Great Lakes Theater and Tochmarc Emire

Great Lakes Theater is Cleveland, Ohio's professional classic theater company. Founded in 1962, Great Lakes is the second-largest regional theater in Northeast Ohio. It specializes in large-cast classic plays with a strong foundation in the works of Shakespeare and features an educational outreach program. The company performs its main stage productions in rotating repertory at its state-of-the-art new home at the Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Square, which reopened on September 20, 2008. The organization shares a resident company of artists with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. On its main stage and through its education programs, GLT connects approximately 85,000 adults and students to the classics each season.

GLT's artistic directors have included Arthur Lithgow, Lawrence Carra, Vincent Dowling, Gerald Freedman, James Bundy (present Dean of the Yale School of Drama) and Charles Fee, who engineered the company's production-sharing partnership with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival).

In 2010, Great Lakes Theater completed a $19.2M dollar capital campaign to renovate the Hanna Theatre as a new and permanent home for Great Lakes while creating an endowment for the theater company - preserving the legacy of the classics in Cleveland. The honorary chair of the campaign was actor Tom Hanks, who credits the Great Lakes Theater Festival for beginning his acting career.

Great Lakes Theater was formerly known as Great Lakes Theater Festival, which continues to be its legal name. “Festival” was dropped from the classic theater company’s business name to better reflect its September through May season, and programming format.

Contents 1 Origins 2 Artistic directors 3 References 4 External links


Arthur Lithgow started what was going to be Great Lakes in the 1950s at Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio. During the few years in Antioch, all of Shakespeare's plays were performed. The company traveled for performances at Stan Hywet Hall in Akron, the Toledo Zoo, and Cuyahoga Falls. In 1961, Lithgow made an arrangement with Ohio Board of Education President Dorthy Teare, creating the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. GLSF premiered July 11, 1962 with As You Like It. It continued at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium performing that play and five others in rotation.

Great Lakes moved from its original home in Lakewood, Ohio to Playhouse Square in 1982 to become the first resident company in Playhouse Square.

Notable alumni include Tom Hanks (1977-79 as an intern and core company member, and later winner of the Cleveland Critics' circle for best actor in Festival's production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona), Donald Moffat, Larry Linville, Cloris Leachman, Piper Laurie, Obie Cytron, Jean Stapleton, Hal Holbrook and Olympia Dukakis. Artistic directors

Lithgow expanded the repertoire beyond Shakespeare in 1965 and left his role as artistic director in 1966.

Lawrence Carra became the artistic director until 1975, followed by Vincent Dowling in 1976. Dowling moved the company from its Lakewood Civic Auditorium home to the Ohio Theatre of the Playhouse Square Center.

Gerald Freedman became the artistic director in 1985. Under his direction, GLSF in 1985 changed to its name to the "Great Lakes Theater Festival," to reflect the broader body of work produced beyond Shakespeare. Freedman was followed by James Bundy in 1998.

Charles Fee has been the artistic director since 2002.

Tochmarc Emire and Great Lakes Theater

Tochmarc Emire ("The Wooing of Emer") is one of the stories in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology and one of the longest when it received its form in the second recension (below). It concerns the efforts of the hero Cú Chulainn to marry Emer, who appears as his wife in other stories of the cycle, and his training in arms under the warrior-woman Scáthach. The tochmarc ("wooing" or "courtship") (along with cattle raids, voyages, feasts, births and deaths) is one of the 'genres' of early Irish literature recognised in the manuscript corpus.

Contents 1 Recensions and manuscript sources 2 Summary 3 Related stories 4 Adaptations 5 Notes 6 References 6.1 Tochmarc Emire: editions and translations 7 Secondary sources 8 Further reading

Recensions and manuscript sources

The early Irish tale Tochmarc Emire exists in two (main) recensions. The earliest and shortest version is extant only as a copy in a late manuscript, the 15th/16th-century Rawlinson B 512, where it lacks the first part, beginning instead with the last riddle exchanged between Cú Chulainn and Emer. The text has been dated by Kuno Meyer to the tenth century. An Old Irish original, possibly dating back to the 8th century, but transcribed and slightly modernised in the Middle Irish period appears to lie behind this text.

The longer recension (LU, Stowe D iv 2, Harleian 5280, 23 N 10 and two fragments) was written in the Middle Irish period and represents a greatly expanded version of the earlier version of the narrative. Leabhar na hUidre (LU): p 121a-127b (Dublin, RIA). Second part missing. Stowe D IV 2: f 74Ra-78Vb (Dublin, RIA). Complete. Rawlinson B 512: f 117Ra-118Rb (Oxford, Bodleian Library). First part missing. Book of Fermoy 23 E 29: p 207a-212b (Dublin, RIA). Fragment Egerton 92: f 24Ra-25Vb (London, British Library). Fragment Harley 5280: f 27R-35Rb (London, British Library). Complete. 23 N 10 (formerly Betham 145): p 21-24 & 113-124 & 11-12 & 25-26 & 125-128 (Dublin, RIA). Complete. Book of Leinster (LL), f 20a46 ff (Trinity College Dublin). Variant of § 30 as found in Echtra Machae. Summary

In his youth, Cú Chulainn is so beautiful that the Ulstermen become worried that, without a wife of his own, he will steal their wives and ruin their daughters. They search all over Ireland for a suitable wife for him, but he will have none but Emer, daughter of Forgall Monach. However, Forgall is opposed to the match. He suggests that Cú Chulainn should train in arms with the renowned warrior-woman Scáthach in the land of Alba (Scotland), hoping the ordeal will be too much for him and he will be killed. Cú Chulainn takes up the challenge. In the meantime, Forgall offers Emer to Lugaid mac Nóis, a king of Munster, but when he hears that Emer loves Cú Chulainn, Lugaid refuses her hand.

Scáthach teaches Cú Chulainn all the arts of war, including the use of the Gáe Bulg, a terrible barbed spear, thrown with the foot, that has to be cut out of its victim. His fellow trainees include Ferdiad, who becomes Cú Chulainn's best friend and foster-brother. During his time there, Scáthach faces a battle against Aífe, her rival and in some versions her twin sister. Scáthach, knowing Aífe's prowess, fears for Cú Chulainn's life and gives him a powerful sleeping potion to keep him from the battle. However, because of Cú Chulainn's great strength, it only puts him to sleep for an hour, and he soon joins the fray. He fights Aífe in single combat, and the two are evenly matched, but Cú Chulainn distracts her by calling out that Aífe's horses and chariot, the things she values most in the world, have fallen off a cliff, and seizes her. He spares her life on the condition that she call off her enmity with Scáthach, and bear him a son.

Leaving Aífe pregnant, Cú Chulainn returns from Scotland fully trained, but Forgall still refuses to let him marry Emer. Cú Chulainn storms Forgall's fortress, killing twenty-four of Forgall's men, abducts Emer and steals Forgall's treasure. Forgall himself falls from the ramparts to his death. Conchobar has the coll cétingen or "right of the first night" over all marriages of his subjects. He is afraid of Cú Chulainn's reaction if he exercises it in this case, but is equally afraid of losing his authority if he does not. Cathbad suggests a solution: Conchobar sleeps with Emer on the night of the wedding, but Cathbad sleeps between them. Related stories

In a related story, Aided Óenfir Aífe ("The Death of Aífe's Only Son"), Connla, the son Cú Chulainn fathers on Aífe in Tochmarc Emire, comes to Ireland at the age of seven to seek out his father. His extraordinary skills make him seem a threat, however, and because of a geis placed on him by his father, he refuses to identify himself, and Cú Chulainn kills him in single combat, using the Gae Bulg.

In another related story, Aided Derbforgaill ("The Death of Derbforgaill"), the Scandinavian princess Derbforgaill, whom Cú Chulainn rescues from being sacrificed to the Fomorians in some versions of Tochmarc Emire, comes to Ireland with her handmaid, in the form of a pair of swans, to seek Cú Chulainn, who she has fallen in love with. Cú Chulainn and his foster-son Lugaid Riab nDerg see the swans, and Cú Chulainn shoots Derbforgaill down with his sling. The slingstone penetrates her womb, and to save her live Cú Chulainn has to suck it from her side, but since he has tasted her blood he cannot marry her. Instead, he gives her to Lugaid, and they marry and have children. One day in deep winter, the men of Ulster make pillars of snow, and the women compete to see who can urinate the deepest into the pillar and prove herself the most desirable to men. Derbforgaill's urine reaches the ground, and the other women, out of jealousy, attack and mutilate her. Lugaid notices that the snow on the roof of her house has not melted, and realises she is close to death. He and Cú Chulainn rush to the house, but Derbforgaill dies shortly after they arrive, and Lugaid dies of grief. Cú Chulainn avengeds them by demolishing the house the women are inside, killing 150 of them.

In Táin Bó Cúailnge ("The Cattle Raid of Cooley"), two of the warriors Cú Chulainn faces in single combat, Fer Báeth and Fer Diad, are his foster-brothers and fellow trainees under Scáthach. Adaptations

The story was adapted as a dramatic musical program, "Celtic Hero", for the National Public Radio series Radio Tales. Notes ^ a b Toner, "The transmission of Tochmarc Emire, pp. 71-2. ^ Meyer, "The oldest version of Tochmarc Emire". ^ Toner, "the Transmission of Tochmarc Emire, p. 87. ^ For a full discussion of the relationship between the two recensions and the various manuscripts, see Gregory Toner, "The Transmission of Tochmarc Emire." ^ Thomas Kinsella, The Táin, Oxford University Press, 1969, ISBN 0-19-281090-1, pp. 25-39 ^ Kinsella 1969, pp. 39-45 ^ Carl Marstrander (ed. & trans.), "The Deaths of Lugaid and Derbforgaill", Ériu 5 (1911): 201-18 ^ Kinsella 1969, pp. 129, 168f.
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