Annual Shakespeare Conference returns to Marietta June 28-30

Statue of William Shakespeare

The world’s most famous playwright is coming to Marietta.

At the end of June, the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference will return to Marietta College for the first time since 2012. This is the 43rd annual meeting of the OVSC, a regional academic organization.

The weekend will include expert speakers, workshops run by American Shakespeare Center scholars, and even the opportunity to attend Shakespeare productions.

This year’s gathering of the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference is significant. While usually held in October, this year’s conference has been specially aligned with Marietta College’s Shakespeare in the Park, which is organized by the Pioneer Summer Theatre at Marietta College.

There will be free admission to Romeo and Juliet in Muskingum Park on Thursday, June 27 and Saturday, June 29. Both start at 8:00 p.m.

Director Emily Heugatter will be presenting a paper based on her own research on Friday, and the Romeo and Juliet creative team and cast will offer a talk-back session on Sunday morning.

Speaker sessions will be Saturday and Sunday in the Alma McDonough Auditorium, but most of the conference events will be held in the Hermann Fine Arts Center. There is also a classroom software demonstration that allows students to simulate textual adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, which can be found in Legacy Library room 218.

“The Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference has a strong reputation in our field, and I was honored to be invited,” said Dr. Ruben Espinosa, the plenary speaker. “This year's theme, ‘Shakespeare’s Nations,’ is particularly energizing … even a quick glance at this year’s program reveals the manifold, and truly interesting, topics that such a theme engenders. I very much look forward to my visit to Marietta, and to meeting so many new people with shared interests in Shakespeare.”

The OVSC expects more than 80 college faculty, high school teachers, and students of both graduate and undergraduate levels to be in attendance. Students are encouraged to enter their papers in the Smith Prize Competition, and high school teachers who attend the conference will earn certificates of completion that can be used for professional development.