Welcome to Boulder and the University of Colorado. We are certainly pleased to be your hosts.
Shakespeare himself was very fond of the word “Welcome.” He used it 377 times in his plays. It is my pleasure to welcome you today.
We take great pride in being home to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, one of the oldest festivals in the country, embarking on its 53rd season.
The CSF is one of a handful of theatres to complete the entire Shakespeare canon of 37 plays.
The festival is one of our greatest bridges between the university and the community and it’s notable that 10 percent of the audience comes from outside the state.
While the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is a professional theatre company, it has significant ties to the university, especially through the Department of Theatre and Dance. This allows audiences to see the work of professional actors, directors and designers while allowing CU students to work alongside and learn from professionals.
As an educator and the former Dean of Education here at CU-Boulder, it is exciting for me to see the different ways we connect Shakespeare with our communities including the K-12 community.
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival school outreach program has given over 600 performances throughout Colorado public schools since its inception in 1991 and it is seen annually by 5,000 students and teachers.
As you can see, we are very proud of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, not only for the education and bridge building that it offers, but also for the unity and diversity it offers through creativity and artistic excellence.
I also would like to welcome you to the University Theatre. When this facility was occupied by the U.S. Department of the Navy for the war effort during World War II, CU was inspired to try our new outdoor theatre in 1944 with a production of “Romeo and Juliet.”
It started a tradition, and today the Colorado Shakespeare Festival stages two to three Shakespeare plays every summer in the amphitheater, just to our south, as well as productions here in the University Theatre.
As an educator, I’m always interested in language and how it is used. It’s fascinating to know that Shakespeare coined some 1,700 words that are still in use in daily life.
Some of these colorful words I use myself in the public university environment – some more than others. Words like: frugal, dwindle, sea change, fancy-free, star-crossed and premeditated to name only a few.
Indeed, Shakespeare gave us many gifts of language. A couple of years ago, in honor of Shakespeare’s 445th birthday, National Public Radio reminded us of some of Shakespeare’s jewels, phrases and sayings first uttered in his plays, that have become part of our language.
“One fell swoop” and “Milk of human kindness” from Macbeth.
Othello gave us: “Neither here nor there” and “My heart upon my sleeve.”
From Hamlet: “In my heart of hearts” and “In my mind’s eye.”
From the comedy Cymbeline, a phrase we don’t generally think of as funny: “I have not slept one wink.”
Romeo and Juliet: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
And King Lear: “So we come full circle” and “I bid you good morning.”
So I bid you good morning. Please enjoy the conference, and allow me to quote from “Henry the Eighth,” (Act 1, Scene 4), in which Cardinal Wolsey says, “…And once more I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.”