Peggy O’Brien, the founding director of education at the Folger Shakespeare Library and an international expert on the teaching of Shakespeare, will present one of her groundbreaking workshops at the University at Buffalo at 11 a.m. Friday, April 26, as part of the UB English department’s contribution to the campuswide Discovery Week.
Together with her husband, Washington-based actor Michael Tolaydo, O’Brien will lead a two-hour session in 120 Clemens Hall on the university’s North Campus titled, “ ‘Courage and hope both teaching him the practice’ (Twelfth Night 1.2.14): An Interactive Workshop in Teaching Shakespeare.”
The workshop is free and open to the public.
O’Brien and Tolaydo have worked tirelessly on a public humanities mission aimed at making Shakespeare accessible to students across the country, according to Barbara Bono, an associate professor of English and the university’s representative to the Folger Institute, the scholarly branch of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
“Over the course of her innovative 30-year leadership of the famous annual Folger/NEH Teaching Shakespeare Workshops, and her editing of the famous ‘Shakespeare Set Free’ manuals, Dr. O’Brien and her collaborators have reformed the teaching of Shakespeare in high schools and colleges throughout the United States,” Bono said. “This interactive workshop will chronicle that history and get participants up on their feet to actively perform and appreciate Shakespeare.”
In addition to her long-standing educator’s role at the Folger, O’Brien has served for many years at the vice president and senior vice president for education at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where she produced the American collection of television adaptations of famous American novels for Masterpiece Theatre.
Tolaydo, professor emeritus of drama at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, over a nearly 50-year career has undertaken Shakespearean roles ranging from Edgar, Claudio and Laertes in his youth to Shylock, Richard III and Prospero more recently. In 2017 he directed “Julius Caesar” for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.
The workshop is sponsored by the UB Humanities Institute, Early Modern and Performance Research Workshops; The Experiential Learning Network; the departments of English, learning and instruction, and theatre and dance; and the UB Libraries.
Anyone interested in the event can contact Bono for more information at [email protected].