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3rd Annual Shakespeare Celebration

April 22, 2017 @ 9:30 am3:40 pm

Shakespeare Celebration header 2016

Join us for the third annual Shakespeare Celebration on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in the St. Cecilia Academy Theater, adjacent to Aquinas College.

Lunch will be provided. There is a $15 suggested donation (cash and checks only) to offset costs of the event, although students and religious are not expected to donate.

The Center would like to congratulate Joshua Mincio of Our Lady of the Rosary Academy in Oak Hills, California as winner of the Shakespeare & Christianity High School Essay Contest. Joshua will read his essay “Mercy and Justice: Complement or Contradiction? A View of these Virtues as Presented in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice” at the celebration.


9:30 – Registration

10:00 – Aaron Urbanczyk: “Statecraft, Christendom, and Machiavelli: Shakespeare on Political Theater”

11:00 – Father Ryan High School: “The Riddle of the Caskets in The Merchant of Venice

11:20 – Santiago Sosa of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival: “Seeking Shakespeare: A Dramatic Presentation”

12:15 – Lunch

1:00 – Joshua Mincio, winner of the Shakespeare & Christianity High School Essay Contest will read his paper: “Mercy and Justice: Complement or Contradiction? A View of these Virtues as Presented in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice

1:20 – Gary Bouchard: “Shakespeare & the Jesuit Martyr”

2:20 – Saint Cecilia’s Academy: “Love and Marriage in Romeo and Juliet

2:40 – Joseph Pearce, Kevin O’Brien & Theatre of the Word: “The Christianity of The Merchant of Venice

3:40 – Closing Comments

4:00 – Travelers’ Mass in St. Jude Chapel at Aquinas College

Speaker and Presenter Bios

Gary Bouchard

Gary BouchardGary Bouchard is Chair of the English Department at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire where he has taught for 30 years. From 1998 to 2003 he served as Saint Anselm’s Executive Vice President. Gary earned his BA in English and Communications at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas and his Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago. As a specialist in the field of Renaissance poetry, he has published articles on a variety of Early Modern poets and cultivated a particular interest and expertise in the life and works of Robert Southwell, S.J. Gary is the author of two books, Colin’s Campus: Cambridge University and the English Eclogue (2000) and Southwell’s Sphere: The Influence of England’s Secret Poet (spring 2017). Besides teaching a variety of literature, rhetoric, and humanities courses, Gary has served on numerous non-profit boards and is the Consulting Editor and CPA award-winning writer for Parable, the magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester.

Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O'BrienKevin O’Brien is the founder and artistic director of the Theater of the Word Incorporated, a Catholic theater company which tours the country evangelizing through drama. Kevin hosts the television series The Theater of the Word on EWTN and can also be seen on episodes of EWTN’s The Apostle of Common SenseThe Quest for Shakespeare, and The Journey Home. He is also a writer and frequent contributor to The Saint Austin Review and Gilbert Magazine. Kevin is the founder and general editor of the Christian Shakespeare website, www.christianshakespeare.com.

Joseph Pearce

Joseph PearceJoseph Pearce, Director of the Aquinas College Center for Faith and Culture, is the author of many books, including studies on Shakespeare, Tolkien, Lewis and Chesterton. He has written and presented two thirteen-part series on Shakespeare for EWTN and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Santiago Sosa

Santiago SosaTeaching Artist at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Santiago Sosa is from Guayaquil, Ecuador. He earned a BFA in acting and directing from Texas State University and an MFA in acting from the University of Wisconsin. He also studied improv at the iO Comedy Training Center in Chicago. Santiago has previously worked as an actor and a teaching artist at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, Shakespeare REp, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Door Shakespeare, Muse of Fire Shakespeare Company, Definition Theatre, and Writers Theatre-Chicago.

Aaron Urbanczyk

Aaron Urbanczyk

Aaron Urbanczyk holds a Ph.D. in English from Florida State University, an M.A. in Philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a B.A. in English from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He currently serves as the Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and Associate Professor of English at Aquinas College. His teaching and research interests include: contemporary Catholic fiction, philosophy of the human person, ethics, and the great books of Western civilization. His essays and reviews have appeared in Religion & the Arts, the St. Austin Review, The Intercollegiate Review, Papers on Language & Literature, Perspectives in Religious Studies, The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, The Catholic Thing, and the Ignatius Critical Editions of Frankenstein, The Scarlet Letter, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He, his wife, and their six children live in Nashville, Tennessee.


April 22, 2017
9:30 am–3:40 pm
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Center for Faith & Culture
(615) 297-7545


St. Cecilia Academy Theater
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205 United States
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