is here! The Indie Spirit Awards, The 86th Annual Academy Awards, and the 20th Annual Chlotrudis Awards!


I had the honor of voting for the Independent Spirit Awards again this year – some really great films, including a few excellent documentaries. See the nominees here.


To celebrate the Academy Awards, we will host our annual viewing party with an intimate gathering of family and friends, and cheer for the locally shot film AMERICAN HUSTLE, featuring several Boston extras brought to you by our friends at Boston Casting and the fabulous Angela Peri, and our talented colleagues at Soundtrack Group.

3zYNEA9YbhFZ2dHfo5hlIy-V41y6lNI_59pq_AD2Jx4T1GFQChFZKEjTxM2A0IGSxIm8d6klfVvXDdQGnYvH6a6JTSO0rwU52ykRT8FV7DrgvdzNppHBoGwN6Iou=s0-d-e1-ftOn March 18th, I am thrilled to announce that I will be a presenter at the 20th Annual Chlotrudis Awards, to be held at the historic Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film highlights its commitment to independent and foreign film in style. At the ceremony, Chlotrudis also presents special awards that honor individuals or films for particular distinction. Past recipients Ellen Page, Kerry Washington, Beth Grant, and Philip Seymour Hoffman (first Hall of Fame inductee) are among those who have made the trek to Boston to be honored for their contributions to independent film.

See the complete list of 2014 nominees here.


Donate now!

Thank you to everyone who has supported the project by donating through our fiscal sponsor, The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) New York. All donations made through IFP are 100% tax deductible and proceeds go directly to the film.

Please help us bring the film to audiences around the world! We cannot reach our goal without your help.

We still need to raise funds for rights clearances, music, graphics, color correction, online editing, and festival entries.

From The New York Times:
Sacrificing His Fries for a Starring Role

Samuel Barnett Discusses His Female Roles in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Richard III’


FEB. 12, 2014

Samuel Barnett ordered a salad. It wasn’t exactly what he wanted at Cafe Luxembourg, especially with its noted French fries on the menu, but as he noted wryly, “I have to get into a corset.”

That he does.

Five times a week, Mr. Barnett stars on Broadway in the much-lauded new production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” in which he plays the female lead, Viola.

Three other times a week, the company performs “Richard III,” and Mr. Barnett plays Queen Elizabeth, donning an enormous gown that takes 40 minutes just to pin him into.

Read more here…

b1chqKzk0_JPSmSk84J_zdr22homSJ797Sv6knaKbGmBufW2IJfwLeR_kyvnnsVVPiSCaSU2RL22O6yvUCOljo3MCodAuaDkx6hHesrIQZOXQA=s0-d-e1-ftTwelfth Night Belasco Theatre

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