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The anti-semitic overtones of Shakespeare’s most controversial villain will be searchingly interpreted by actors and academics alike during the last week of March. On March 28, Shylock the moneylender will revisit the stereotype in the opening night performance of the Drama and Theatre Program’s production of The Merchant of Venice. The next day, Shylock will be the focus of “Shakespeare and the Jews,” a free, public colloquium sponsored by Friends of the Library. The talk will be co-hosted by Welsh-born Shakespearean actor Gareth Armstrong, who penned and performed the highly acclaimed one-man show Shylock, and literary scholar Kenneth Gross, author of the recent book Shylock is Shakespeare.
The Department of English, Drama and Theatre Program presents The Merchant of Venice, March 28-31, April 5-7, 8 p.m. Admission: $10, $5 students/seniors. Tickets: 514-398-6070.
Shakespeare and the Jews. Thursday, March 29, 5 – 6 p.m.. Admission: free, RSVP by March 23, 514-398-4681.
The Redpath Museum’s popular Freaky Friday series is poised to subject two beasts that inspire particularly dark fears to the light of scientific fact. On March 16, Christopher Buddle, a professor of forest insect ecology from Macdonald Campus, will initiate audience members into the mysteries of such eight-legged wonders as the fishing spider and the Northern black widow as he explores truths and myths about arachnology in a talk called “Big Hairy Spiders.” His presentation will be followed by a screening of the goosebump-raising 1990 film Arachnophobia. Next, on Friday, March 23, Redpath paleontologist Hans Larsson will dive deep into the question of why giant sharks strike fear in human hearts when he presents “Shark Tales” a lecture that promises to disclose “everything you wanted to know about Megalodon and friends.” A screening of the film Deep Blue Sea will follow. All are welcome.
“Big Hairy Spiders,” Friday, March 16, 4 p.m; “Shark Tales,”Friday, March 23, 4 p.m. Redpath Museum, 859 Sherbrooke W. Admission: $5 at the door, all proceeds to construction of giant origami Pteranodon to be suspended above the museum’s dinosaur. For more information, contact Ingrid Birker, 514-398-4086, ext. 4094 or see www.mcgill.ca/science/outreach/freakyfridays.
McGill’s sixth annual Rethink conference, a forum on the university’s environmental and sustainability objectives, will take place the morning of March 16. Titled “BackCast,” this year’s conference will focus on sustainability in student life and learning, that is, in the academic curriculum, university residences and services, as well as other aspects of campus life.
The discussion panel will include McGill student leaders, senior administrators and members of faculty and staff. Organized by the Sub-Committee on the Environment, the Rethink conference exists to provide information about campus environmental programs undertaken by students and the administration and also to provide participants with an opportunity to make suggestions on how to make McGill greener.
Friday, March 16, 8:30 to 12:30 p.m. (registration and continental breakfast at 8 a.m.), Leacock Building, 855 Sherbrooke St. W., Room. 232. Free. For more information and to register online, see mcgill.ca/rethinkmforum.
On March 25, as part of its Super Science Documentaries series, Redpath Museum will present Microcosmos, a fascinating cinematic adventure into the small-scale world of insects. The filmmakers behind this nature documentary used experimental camera technology to fill their frames with astonishing images of bug life, including a caterpillar traffic jam, a frog’s bout with a rain storm, and a bird that turns into Godzilla for an army of ants. Those who prefer love to war will be happy to note the film includes a memorable snail mating scene but a minimum of gory insect violence. What’s more, it’s all accompanied by an award-winning musical score.
Sunday, March 25, 4 p.m. Redpath Museum, 859 Sherbrooke St., Auditorium. Free with donation to museum. For more information, contact Ingrid Birker, 514-398-4086, ext. 4094. For a complete schedule of films, see mcgill.ca/redpath/whats_on/sunday_activities/superscience/
Are you fascinated by the possibility that we are not alone in the universe? Then make sure not to miss G. Scott Hubbard’s Mini-Beatty Lecture, “The Challenges of Space Exploration: The Search for Life in the Universe.” Hubbard brings an imposing set of scientific credentials to this speaking engagement. During his 16-year tenure at NASA, he managed the successful Lunar Prospector, helped develop the discipline of astrobiology, conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission, served four years as director of the Ames Research Center and led the investigation into the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. In 2006 Hubbard assumed the Carl Sagan Chair at the Carl Sagan Centre for the Study of Life in the Universe at the prestigious SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.
G. Scott Hubbard Mini-Beatty Lecture, Thursday, March 15, 5:30 p.m., Strathcona Anatomy & Dentistry Building, 3640 University St., Rm. M-1. A reception will precede the lecture. Admission is free.
For more information, 514-398-3025 or www.medicine.mcgill.ca/mnmsmi/als_2007.htm