Professor of English hosts Shakespeare readings

Anna Ciummo

Ben Beier, professor of English, is teaching the course on Shakespeare this semester at Washburn as well as holding meetings outside of class dedicated to reading and studying the playwright more deeply.

Although the meetings’ main purpose is to enhance the learning experience for his students taking the Shakespeare class, all are welcome to join. Most of the time, texts will be read aloud, but Beier is now incorporating more films into the mix. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the second successful meeting of the semester took place. The film “The Hollow Crown,” an adaptation of Henry IV, was played.

“It’s something that I wanted to do when I came [to Washburn] three years ago,” Beier said about the out-of-class readings. “To offer totally optional dramatic readings and film screenings of the plays we are doing in class.”

Maribeth Emmert is a senior studying English Education. She is currently taking Beier’s Shakespeare class and attended this optional reading group for the first time on Tuesday.

“I’ve been getting emails about it for a couple years,” Emmert said. “I’m actually taking Shakespeare now, which is how I really understand what’s going on.”

Although only four students showed up to the film showing on Tuesday, Beier said that last semester he had around ten students participate.

“It would be especially helpful for the people who are in the class,” Beier said. “I also definitely want to open it up to anybody and everybody who wants to do so.”

Although news of the next meeting is sent to English majors privately via email, Beier encourages them to bring a friend to take part in the readings.

“I would just say that I think something like reading aloud together not only is a lot of fun, but I hope it makes it a lot less intimidating,” he said about Shakespeare.

The meetings often take place on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. in Morgan Hall, Room 153.

Emmert encourages anyone to consider joining the readings.

“If you have an interest in Shakespeare, are studying it for another class, and if you want to understand it better, I think [participating] would be good,” Emmert said.