Tag: Shakespeare

News of Olin’s Shakespeare festival spread far and wide. With more than 700 people in attendance, it is no surprise that fans of the Bard are still buzzing with tales of mirth and merry that graced the stage on Mudd Field, April 23. The Poets & Quants website has posted a most positive account of the event:

Though connections between the Bard and the business world may not be immediately obvious, [Dean Mark] Taylor says Shakespeare’s plays have strong messages for business leaders and managers.

Henry V’s Agincourt speech is truly inspirational,” Taylor says, “and two compelling maxims of which I often remind myself — from Shakespeare’s King John and Hamlet, respectively — are, ‘Strong reasons make strong actions’ and ‘We know what we are but not what we may be.’”

Dean Taylor opens Shakespeare at Olin festival. ©Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Chris Detloff, BSBA 2019, who is a member of the Dean’s Players told Poets & Quants, “Only at Olin could I experience such an unexpected and enriching adventure.”

The Dean’s Players.

Link to Poets & Quants article.



Katie Wools, Creative Director in Olin’s Marketing & Communications department, is a Gold Winner in the 2017 Hermes Creative Awards competition for her poster design that promoted this year’s Shakespeare at Olin event.

Katie, who is a freelance illustrator with children’s books to her credit, was quick to say that the poster was a team effort. “Paula Crews, Judy Milanovits, Cathy Myrick—all members of our MarComm team—and I, first met to discuss concepts for the poster. Dean Taylor approved, and then I got to work on a sketch—Cathy laid in the type.”

Katie says the Dean made a great suggestion when he saw the initial sketch. “It was his idea to put Juliet on top of Brookings Hall to mimic the iconic balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet. It was brilliant!”

It was also Dean Taylor’s idea to stage the first-ever Shakespeare at Olin, held April 23, in honor of the Bard’s 453rd birthday. Katie also designed banners that decorated the tent on Mudd Field where several local professional theater groups and WashU students performed scenes from Shakespeare.  Link here for complete program.

Photo by Jerry Naunheim, Jr.

Pen and ink and watercolor are Katie’s illustrating media. Once complete she scans the artwork into a digital file. For the Shakespeare poster, she added a parchment-like background and a “few other tweaks” in PhotoShop. Total time for the project? Katie estimates 20 hours, but who’s counting? “It was such a fun project I didn’t keep track. I am never happier than when I get to work on a project like this,” Katie said.

At right, Katie’s illustration of William Shakespeare was blown up to five feet tall for a fun selfie station complete with Elizabethan props and quotes from the Bard’s plays.

“Hand illustration is definitely a disappearing art,” said Katie. “Working in traditional media is scary. If a client makes a change to your digital illustration it is often an easy fix in PhotoShop. If they make a change to your painting, you sometimes have to start all over again. But I use both traditional and digital techniques in my art. When I am done with a watercolor, I often make small tweaks in photoshop to clean it up. But I am still careful to maintain the integrity of the original painting.”


Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media. Hermes Creative Awards recognizes outstanding work in the industry while promoting the philanthropic nature of marketing and communication professionals.

Hermes Creative Awards is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (www.amcpros.com). The international organization consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital media production and free-lance professionals. AMCP oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and awards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.


Olin Business School is bringing celebrated poet and playwright William Shakespeare to the Washington University campus. On April 23, the business school will host a new event—“Shakespeare at Olin”—to celebrate the Bard of Avon’s 453rd birthday.

Free and open to the public, this event will include a variety of performances of scenes from Shakespearean plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night, and Henry V, as well as from Shakespeare-inspired operas Otello and Falstaff and the musicals Kiss Me Kate and Something Rotten.

The performances will be produced in conjunction with Washington University’s Performing Arts Department, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Black Rep, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Ghost Lights, as well as Olin’s own dramatic society, The Dean’s Players.

“Shakespeare at Olin” is the brainchild of Olin Business School’s Dean Mark P. Taylor, a native of Great Britain and longtime Shakespeare aficionado and scholar. Along with his degrees in economics and finance, Taylor holds a master’s degree in English Renaissance and Romantic Literature. He is a contributor to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s edition of King John.

Shakespeare at Olin will take place on Mudd Field on Sunday, April 23, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Attendees will enjoy additional entertainment and Elizabethan-themed refreshments. For more information or to register, visit olin.wustl.edu/Shakespeare.

In addition to performances by The Dean’s Players, here are some highlights of the event:

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) will present internationally known opera singers Rena Harms and Christopher Magiera, from the cast of OTSL’s upcoming Madame Butterfly, to perform.

“Shakespeare at Olin” is part of the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’s annual SHAKE 38, a five-day event that attracts more than 1,500 artists across the region.

The Washington University Performing Arts Department will put on a “command performance” of scenes from its modern take on Macbeth, which was performed at the Edison Theatre this winter.

Washington University’s Department of Music will provide Elizabethan period music and excerpts of classical music inspired by the works of William Shakespeare. The Renaissance consort of violin, lute/guitar, and violoncello will play arrangements by Professor William Lenihan.


Olin Dean Mark Taylor will lead a post-performance discussion on March 4 during the upcoming student production of “Macbeth” at the Edison Theatre. The Shakespeare tragedy is presented by the Performing Arts Department (PAD), directed by Henry Schvey, professor of drama, and opens Friday, Feb. 24.

Taylor’s discussion, “Look to the Lady: Sex, Power and Vulnerability in the Scottish Play” will take place following the March 4 performance.

Taylor holds a master’s degree in English Literature and has contributed to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s edition of King John.

“Macbeth” begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25. Performances continue the following weekend, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5. Tickets are $20, or $15 for students, seniors and Washington University faculty and staff, and $10 for WashU students. Tickets are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office. For more information, call (314) 935-6543

Read more about the production in this preview from WashU’s The Source:

‘A story of moral corruption’

By Liam Otten, The Source

"Lady Macbeth" played by Caroline Sullivan. Photos by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos

“Lady Macbeth” played by Caroline Sullivan.
Photos by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos

The war is won, the enemy vanquished, the victors basking in glory. And then it all goes wrong.

“For many years, I saw ‘Macbeth’ as a story of good and evil,” said Henry Schvey, professor of drama in the Performing Arts Department (PAD) in Arts & Sciences, who will direct the Shakespeare classic in Edison Theatre beginning Feb. 24.

But as he prepared for the production, amidst the turmoil of the 2016 presidential election, “the play began to strike me differently. It felt more ambiguous, less black-and-white.

“It seemed a story of moral corruption.”

"Macbeth" played by Josh Parrack. Background, "Witches"; Hannah Marias, left; Brandon Krisko, center; Sam Gaitsch, right. Photos by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos

“Macbeth” played by Josh Parrack.
Background, “Witches”;
Hannah Marias, left;
Brandon Krisko, center;
Sam Gaitsch, right.
Photos by Joe Angeles/WUSTL Photos

Guilt and doubt

Traditional readings of “the Scottish play” emphasize the role of Lady Macbeth in pushing her husband to assassinate King Duncan. But to Schvey, who is setting the play in modern dress, this elides the complexity of both the characters and their marriage.

“The murder emanates from their relationship,” Schvey contended. “If you read the text closely, it’s clear that killing the king has been in their thoughts. Perhaps it was a plan, perhaps it was just an outlandish idea. But when she pushes him, it’s towards an agenda they’ve tacitly agreed upon.

“Macbeth is not a cardboard villain,” Schvey added. “He’s ambitious, a political force, but he’s also plagued by guilt and doubt. And his journey is deeply complicated. It’s not just about the rise and fall, the winning and losing. It’s about succumbing to temptation, and the deep futility he feels afterwards.”

At the same time, “Macbeth is operating in a world of flawed people. Macduff, who often is presented as a hero, takes flight, thus allowing Macbeth to butcher his family. Malcolm, Duncan’s heir, was born to royalty but not necessarily groomed to take the crown. Their shortcomings suggest a world in which there are no moral absolutes, powering Macbeth’s own ambitions.

“I think this aligns all too well with our current political moment,” Schvey said. “The world of moral ambiguity asserts itself in the play’s opening moments and never relinquishes its grip. It is a world of fog, in which the only certainty is that things are profoundly uncertain.

“For Shakespeare, whether or not Macbeth is a good ruler is almost beside the point,” Schvey added. “He’s more interested in the psychology of power. And at some level, I think Macbeth knows that, in killing Duncan, he’s killing the best part of himself.

“It’s a moral and spiritual suicide.”

In honor of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, Olin MBA ’13 Kevin Arkell helped create a re-envisioning of the famous Hamlet. While “Make Hamlet” includes most of the lines from the Shakespeare original, it is far from the same play.

This review is by Michael McLaughlin, MBA’14

Laertes and PoloniusOnly six actors are used, requiring the cast members to play a variety of roles.  At one point a man burst onto the stage dressed in a clown suit, when only moments before, he had delivered an impassioned speech about honor.

Props were either chosen for comedic or economic reasons, which became apparent when the regal king arrived on stage with a walking cane that upon closer inspection turned out to be a golf putter he was holding upside down.

The play was filled with surprises throughout, starting with the moment when the cast members got dressed in front of the audience and ending with a flurry of activity that included running around, impassioned pleading, and something very bad happening to the clown suit.

“Make Hamlet” is the brainchild of Kevin’s wife Lucy, an MFA from Columbia who is the creator of Equally Represented Arts.  The play is based on Lucy’s master’s thesis, and she recruited Kevin to be the Managing Director based on his marketing knowledge from his time at Olin.

Kevin is now an up-and-coming executive at Nestle Purina, and in the course of his job he has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Grumpy Cat. Kevin has discovered that the famous cat is actually quite happy, which might be due to the fact that the cat is a multimillionaire.  Apparently the “grumpy” image it projects is just another clever example of brand management.

If you would like to see “Make Hamlet”, the remaining shows will be taking place April 28 through May 3.  Showtime is 8 p.m. at The Chapel on 6238 Alexander Drive, near the Wash. U campus.
Tickets are available at www.artful.ly/era
The website for Lucy’s theater company is www.EquallyRepresentedArts.com
You can also follow the event page for “Make Hamlet” on Facebook or contact Kevin at k.c.arkell@gmail.com