What's Up Chuck
Debate Comes Home...Business as Usual...
Thursday, October 4, 2001
DEBATE COMES HOME...One of the greatest ongoing mysteries revolves around one of the greatest writers of all time. Despite the many plays and poems produced by someone going by the name William Shakespeare, nobody really knows who he was.
Of course there are plenty of people who think they know who churned out Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night''s Dream and all the rest. Among those are the members of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, which is holding its 25th annual conference this year at Pacific Repertory Theater''s Golden Bough Playhouse in Carmel.
Members of the Oxford Society opine that the real author of the plays was Edward DeVere, 17th Earl of Oxford. This year''s conference is being held in Carmel partly because Pac Rep''s founder/artistic director Stephen Moorer has championed DeVere''s cause for the last decade. Moorer and Pac Rep were one of the first actual production companies to jump into a fray that was largely dominated by scholars and academicians.
For Moorer, determining the true author has practical applications for actors and directors.
"Finding out who these characters are based on just strengthens everything we do as theater practitioners," Moorer says. "If I know a character is based on Queen Elizabeth--based on the Oxfordian side of the debate--the actor can do a lot more research. The characters themselves may not have a biography, but you can go back and research the person the character was based on."
Moorer points out that the character of Portia in The Merchant of Venice was, in fact, based on Queen Elizabeth, and that there''s evidence that DeVere, a courtier to the queen, had more than a friendship going on with her. Moorer also points to DeVere''s known biography and says it closely mirrors the storyline in Hamlet. Details like these, gleaned by studying actual people, can help actors flesh out the characters they play.
Besides, there''s simply a matter of justice to be done.
"If someone created a masterpiece, shouldn''t they eventually get credit?" Moorer asks.
Some form of justice will be attempted this weekend during the conference. There''s a free public lecture about the authorship debate at 5:30pm on Thursday at the Golden Bough Playhouse, and conference-goers will attend lectures Friday through Sunday, with a special marathon presentation of the Pac Rep productions of Edward III, Thomas of Woodstock and Richard II on Saturday. For more info: 622-0700.
BUSINESS AS USUAL...File this under "The more things change..." As of Monday, the future owners of radio station KPIG-FM took over management of the station. Providing the Federal Communications Commission signs off on the deal, which will probably take a couple of months, Mapleton Communications will become the proud owner of the quirky Americana station that is almost legendary here and around the world.
Mapleton is buying the station--along with KBTU, KCDU, KMBY and KHIP--from New Wave Broadcasting, which had acquired KPIG in 1998. Rumor has it that New Wave''s radio stations in Hawaii are hemorrhaging dollars, and cash from the sale of the Monterey-area stations may be used to shore up the island stations.
Longtime listeners and readers will remember that when New Wave bought the Pig, the new owners wanted to change the music format by forcing the DJs to play at least 50 percent classic rock. There was such a widespread and ongoing negative reaction from listeners that New Wave was forced to back down.
According to Frank Caprista>, the operations manager at KPIG, there''s not much chance of a similar fiasco this time around.
"I met with the vice president of operations...and he told us it would be business as usual; they weren''t planning any changes," Caprista says. "They knew what they were buying."
What they are buying is a station that for several years has been one of the top three Monterey-area stations in the 25-54 age demographic, and which has one of the highest ratings worldwide for its Internet broadcast.
Mapleton Communications, which was formed by Marc Nathanson (the original founder of Falcon Communications) only this past May, now has radio stations in the Merced, Medford and Monterey markets.
--Chuck Thurman (firstname.lastname@example.org)