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Photo of Globe and Cosmos artwork

Photo of Globe and Cosmos artworkThe Bard and the Father of Modern Science. They were the superstars of their day. Literal Renaissance men whose words and ideas continue to shape our ideas on art and the universe.

William Shakespeare and Galileo Galilei were born 450 years ago. And UNCG is marking the occasion with dozens of events in a year-long celebration.

The “Globe and the Cosmos” series originated with Dr. Peter Alexander, dean of the School of Music,Theatre and Dance. Alexander was looking for a collaborative project to bring together diverse talents and expertise from across the UNCG campus. Envisioning a unique project with a breadth that would challenge the intellect and stimulate the imagination, he reached out to Dr. Timothy Johnston and Dr. Jerry Pubantz, deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Lloyd International Honors College, to realize that vision.

“My hope is to offer a series of performances, lectures, films and classes that will sequentially enrich one another,” Alexander says. “The idea is to build bridges, tempting audiences to try something new in another discipline whether it be the arts, the humanities or the sciences.”

“The Globe and the Cosmos” will bring several renowned artists and lecturers to the UNCG campus. Composer Philip Glass, who wrote an opera about Galileo. Dava Sobel, author of “Galileo’s Daughter.” Science historian John Heilbron. Russ McDonald, professor of Renaissance literature and Shakespearean scholar. Theatre Gigante’s performance of “My Dear Othello,” which fuses drama, dance and music.

And UNCG’s homegrown talent is poised to shine as well. UNCG Opera Theatre will perform Glass’ “Galileo Galilei.” UNCG Theatre will stage Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” Dance professor Janet Lily will perform with Theatre Gigante. The Weatherspoon Art Museum will feature “Skyward,” and exhibition of artists who, like Galileo, are fascinated by celestial observation.

Last weekend’s sold-out Collage Concert marked the launch of the celebration. Some highlights in the coming weeks include:

  • Shakespeare Re-imagined: Seven Films Adapted from Shakespeare with Unconventional Settings – “Coriolanus” (Ralph Fiennes, 2011) – Sept.10, 7:30 p.m., EUC Auditorium
  • “Twelfth Night” – School of Music, Theatre and Dance – Oct. 2-9 “Twelfth Night” is truly one of William Shakespeare’s most famous and beloved comedies. A play about love in all its excesses and beauty, of its pain and joy, and finally, and most importantly, of its healing power and ability to put the world right for those unafraid to risk their hearts.
  • Southeastern Renaissance Conference – College of Arts & Sciences – Oct. 3-4, various locations Gathering scholars from throughout the region to present their latest research in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies with a special emphasis on the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and connections encouraged with Galileo and the early sciences. Cyrus Art Production will perform a program choreographically interpreting some of Shakespeare’s most famed characters. An exhibition of UNCG’s rare Renaissance holdings will be on view in Jackson Library’s Hodges Reading Room.
  • University Symphony Orchestra performance – “Shakespeare: East and West” – Oct. 5, 3:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium
  • Shakespeare Re-imagined: Seven Films Adapted from Shakespeare with Unconventional Settings – “O” (Tim Blake Nelson, 2001) – Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m., EUC Auditorium
  • “My Dear Othello”- Theatre Gigante – School of Music, Theatre and Dance – Oct. 16-18 This critically acclaimed production blends elements of Japanese movement, Shakespearean verse and contemporary monologues in revisiting a famous story of jealousy and revenge.
  • Renaissance Keyboard Recital – School of Music, Theatre and Dance – Oct. 19, 3:30 p.m., Music Building Organ Hall – UNCG keyboard faculty and graduate students will perform solo keyboard repertoire from the age of Galileo and Shakespeare on harpsichord and portative organ
  • Lloyd Faculty Panel – Lloyd International Honors College – Oct. 23, 3 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House An interdisciplinary look at the impact of Galileo and Shakespeare on today’s sciences and humanities.

A detailed listing of the year’s series is at globeandcosmos.uncg.edu.

Set your sights on the stars as art and science, beauty and truth, come together at UNCG. It’s such stuff dreams are made on.

By Michelle Hines

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