Greenwich Library presents a new playwrights series

Dr. Mark Schenker of Yale to discuss three plays

Greenwich Library announces the return of Dr. Mark Schenker with a new Playwrights Lecture Series beginning on Thursday, March 31, from 7-8 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium with Oedipus Rex; Thursday, April 7, Hamlet; and Thursday, April 14, King Lear.

The first lecture will give patrons insight into the epic story of murder and incest, Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. The story of King Oedipus (called Oedipus Tyrannus in Greek) won second prize in Athens’ annual drama festival, the ‘City Dionysia’, in about 427 BC. Set in the city of Thebes, the tragedy contains one of the most famous riddles ever devised (the ‘Riddle of the Sphinx’), and the most terrible of unintended consequences.

This program will be held on Thursday, March 31 from 7-8 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium and is open to all at no charge.

The second lecture will enlighten the audience about Hamlet, one of William Shakespeare’s most powerful and popular works. Hamlet follows the journey of Prince Hamlet of Denmark as he seeks revenge on his deceased uncle, Claudius. Hamlet, which is also called The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, was written by Shakespeare between the years 1599 and 1602. This program will be held on Thursday, April 7 from 7-8 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium and is open to all at no charge.

The third lecture will describe King Lear, Shakespeare’s tragedy in which a king divides his kingdom between his scheming two oldest daughters and estranges himself from Cordelia, the daughter who actually loves him. The king and many of the characters pay for their shortcomings — madness, murder, and forgiveness that arrives too late combine to make this an all-embracing tragedy of evil and suffering. This program will be held on Thursday, April 14from 7-8 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium and is open to all at no charge.

Dr. Schenker has been at Yale College since 1990. He is currently a senior associate dean of the College and dean of academic affairs. A former lecturer in the English Department, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University with a concentration in 19th-century and early 20th-century English literature.

Dr. Schenker has lectured on literature and film for over 25 years and has led book discussion series in more than 100 venues in Connecticut, including public libraries, museums, and cultural centers. For the past decade he has given programs on Shakespeare’s plays in conjunction with Shakespeare on the Sound. In 2001, he received the Wilbur Cross Award for Outstanding Humanities Scholar, presented by the Connecticut Humanities Council.

This program is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. For more information, please contact Matthew Sgritta at [email protected] or 203-622-7972.

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