Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

“Shakespeare through the Ages at OSU,” Charlotte Headrick

October 30, 2019


Charlotte Headrick
Charlotte Headrick

“Shakespeare through the Ages at OSU”  Watch Video

In this lecture, Charlotte Headrick explores the history of Shakespeare productions at Oregon State University. She begins by tracing her connection to the OSU archives, beginning when she was hired as a Theatre professor and started sending materials to the repository. Headrick then describes the early days of theatre at OSU in the late 19th century, with performances organized through student societies like the Philadelphia Society and Feronian Society. In this, she mentions the earliest known Shakespeare play performed at OSU - an 1895 production of Julius Caesar - and comments on several other Shakespeare productions at OSU through the years, including Angus Bowmer's 1964 production of Hamlet.

From there, Headrick moves on to discuss Scott Palmer's outdoor Shakespeare productions at OSU in the 2000s, and Professor Emeritus Ronald Mitchell's staging of The Merchant of Venice in 1983. She also describes the people involved in Shakespeare productions at OSU in the 1980s and 1990s, including Julianna Soelistyo, Soomi Kim, Michael Lowry, and John Doyle. Next, Headrick details the challenges of the 1997-98 season and 2002-03 seasons, which were both all-Shakespeare seasons. She notes in particular her controversial production of Titus Andronicus, with Scott Palmer cast as Aaron the Moor.

Near the conclusion of her talk, Headrick reflects some of the roles that she has played as an actress in OSU productions. She ends her presentation by reading "The Day Dick and Jane Bit the Dust," a poem by Bettie Sellers, Headrick's former colleague at Young Harris College. She then takes questions from the audience.