A Rhetoric ‘Time Out’ For Shakespeare

“Why me – Lord?” was my response to reading an article about a Black Woman from Oakland!

My diabolical Newsfeed has my number, and like Dante – is cooking me up some hellish dishes! No one has solicited more White Words from me, in such a short period of time, as has, Nataki Garrett. She has received millions in funding – to come up with this Old Chestnut used by Old Black Highwayman in a Funding Extortion Racket! Raider Garrett – is going after all the Arts! I am kin to Shakespeare through the Webb family.

Wilson and Webb | Rosamond Press

It’s a state founded with a racial exclusion clause in its constitution … unfair labor laws for migrants who have come to live there and an active KKK presence well into the 20th if not the 21st century,” he said.

Rather than WASTE Good White Words, I’m going to author a play – about us! I know the Exclusion Laws had to do with the fight to keep Oregon from becoming a Slave State and upset the balance of power in regards to Senators for the Emancipation. Texas wanted to become a State – a Slave State! Pro-Slavery radicals in Kansas, murdered as many Voting White Men and White Boys – who were coming of voting age – as they could get their hands on. My kin, John Fremont, who blazed the Oregon Trail, was the first to emancipate black slaves in America. He wanted White Hillbillys to move to Oregon – so they could vote against slavery. Black folks – could not vote! If Free Blacks moved here – they would take up the sparse jobs. John needed more Anti-Slavery White Mountain Men! There was no big city job markets. Networking with family relatives – was vital to survival!

Then there was Joseph Lane, who wanted black people to move to Oregonm so his pro-slavery army could make them slaves, and declare Oregon a Slave State.!

Whitey sure plays some mean-ass games! But, this does not give Garrett literary and creative permission to go on a Black Culture Crusade – that’s going to end up turning Oregon – RED!

TIME OUT Ms. Garrett. Take a deep breath!

There are some options….I founded the Oregon Shakespear Society that can be established in Springfield. But, perhaps Garrett should move her Bardic Black Mission, here, and a relative of Shakespeare, moves to Ashland – to carry on my Family Traditions!!!!!!!!!

Here is the opening scene of…..Time Out For Shakespeare.

https://www.osfashland.org/en/company/osf-company/artistic-director.aspx

Time Out For Shakespeare …..is about a Senior White Man Conspiracy to keep Black Folks from enjoying the works of Shakespeare – in Ashland Oregon! This Rhetorical Play will take place in front of a reproduction of ‘The Last Audience – of the Habsburgs – whose ancestors sent a Spanish Armada to murder the Protestant Queen – so The Spanish Language will Rule The World of Catholic Jesus. Queen Elizabeth employs The English Speaking Theatre to thwart the Divine Habsburg Crusade, and puts her spies amongst the Thespians and their Agents. I will found a Elizabethan School For Spies, that will resemble Harry Potter.

Stay tuned…For The War of Oakland Words! I was born in Oakland during a star shower. Of course Garrett will screech “RACIST” and send her BLM WOKE Army after me. I worked with Walter Dallas in Oakland. My actor friend took me to see Whoopi Goldberg at a small theater doing her act. There are some very RACIST things being said here, and I don’t believe they are rubber-stamped by Dead Floyd.

John Presco

President: Oregon Shakespeare Society

Walter Dallas
Walter Dallas passed away Sunday at age 73. (Courtesy of Barbara Silzle)

Walter Dallas, 73, a giant of African American theater and former artistic director of the Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia, died on Sunday, May 3. His husband Paul Siler confirmed that Dallas succumbed to pancreatic cancer while in home hospice care in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dallas was known internationally as a theater director and beloved as a teacher who, with his work in the 1980s and 1990s at the Drama Guild and Freedom Theatre, put Philadelphia theater in the national spotlight.

Walter Dallas, a giant of Black theater, has died – WHYY

Shakespeare’s Sword | Rosamond Press

Wilson and Webb | Rosamond Press

Ashland, Ore., home of the festival, is itself about 91% white, according to the 2020 census. Portland State University Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner pointed out that Oregon has a bleak history of racism.

“It’s a state founded with a racial exclusion clause in its constitution … unfair labor laws for migrants who have come to live there and an active KKK presence well into the 20th if not the 21st century,” he said.

It is a story about the way American history haunts the lives of Black women, showing the parallels between two women who live a century apart; one in a slave cabin during the Civil War and one on a contemporary college campus.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival focuses on expansion – but is not without its critics

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September 28, 20225:01 AM ET

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett stands inside the Allen Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland, Ore. She recently programmed her first full season but not everyone has embraced her new approach.

Michael Sullivan for NPR

After two years of pandemic closures, audiences are back at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Founded in 1935, it is one of the oldest and largest non-profit theaters in the country.

But things aren’t the same as they were during the pre-pandemic 2019 season. The audience now wears masks even during outdoor performances, and vaccinations are required. Like most theaters across the country, the audience is diminished; less than 50% have returned to OSF’s reopened stages. Throughout this season, several performances on those stages have been canceled due to smoke from Oregon’s wildfires and COVID-19 outbreaks. And most importantly, new artistic director Nataki Garrett has programmed her first full season.

“Recovery season,” as Garrett calls it, includes Shakespeare stalwarts like The Tempest, but with a diverse cast, and King John, which in this production is an all-female and nonbinary cast performing a story about male power in imperial Europe. The season also includes a new play by MacArthur Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau called Confederates, commissioned by OSF in collaboration with St. Paul’s Penumbra Theater. It is a story about the way American history haunts the lives of Black women, showing the parallels between two women who live a century apart; one in a slave cabin during the Civil War and one on a contemporary college campus.

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“I guess I  was expecting a theater company on crutches,” Shakespeare scholar Daniel Pollack-Pelzner told NPR. He’s been coming to the theater in Ashland, Ore., for almost 30 years. “What I saw instead was a theater company on wings.”

Bianca Jones (left) and Erica Sullivan perform in Confederates at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore.

Jenny Graham/Oregon Shakespeare Festival

That kind of sentiment is good news for OSF, because changing demographics mean that theaters must work to expand their audiences to survive. But like many regional, non-profit American theaters around the country, this theater has been faced with a mostly white subscriber and donor base — which is aging.

“The American theater has relied for decades on that one demographic of people … over 65, affluent, white. It’s sort of the bread basket of the industry,” Garrett said.

Ashland, Ore., home of the festival, is itself about 91% white, according to the 2020 census. Portland State University Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner pointed out that Oregon has a bleak history of racism.

“It’s a state founded with a racial exclusion clause in its constitution … unfair labor laws for migrants who have come to live there and an active KKK presence well into the 20th if not the 21st century,” he said.

But over time, the theater has transformed what was once a small, rural town into an international tourist and arts destination, filled with cafes and shops, and bringing people in from all over.

Garrett has for several years been a leading voice for change, inclusion and equity in American theater. When OSF hired her in 2019, she became one of the first Black women to lead such a large, legacy performing arts institution.

Garrett is focused on putting on stage both new works and new approaches to older works, because attracting and reflecting younger and more diverse audiences is fundamental to the entire ecosystem’s survival.

Michael Sullivan for NPR

But the cessation of theater in March 2020 and an indeterminate return date meant she had to focus on the theater’s survival. Donors and audiences disappeared, so she campaigned to raise $19 million through federal, regional and foundation funding. She said those days trying to save a legacy institution from total collapse were terrifying and clarifying.

“I thought the pandemic was the hard work for maybe about 15 minutes into the pandemic,” Garrett said. But then she realized “that the task is actually greater than can getting through a pandemic … it’s about recovery and thriving. And how do we get THERE?”

That’s partly why she’s focused on putting on stage both new works and new approaches to older works — because attracting and reflecting younger and more diverse audiences is fundamental to the entire ecosystem’s survival.

But not everyone likes the new approach.

“My concern is that they have decided to essentially remake the OSF into something it wasn’t … instead of building on their strengths, really turning their back on its strengths,” said Herbert Rothschild, a longtime OSF subscriber and local columnist, told NPR. “If so, I think they’re going to drive it into the ground.”

People who love OSF but don’t love the new mission have posted on Facebook and participated in letter-writing campaigns. But some of the criticism has gone much farther and Garrett has received death threats.

Michael Sullivan for NPR

Rothschild said in a column this summer that he admired OSF’s diversity efforts, but thought the drop in the number of Shakespeare plays it produced showed that the theater no longer trusted Shakespeare to draw audiences. In a second column, he added that he thought programming so many diverse, contemporary plays didn’t make business sense, because the majority of the Ashland audience is white.

Rothschild’s opinion started a community conversation, said Bert Etling, who edits Rothschild’s column at Ashland.news. People who love OSF but don’t love the new mission have posted on Facebook and participated in letter-writing campaigns to Garrett’s office.

“People don’t want to lose control of things that are important to them and if they feel that something is being taken away, they’re going to protest that and they’re going to make their discomfort known,” Etling said.

Some of the criticism, though, has gone much farther than artistic difference of opinion.  Garrett has received death threats, and now travels with a security team in public.

Cyndii Johnson (left) and Erika Rose perform in Confederates at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Jenny Graham/Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Yet Garrett is moving forward. The current season is designed for “collective impact,” Garrett said. Besides The TempestKing John and Confederates, there is also a production of the Tony Award-winning musical Once On This Island, here set in Haiti, and a raucous queer musical called Revenge Song by Qui Nguyen. Next season, Garrett will direct the company’s flagship Shakespeare production, which will be a Romeo and Juliet that’s inspired by the making — and the failings — of the American West.

Behind the scenes, Garrett has been changing the company’s labor practices, restructuring everything from payment systems to rehearsal hours in order to ensure a more humane workplace that can attract and maintain workers of all backgrounds. There is an entire new division built around inclusion, equity and access led by Anyaniya Muse, who was recently promoted to the role of Managing Director. Plus, to expand to audiences beyond its usual subscription base, OSF has reduced ticket prices and is building upon its digital programs that began as a substitute for in-person performance.

Behind the scenes, Garrett has been changing the company’s labor practices, restructuring everything from payment systems to rehearsal hours in order to ensure a more humane workplace that can attract and maintain workers of all backgrounds.

Michael Sullivan for NPR

Because Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s full audience has not yet returned and federal funding has run dry, next season will be a reduced one. But Garrett said these longer-term changes she’s implementing to expand the festival’s mission are non-negotiable and essential.

“I want OSF to exist well beyond me, 25 years from now and a time when I won’t even be here on Earth, I want it to still be here,” Garrett said. “And that means that my mandate is to rethink the way we do things.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to more accurately reflect the argument that Mr. Rothschild made in his second column

Shakespeare and Elizabeth Taylor

Posted on April 2, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

UNITED STATES – MARCH 18: Reagan Family/Burt Reynolds (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

A Rose Among The Woodwoses

by

John Presco

My cousin, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, died believing she descended from a bunch of hillbillies, and hicks. What are hicks? If I had not taken a DNA test, this would be the case. It should be of interest to her children, grandchildren, and the children of the Thespians she married, that a mutual great grandfather, Thomas Wilson, acted with the Queen Elizabeth’s Men. Elizabeth Taylor’s Men were known for their egos, too.

Richard Burton was a famous Shakespearean Actor, and a Wild Man. He married a Wild Rose, twice! The names Taylor and Burton were on the tip of everyone’s tongue in the 60’s. If any two people were born to herald the end of Puritanical America, it was these two Hollywood Stars. Now that my blood test has put much of Hollywood in the Rosamond Family, Tree where the Webb Family be, then Thank God I am a historian who cares to plant Shakespeare’s Family Tree – in Wild America!

In my historic-fiction I have our kindred, Mary Wilson Webb, naming the Mayflower. She was a good friend of the ship builder’s wife, who wanted to name this famous ship ‘Heather’. This made all the men present, cringe. Countless women have suggested this name. There was a heated argument. Feelings were hurt. Mary spoke.

“Heather is a flower that blooms in May. Why not the name, Mayflower? This way everyone gets their way!”

When the ship that Mary and Alexander Webb sailed to the New World, in, was built, Mary’s good advice was sought. Roseflower was launched, and, more history would be made as the Puritan’s sailed West over the horizon. Gone with the tide and the wind.

***

It is time to finish, and publish my book.

http://www.people.vcu.edu/~nsharp/wilsded1.htm

“And therefore the Poets do feign, that Hercules being a man of great wisdom, had all men linked together by the ears in a chain, to draw them and lead them even as he lusted. For his wit was so great, his tongue so eloquent, and his experience such, that no one man was able to withstand his reason, but every one was rather driven to do that which he would, and to will that which he did; agreeing to his advice both in word and work in all that ever they were able.”

Sarah Wilson Rosamond (Willson) MP

Gender:Female
Birth:1726
County Antrim, Ireland
Death:1790 (64)
Abbeville County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:Daughter of Thomas Wilson and Elizabeth Willson
Wife of Pvt. John Roseman
Mother of Margaret WeemsJames RosamondJean RosamondCapt Samuel Rosamond and Sarah F Hodges
Sister of Capt Matthew WillsonSamuel WillsonRebekah WillsonElizabeth MusgroveNathaniel Willson and 2 others

SIR ALEXANDER WEBB JR., son of SIR ALEXANDER WEBB and MARGARET ARDEN, was born on August 20, 1559 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England, died after 1629 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts and was buried in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He married MARY WILSON about 1579 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England. Mary was born about 1561 in Stratford, Warwick, England.

Children of SIR ALEXANDER WEBB JR. and MARY WILSON are:
RICHARD WEBB SR.
WILLIAM MICAJAH WEBB
ELIZABETH WEBB
JOHN WEBB, born on Oct 23 1597 in Stratford, Warwick, England; died on April 5, 1660 in Siterly, Hampshire, England.
CHRISTOPHER WEBB SR.
HENRY WEBB

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth%27s_Men

It has been proposed that Elizabeth had a specific political motive behind the formation of the company. Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford were using their companies of players to compete for attention and prestige at each year’s Christmas festivities at Court; Elizabeth and her councilors apparently judged the competition, and the noblemen’s egos, to be getting out of hand. By culling the best players in their troupes to form her own, she slapped down ambitious aristocrats and asserted her own priority.[4]

Richard BurtonCBE (/ˈbɜːrtən/; born Richard Walter Jenkins Jr.; 10 November 1925 – 5 August 1984) was a Welsh actor.[1] Noted for his mellifluous baritone voice,[2][3] Burton established himself as a formidable Shakespearean actor in the 1950s, and he gave a memorable performance of Hamlet in 1964. He was called “the natural successor to Olivier” by critic and dramaturge Kenneth Tynan. An alcoholic,[3] Burton’s failure to live up to those expectations[4] disappointed critics and colleagues and fuelled his legend as a great thespian wastrel.[3][5]

Burton was nominated for an Academy Award seven times, but never won an Oscar. He was a recipient of BAFTAsGolden Globes, and Tony Awards for Best Actor. In the mid-1960s, Burton ascended into the ranks of the top box office stars.[6] By the late 1960s, Burton was one of the highest-paid actors in the world, receiving fees of $1 million or more plus a share of the gross receipts.[7] Burton remains closely associated in the public consciousness with his second wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor. The couple’s turbulent relationship was rarely out of the news.[8]

Mary Arden was the mother of William Shakespeare. Mary’s date of birth is unknown; she was likely to have been born between the years 1536-8. She was the youngest of eight daughters and lived in a farmhouse that was built in 1514. Mary’s father, Robert Arden, was a member of the Guild of the Holy Cross, an important communal Stratford institution. Upon his death, Robert left Mary a significant amount of land in Wilmcote together with a sum of £6 13s 4d (equivalent to £30,000 in current value).

Probably about a year after her father’s death in late 1556, Mary married John Shakespeare and moved to live with him in a house on Henley Street. She was between 19-21 years old when she got married and left her father’s home. There was no mention of their engagement before Robert’s death, so the marriage was likely her choice. John was an upcoming businessman with a house in Stratford at that time.

Mary and John had eight children together, although three of their children died young. William was the oldest surviving child of John and Mary Shakespeare, who lost two infant daughters before William was born. William’s younger siblings were Gilbert (born in 1566), Joan (1569), Anne (1571), Richard (1574) and Edmund (1580). Ann died at the age of eight, but the others lived into their adulthood.

There is evidence to suggest that Mary would have been a literate woman, as she is mentioned as the executor of her father’s will. She would have benefited from a degree of education when carrying out her duties as the daughter of a farmer. This is all certainly knowledge that could have been used in the raising of a young William Shakespeare.

Later in life, after her husband’s death in 1601, Mary may have lived with William and his family at New Place. However, it is also possible that she may have stayed with her daughter, Joan Hart, in Henley Street.

Mary Shakespeare died in 1608.

Mary Margaret Webb (Wilson), of Bramcote MP 

Gender:Female
Birth:1561
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Death:circa 1629 (63-71)
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
Immediate Family:Daughter of Thomas Wilson, MP and Agnes Wilson
Wife of Robert BurdettSir Christopher Lowther and Sir Alexander Webb, Jr., Kt.
Mother of Sir Thomas Burdett, 1st Baronet of BramcoteAnne BurdettRichard Webb, of NorwalkWilliam Micajah Webb, IElizabeth Sanford and 3 othersJohn WebbChristopher Webb, Sr. and Henry Webb « less
Sister of Margaret WilsonAnn BurdettNicholas Wilson and Lucrece Wilson
Half sister of Margaret Wormall
Added by:
Managed by:
Curated by:

http://jimwebb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/webb/pafg09.htm#5150

30. Sir Alexander WEBB Jr (Alexander , Henry Alexander , John Alexander , John Alexander , William , John , Geofrey , Henry ) was born on 20 Aug 1559 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England. He died after 1629 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts and was buried in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

   Alexander Webb Jr married Mary Wilson and came to America with four sons: Christopher, Richard, John and William. This was the beginning of the WEBB family in America.

Alexander married Mary WILSON about 1579 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England. Mary was born about 1561 in Stratford, Warwick, England.

When most people think of Gone With The Wind, they do not normally associate Elizabeth Taylor with the film. However, she was considered for the role of Bonnie Blue Butler – Rhett and Scarlett’s daughter . Friends, even a talent scout, tried to coax Sara (Elizabeth’s mother) into letting young Elizabeth audition for the role. However Sara refused, and the role went to Cammie King. By the way, Elizabeth loved Vivien. She even once said “Vivien Leigh was my heroine. She was innocence on the verge of decadence, always there to be saved.” Elizabeth would later replaced Vivien in Elephant Walk (1954) after Vivien had a nervous collapse on set (she suffered from bipolar disorder). It is likely that they met, at the premiere of Around The World In Eighty Days in 1957, and in 1960. Elizabeth starred in a film called The V.I.P.S. in 1963 – it was based on the story of Vivien running off with Peter Finch and getting stuck at the airport because of heavy fog.

Mary Morton Rosemond of Iowa

Posted on July 9, 2018by Royal Rosamond Press

When I read the following this morning, the book, and movie ‘Gone With The Wind’ came to mind.

“The couple had nine children; eight girls and but one son — Martin — who served with Lucas County boys in Company C of the 13th Iowa Infantry and died in service in 1862. When James Roseman died in 1887, there was nobody by the name of Roseman left in the county.”

Thanks to my kin, Charles M. Wright, I was able to find the Western branch of the Rosemond-Rosemond-Rosemond family that descends from James Roseman, Phillip Rosemond, and Moses Morton Rosemond. Add to this branch my grandfather Frank W. Rosamond, and his four daughters, June, Bertha, Rosemary, and Lillian, and the Western Rosamond family, is complete.

I have chosen Mary Morton Rosemond t ground all the Rosy families, because she is a trained Librarian and State Archivist. If she were alive, she would be doing what I and Jimmy Rosamond have been doing for many years. The Rosemond family is mentioned in several history books, none more tragic then the Record of Iowa Soldiers. Why did they let Martin join The War of the Rebellions? He was surrounded by eight beautiful sisters who loved him dearly. He got wound, and was discharged. He came home and died shortly of his wound. What a heartbreak to say goodbye. He was handsome, and, perhaps too effeminate? Did he, and others believe he would come home……….a man. A Rose Man?

There are some profound parallels between the history of The Gone With The Wind, and the Roseman family who were pioneers. They Came from Ireland, and went West. Their name is gone, but their DNA is all over Iowa, including the bloodline to the Wieneke of Iowa. Frank Weseley Rosamond married Mary Magdalene Wieneke, and thus another Mary M. Rosamond. What is in a name? Did Mary Rosemond ever dream one of her kin would become one of the most famous Movie Stars of all time? Then there is my sister’s famous works of art, she know all over the world for her images of beautiful women. Christine Rosamond Benton used her middle name to sign her work, thus giving this name new life. I suspect Mary Morton gathered all her Roses around her, and this monument, with, just the name.

I am kin to Richard Burton who Ian Fleming wanted to play the first James Bond. Liz Taylor is kin to Fleming via Aeilene Getty. The Getty family have founded famous libraries, archives, and museums.

Jon Presco

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/36833744/james-roseman

A Rose Among The Woodwoses

Posted on April 1, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

A Rose Among The Woodwoses

by

John Gregory Presco

Copyright 2019

Chapter One

Roseflower

Lady Mary Wilson Webb, inherited the job of  keeping the fire lit below deck. All those who had gone before her, had failed. The fire tendered in a square iron tray, held together with rivets, then filled with sand, had become the altar of the Pilgrims. It, and the black pot hung on a trident, was watched most of the day by the lost souls packed under the creaking and leaking timbers. Moving about was almost impossible. Everyone was frozen in their place. But for the brave excursions above, met by some tempest, and cold sea spray, the wayfarers relieved themselves in a vile oaken bucket that was too close for comfort.  Bible’s were taken out from under pillows when a lady went to tithe the Oaken Monster as they called it. Reading verses aloud, was the polite thing to do.

Tiring of the gory and bloody Biblical tales, that increased the Cargo Dread, the men brought out their bawdy jokes that they had memorized and gathered since their school days. The women pretended they ne’er heard a one. But, that guarded secret was soon out. And, a new kind of boredom set in. It was dreadful. Ones farting was amplified in the silence. The women ran out of perfume. Everyone got to know what a women really smelled like, including the women! Everyone was grateful for the occasional flying fish that was thrown in the pot, to cook all day, like temple incense.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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