Clayton and Robert - thanks for all the creative ideas about ways for alums to 
participate!  I don't see myself being at Winedale for a week, or perhaps even 
a weekend, but I do want to recognize, support, and consider participating in 
this remarkable occasion.



On Aug 12, 2017, at 4:41 PM, Clayton Stromberger 
<<>> wrote:

Robert —

Love all these ideas, and thanks for the reminder about the Weekenders 
performances, which were really for me the highlight of that day in 2010, 
looking back.  I can remember everyone of them vividly, especially Leigh Hopper 
as Charla the Wrestler demolishing Don Brode’s Orlando with sensual cruelty — I 
hadn’t laughed that hard in years.

And if I wrote a missive, forgive me, not my intent….! I had been writing all 
day and I think my chatty fingers didn’t realize how fast they were talking.  
There may have been a margarita (or two) involved as well.  I wasn’t trying to 
really argue a point; I think what I was trying to express was a gentle 
skepticism not about anyone meeting up in Austin per se but about a “weeklong" 
crew trying to meet early when not everyone could be there together at the 
start.  I think it would have been hard to get our rude mechanicals together, 
say, in 2015, given how busy everyone was leading up to that week.

Doc you had a great point on this: Let’s not worry yet about what we can’t do.  
Well said.  All of these ideas are positive and exciting.

Next, real quick, while I have you:  Jon I think the music idea is brilliant 
too and would be wonderful to have a whole performance just of songs from over 
the years, yes.

And finally, one new idea to toss in, inspired by what I’ve heard so far:  I 
keep thinking about folks who might not be able to come to Texas that week or 
weekend, for whatever reason, but would really want to play and celebrate too.  
With all the high-tech whizzes who have gone through the program, seems like we 
could create a “virtual Barn” somehow that would gather streamed or filmed 
performances by alumni all over the planet on a special reunion website.  With 
the three year lead time we should be able to write a grant for something like 

I am involved in a small way with a project an English prof is doing in the 
spring semester (John Rumrich) in which he’s going to attempt to connect two 
different groups of students studying Shakespeare, one at UT and one in 
Hangzhou, China, as part of a “Global Classrooms” initiative sponsored by the 
International Office at UT.  The idea is to have each group explore plays and 
scenes and then somehow through the magic of streaming create a simultaneous 
shared performance (the Chinese class would meet at 8 a.m., the UT one in the 
evening occasionally, so you can have the exchange of ideas, conversation, 
performances).  So you might have the Chinese team playing the fairies and the 
UT students playing the lovers, say, using screens so everyone can see each 
other live.

That’s kind of what made me think of a virtual Barn, after reading Carl’s note, 
and now yours too Robert, as a way of widening the circle even bigger (we the 
globe can compass soon...).  I am clueless about the technology, but this could 
be an innovative model for other former-student groups, perhaps?  And something 
that could live on digitally?  There might be folks at UT who could help 
visualize how this might work and figure out how to find funding for it and I’d 
be happy to pursue this notion and would love to hear any thoughts if this 
seems worth exploring.



On Aug 12, 2017, at 4:57 PM, Robert Faires 
<<>> wrote:

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 

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,


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,


Jim (Doc) Ayres
Professor Emeritus, The University of Texas
Founding Director, Shakespeare at Winedale and Camp Shakespeare
Director of Mission, Camp Shakespeare

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Shakespeare at Winedale Email List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
For more options, visit<>.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Shakespeare at Winedale Email List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
For more options, visit<>.

Robert Faires
Arts Editor
The Austin Chronicle

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Shakespeare at Winedale Email List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
For more options, visit<>.

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Shakespeare at Winedale Email List" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email 
For more options, visit<>.
Winedale-l mailing list

Reply via email to