The original objects of the Dublin Branch of the British Empire Shakespeare Society, adopted at the inaugural meeting on 12 September 1907 were as follows:
- To promote greater familiarity with Shakespeare’s work among all classes throughout the British Empire.
- To help the rising generation not only to study Shakespeare’s works but to love them.
- To form Shakespeare Clubs and Reading Societies or help those existing in London and the provinces and in the colonies.
- To encourage the study of Shakespeare by prizes given yearly for the best reading, recitation, and actual scenes from his plays and by essays on Shakespeare by members and associates of the Society.
The principal aim of the Society, as set out at the inaugural meeting on 12 September 1907 can be summarized as one of promoting familiarity with the works of Shakespeare by all means open to its members.
This aim has been carried forward down the years in three main ways.
- Through literary scholarship and debate.
- By presenting dramatic productions of Shakespeare’s works.
- Through running and facilitating schools competitions devoted to Shakespeare’s plays.
Current Statement of Artistic Policy
The following statement of artistic policy was approved at a General Meeting of the Dublin Shakespeare Society on 6 October, 2009 held at the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin:
1. Literary activities
The Society will continue the early tradition of holding literary evenings and events under in three main ways, as follows;
- By presenting occasional public lectures on topics relating to the works of Shakespeare.
- By arranging informal ‘in-house’ talks given by eminent individuals for the members.
- By arranging workshops/talks/lectures centred on particular productions of Shakespeare’s plays currently presented in the theatre.
The criteria in use by the Society for selecting works for full production are as follows:
a) Any play written by (or attributed) to William Shakespeare.
b) Plays of merit written by contemporaries of Wm. Shakespeare.
c) Other plays that are generally regarded as classic works of the theatre, written by established playwrights.
d) Plays of artistic merit having a particular relevance to the community in which the Society has its centre of activity.
The Society has developed a policy of presenting productions of plays of accepted artistic merit by dramatists other than William Shakespeare over a period of 50 years.
The Society has also encouraged a policy of presenting adaptations of works of literary merit by eminent writers, including adaptations made by members of the Society.
Finally, the Society encourages and facilitates rehearsed play readings of work of artistic merit, which are not intended for full dramatic production.