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Shakespeare: The Magic of the Word
Mar
27
7:30 PM19:30

Shakespeare: The Magic of the Word

Wednesday March 27, 7:30 p.m
First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

Tickets

Learn more about the Magic of the Word.

This 90-minute performance features recitation of great moments in Shakespeare, commentary, biographical details, discussions of the great Shakespeare themes, and a practical guide to overcoming “Shakespeare intimidation.” Witty, probing, and funny, Clay provides an evening of insight and laughter in his one-man program, an unforgettable tribute to the life and work of the greatest writer in the English language.

Reading Hamlet for the first time as a freshman in college changed the whole trajectory of my life. During my time at Oxford I saw 34 of the 37 Shakespeare plays, including Hamlet nine times. Although I somehow slipped through the back door and became an amateur historian, my great love has always been Elizabethan and Jacobean literature. This program gives me the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s genius at the prime of my life as a public humanities scholar.

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Sir Walter Raleigh
Mar
26
7:30 PM19:30

Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh
Tuesday March 26, 7:30 p.m.
Sound Stage at the Lost Colony, Manteo

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Raleigh (1554-1618) was only one of my characters who was beheaded! He was the very definition of a “Renaissance man.” He was a dashing soldier, an Elizabethan privateer, a colonizer of Virginia, a friend of Sir Philip Sidney and the patron of Edmund Spenser, one of Queen Elizabeth’s four principal courtiers, a writer of admirable poetry and prose, an explorer of South America, and one of the most important state prisoners in the history of England.

My Raleigh speaks from the Tower of London, where he was imprisoned from 1603-1616 for treason by King James I. It’s difficult to discern just what his crimes were from our perspective, but he was a great favorite of Queen Elizabeth and he made it clear when she died on March 24, 1603, that he would prefer the thrown not be cast away on a Scotsman who was the son of the late Mary Queen of Scotts.

Raleigh was the mastermind of England’s intended colonization at Roanoke in today’s North Carolina. He gave the name of his new world discoveries “Virginia” after his patron, the Virgin Queen. In 1595 he attempted to find El Dorado, the fabled city of gold somewhere along the Orinoco River in South America. He found no gold, but the account he wrote of his adventure, The Discovery of Guiana (1596) was a classic of exploration literature.

Raleigh is a larger-than-life figure around whom much legendary material has accumulated. He may—or may not—have thrown down his cloak (the most expensive thing he owned) to enable Queen Elizabeth to walk safely over a puddle. He probably was not doused with a bucket of water when his servant failed to realize that the smoke coming out of his mouth was from tobacco not a clothing fire. He may or may not have scratched love verses to Elizabeth on a windowpane at Windsor Castle.

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Meriwether Lewis
Mar
25
7:30 PM19:30

Meriwether Lewis

Clay Jenkinson as Meriwether Lewis
Monday March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Kitty Hawk

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Lewis was my first Chautauqua character. He’s fascinating on so many fronts. When he was keeping his journal, he was easily the most interesting writer of the expedition, by magnitudes. He regarded himself as the Enlightenment’s personal emissary in the American West. His relationship with Clark is complex, nuanced, and ultimately tragic. His attitude towards American Indians is essential for any understanding of that vexed subject in American history. Sometimes I fantasize about having been a member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, to have seen Montana in 1804 when hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of bison grazed the plains in a tense equilibrium with elk, grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, pronghorn antelope, and prairie dogs. (Of course, I would almost certainly have been a copy clerk back in Philadelphia, and probably could not have held up for more than a few days given the physical demands of the journey). Lewis had a rich, somewhat odd, sense of humor, which I try to explore in my dramatic interpretations.

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Clay Jenkinson’s Shakespeare the Magic of the Word
Sep
22
8:00 PM20:00

Clay Jenkinson’s Shakespeare the Magic of the Word

Tidewater Community College
Roper Performing Arts Center
Norfolk, VA
Friday, September 22 at 8 PM

In this world premiere of "Clay Jenkinson's Shakespeare the Magic of the Word," Clay kicks off a nationwide tour to celebrate the magical web of words and meaning in the Bard's plays and sonnets.

Find more information and purchase tickets here.

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Constitution Day for the Harford County Public Library Foundation
Sep
17
7:00 PM19:00

Constitution Day for the Harford County Public Library Foundation

Clay S. Jenkinson, as Thomas Jefferson, will speak at Constitution Day for the Harford County Public Library Foundation. Location to follow. Admission is free but seating is limited. RSVP by August 1st. To register, visit HCPLonline.org. If you have questions, contact Nina Depkin at Depkinn@HCPLonline.org.

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