Master Timber Builder of Shakespeare’s ‘Wooden O’ to Speak at Blackfriars

October 21, 2005

Three guest lecturers – united by expertise in areas related to Shakespearean work – have been invited to speak in Staunton at the invitation of Mary Baldwin University’s Master of Letters and Master of Fine Arts in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, in partnership with American Shakespeare Center. One of those guests, a master timber builder, will lecture at Blackfriars Playhouse for students and interested members of the public on November 1, 6:30-8pm.

Peter McCurdy, English master builder, was the master timber framer for Shakespeare’s Globe in London. His firm, McCurdy and Company, is internationally renowned for timber framing, and he is one of the world’s leading experts in the field. His projects include Staunton’s Museum of American Frontier Culture, and a work in progress, Rose Theater for Shakespeare and Company. McCurdy will be in Staunton to attend the Blackfriars Conference, as well as present a public lecture.

McCurdy’s company carries out extensive research to establish design and ensure historical accuracy. The company has undertaken construction of houses, barns, medieval halls, shops, and commercial buildings in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Dr. Alan Dessen, Peter G. Phialas professor of English at University of North Carolina, will also be in Staunton and will speak to Mary Baldwin’s M.Litt./MFA students on the topic: Recovering a Lost Language: Reading Shakespeare’s Stage Directions. His expertise is in the area of Shakespeare and English Renaissance drama.

Dr. Reginald Foakes, professor emerita from University of California will also speak to students and his topic is: The Ghost of Hamlet. He brings expert knowledge in areas ranging from Shakespeare and contemporary dramatists and documents of the Elizabethan theatre to romantic critics such as Coleridge.

The public is invited to hear Peter McCurdy Tuesday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market Street in Staunton, Virginia. This special event is free of charge.