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Ralph Cohen to Speak on Shakespeare as King University April 12 Commemorates the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 31, 2016 – As part of King University’s commemoration of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Professor Ralph Cohen will speak on the performance of Shakespeare’s plays. Co-sponsored with the Arts Alliance Mountain Empire, this lecture will take place Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Kegley Room at the Bristol Public Library in downtown Bristol, Va.

Cohen is the founder of Mary Baldwin College's Master of Letters and Fine Arts program and a professor of Shakespeare and performance.

As co-founder and director of mission for the American Shakespeare Center, Cohen has achieved international recognition for his work in Shakespearean performance. In 2008, he, along with Jim Warren, co-founder of the ASC, was recognized by the Commonwealth Governor's Arts Award. In 2013, the Folger Shakespeare Library granted him the Shakespeare Steward Award for promoting the innovative teaching of Shakespeare in American classrooms.

“Generations of King students have enjoyed trips to the New Blackfriars Theatre to see American Shakespeare Center performances,” says Martin Dotterweich, associate professor of History. “Ralph Cohen had the bold vision to bring original staging of Shakespeare to southern Appalachia, and we look forward to his reflections on the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard.”

In 2014, Cohen became the first American to receive Shakespeare's Globe Theater's most prestigious honor: the Sam Wanamaker Award. Neil Constable, chief executive of Shakespeare's Globe, had this to say of the award: “We want to shine the light on Ralph and recognize the enormous contribution he has made to the appreciation of Shakespeare performance, teaching, scholarly debate and, not least, for being a major inspiration behind our own candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.”

For more information, contact King University’s Chair of the English Department Dr. J. Craig McDonald at 423.652.6320 or


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.