Edward Shakespeare

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Ted Shakespeare



Cathedral Village
600 E. Cathedral Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128


In early 2010 Ted sent us the following thoughts about his career at Penn Charter and its aftermath. His book Understanding the Essay, mentioned below, was published in 1966 and used copies are still available through Amazon.

"I came to Penn Charter in 1958 from W. B. Saunders Co., medical and science publisher, where I was a copy editor. Jack Gummere offered to match that salary as a PC English teacher (JFG was secretive and grossly unjust about faculty salaries). During my 13 years at PC I was head of the English department from 1961-1966, directed dramatics from 1961-1971, headed the faculty curriculum committee, and with two colleagues published Understanding the Essay, which went into three editions.

"My mentors at PC were Lou Connick and Fritz Kempner, who honed my teaching skills and introduced me to new and revolutionary understandings of English grammar. The 13 years at PC were my most productive, during which I strengthened the English department and directed large-cast full-length serious dramas and, for assemblies, many experimental one-acts. In 1970 my Overseer-appointed committee recommended, to no avail at that time, that PC become coeducational. I was known as a "prickly" critic of the establishment, and this reputation deservedly followed me for the rest of my teaching years in several other schools.

"Widowed and remarried, I now live at Cathedral Village, a retirement community where I founded a thriving continuing-education program. I look back fondly on the PC class of '60, which I think of as a superior class."

Ted came to our 50th Reunion in 2010, and afterwards sent Sam Francis and his wife Bobbie (aka "Roberta") the following letter:

Dear Sam,

A belated thank you for your hospitality, the hospitality of the entire Class of 1960, and for all the work that went into making your reunion such a triumph. It was a pleasure for me to see again the students I once had in my classes and/or in some one-acts I directed. And now seeing them, as having been productive members of the adult world, close to retirement! Jock Deasey was a delightful host at our dinner table, who made the conversation flow and whom my wife Skip found especially entertaining. All your classmates, and you too, looked remarkably fit and reminded me of how impressed by them and you I was many years ago.

I'm glad I had a few moments to meet Roberta and later to talk with her about theater. Maybe we can sometime get together with the New Jersey Shakespeare. And wasn't the production of "Cox and Box" fun! I had spent much of Thursday and Friday at Penn Charter, in that magnificent new auditorium, watching Picardo and Barker and Ziegler rehearsing to the accompaniment of a pianist who, it turns out, had been hired from outside for the occasion (Jack Rogers and PC staff went to endless trouble to facilitate the production, as they certainly did for your class and other reunions).

Many thanks, and fond wishes to you and Roberta for good health and happiness in this troubled world.