Late arrival, as usual, but still on board for the reunion in whatever
capacity is helpful.


Anon, anon, sir.]

Clayton's missive when he was on leave from the past sparked some thoughts
in my mind. With regard to meeting up in Austin before all congregate at
Winedale, I concede his point that it's a challenge to build a sense of
ensemble that way, but as a member of the weekend reunion company in 2010,
I feel that we managed to do that. Granted, we were a smallish group, but
the mindset and enthusiasm and spirit of play were all in place every time
we got together, and we had only a day or two at Winedale before we
performed, but I felt that we bonded pretty well in that time and had a lot
of fun pulling our scenes together. (God bless the late Lizz Ketterer for
being such an inspiration there.) That's to say I think meeting beforehand
in Austin or elsewhere is still worth considering as we discuss how to mine
more reunion time together out of the days leading up to the 50th.

I've also been thinking about all the alums who might not be able to set
aside a full week to spend at Winedale before the reunion but who might
want to participate in some way. What if each of those folks were assigned
a sonnet or a Kenneth Patchen poem (!), and at some point everyone who had
one could perform theirs under the pecan trees, the way the weekend reunion
class did its scenes in 2010? It'd be a nod to the early days when Doc
would assign those to students before class started and we would perform
them for one another on the first nights we were at Winedale, and it would
give people a chance to feel like they're a part of the celebration and
particularly the performance aspect of it. And since those works are short,
it allows a large number of people to take part. It might also be a cool
way to include more alums from Camp Shakespeare and James' classes as well
as Doc's. Personally, I'd love to see 12 year olds interpreting sonnets
alongside us AARP types. And it wouldn't necessarily have to be all solo
performances. If 2 or more alums wanted to do a sonnet together so they
could have a chance to play with someone, why not? Rob Matney and I hosted
a sonnet marathon once, with people signing up to read  the sonnets, and it
took just a couple of hours to get through all of them. Anyway, I just
throw that out there as a suggestion for giving more people a chance to get
involved and as a way to celebrate the 50th with something that hasn't ever
been done before at Winedale (to my knowledge).

Lastly, this from the late guy: How great to follow in the wake of so much
enthusiasm and shared love for this program and the grand gift Doc has
given us. Here's to making the golden anniversary gleam!

Anon, anon. I come.

On Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 10:31 AM, Clayton Stromberger <> wrote:

> Inne!  (the Elizabethan spelling)
> I love that line and I don’t remember being there to hear it spoken by
> Alice (though now I’m pausing to imagine it, and Alice, you sound
> wonderful, I can feel the joy of reunion in it).  I was 12 and was probably
> at Lost Pines Boy Scout Camp with Troop 1 demonstrating my ineptitude with
> knots yet again and so I missed the boat, so to speak, on that
> performance.  But I can certainly still hear and see Jeff Larsen in 1983
> busting out those words with a full tank of air (and full beard) from the
> balcony, Dave Sharpe grinning jauntily beside him and punctuating Jeff’s
> line about the Master “capering to aye her” by propping his foot
> triumphantly up on the railing and planting his elbow on his knee as if to
> say, “How about THAT, matey?!”
> I feel fairly certain Jeff won the Boatswain Award that year as well.
> I confess to being a bit disoriented upon receipt of these emails, but
> happily so, as I was knee deep and inch thick in the middle of the last
> reunion mentally and emotionally (and archivally…. for those of you who
> weren’t in the 2015 class, I have been working for some time on a written
> account of some of that week, as much as I can tell well, and I’ve promised
> it absolutely positively by the 2nd anniversary of the 45th anniversary,
> and Alice is awaiting a draft to edit this Sunday….) — and in fact I had
> just been re-reading your one-year-out invitation for 2015, Doc, when your
> three-years-out trumpet call for 2020 came in.
> As they say, if you’re one year early for something like this you’re
> actually two years late, so thank you Doc for teaching us once again what
> it means to truly be prepared for the big moment.  Carly Simon would have
> to admit that nobody does it better than you.
> I must continue to dwell in the reunion of 2015 by my own spell (i.e. by
> my own challenges as a writer) until I can be released by the help of my
> own two hands as they move across the keyboard in what my prayers hope will
> be flowing chain of letters and spaces.  The gentle breath of many of you
> has filled my sails and my Word documents, and my project is still to
> please; but I must leave the island soon and I hope you can pardon the
> delayer once he delivers his manuscript.
> After that every third thought will be seeing as many of you as possible
> and playing with as many of you as possible in the summer of 2020 and
> especially lots of folks new to the reunion experience.  It’s so cool to
> already hear the new voices in these responses.  In the true spirit of
> Winedale, the circle keeps expanding (hi Shanna, Maria, Adarsh, Aubrey…!)
> Before I go back to the island of the 2015 reunion (I was given a
> 10-minute pass to the present day but the ferry is waiting) I’ll toss in a
> few shells and sand dollars:  To my ear the working-in-town-a-bit-before
> idea is interesting, as any extra time of playing together and hearing
> those words and listening to one another is all to the good; but the main
> problem for many of us would continue to be getting a big chunk of time
> clear and free, and I think it would be difficult to find a way for a large
> group to feel like an ensemble in Austin, living in different places,
> coming to different spaces, before heading out to Round Top/ Winedale for
> time together.
> Maybe the reunion could be 8-10 days out in Fayette County instead of 7,
> all together?  I know the departure of the summer class is an element in
> the time window.  Two weeks would be impossible for many folks, but maybe
> even a few extra days could have an impact?  How to do that and still have
> the celebration on a weekend for out of town visitors and family is a
> challenge too.
> I would be thrilled at the idea of three groups diving into three plays at
> once, though then you have a new challenge of the third space — unless two
> groups could share Winedale?  With Hazel’s and the pecan shade and the
> dormitory classrooms there would be room to spread out and occasionally get
> out of the AC, though I know there is a new director at Winedale and I have
> not met her and don’t know how much that would cost.
> There was much discussion two years ago and afterwards about the tradeoff
> of doing two plays (the two ensembles can really only cross paths briefly,
> since there is much to do and not much time in which to do it) but I think
> the Wednesday night explosion of play where each group shared an hour’s
> worth of work-so-far proved that something remarkable can happen when you
> can take a turn being in the audience and then have an opportunity to be
> swept up in and inspired by the incredible work of a fellow team of
> players.  That gave us a boost that nothing else could have given. Winedale
> at its best is a place where we learn much from each other, and I think
> that night was a vibrant living proof of that.  So I’d love to be a part of
> more of that sharing.  The idea of Camp graduates being a part of it is
> exciting too.  We are all your students Doc, that is really clear when I
> see the Camp performances.
> And I also feel that doing a play (instead of scenes) gave the week a much
> deeper and more intense arc, as tough as it could be on the folks with
> large roles.  The two reunions with scenes had wonderful moments but felt
> more scattered to me emotionally.  The singing of “Dream” at the end of
> Midsummer made Don Brode and I want to bawl when we looked at each other
> while waiting to step onstage because of all the blood sweat mud and tears
> that had gone into the two hours before it and the wonder of the stories we
> told as a group in that time.  I think the sense of challenge and
> achievement is greater too.
> Okay the ferry horn is blaring — I’ll holler at you when I set sail with a
> draft to share on the 19th.
> Love and admiration to you all,
> cs
> On Aug 8, 2017, at 7:36 PM, James Ayres <> wrote:
> Only a few of you will remember that famous line spoken by Alice Gordon in
> 1973 at the end of *The Tempest *for which she won the Boatswain Award
> for good news.  Major moment.  You had to be there.
> Well, the best news now is that the kids in Camp Shakespeare explored new
> worlds and met delightful inhabitants in Navarre (LLL), Sicilia and Bohemia
> (WT) and celebrated their discoveries for wonderful audiences.  We had
> another great summer.  Thanks to those of you who contributed to their
> success through gift and audience.  We are growing another generation of
> Shakespeareans, many of them sons and daughters of you guys.
> We are also approaching the 50th—count ‘em f i f t y— anniversary of
> Shakespeare at Winedale in 2020. So I’d like to hear some suggestions about
> how to celebrate THIS
> reunion.  A week in the country again? Two plays again? Or one?  Yes, it
> is early, but this one is big and may be my last, alas. So please give it
> some thought.  I guess that we would once again need a “reunion
> committee”?  What do you think?  I’m eager to get a’going.
> With a hay and a ho and a hey nonny,
> Doc
> Jim (Doc) Ayres
> Professor Emeritus, The University of Texas
> Founding Director, Shakespeare at Winedale and Camp Shakespeare
> Director of Mission, Camp Shakespeare
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