Shakespeare Authorship Film “Last Will. & Testament” Advance Screening in Kansas City

Free Advance Screening of new documentary film "Last Will. & Testament" explores the greatest literary mystery of all time--who wrote the works of William Shakespeare?
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Kansas City - Missouri - US

Sept. 21, 2012 - PRLog -- An advance screening of a new documentary film, “Last Will. & Testament”—which explores the greatest literary mystery of all time: who wrote the works of William Shakespeare?—will be shown on Sunday, October 14, 2012, at 1:30 PM at the Tivoli Manor Square Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO.  Admission is free and seats are limited.  Doors open at 1:00 PM.

Golden Globe nominee Derek Jacobi leads an impressive cast of scholars and actors featuring Oscar Winner Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Winner Mark Rylance on a quest to uncover the truth behind the world’s most elusive author, and discovers a forgotten nobleman whose story could rewrite history.

Kansas City was selected as one of 15 cities to offer an advance screening of this remarkable documentary film prior to its U.S. premiere at the Austin Film Festival in late October.  The screening will be followed by an opportunity for audience questions and responses.  Lisa Wilson, co-director and co-producer of the documentary, and Dr. Felicia Londré, Curators' Professor of Theatre at The University of Missouri at Kansas City, will lead the discussion focusing on the four-hundred year old controversy and the research behind the documentary.

Secondary, undergraduate and graduate educators and students are especially encouraged to attend the film screening.  Shakespeare’s plays and monologues are widely studied by academics worldwide and yet, the authorship question has persisted over the centuries.  This documentary film, “Last Will. & Testament,” offers educators and students of drama, history, theatre, humanities, and the English language a unique opportunity to examine the various theories about the authorship question and encourages students’ critical thinking.  More importantly, the film promotes debate on the subject so educators, students and scholars can begin to develop their own opinions on the controversy.  “No matter what conclusion you reach, it is important to be informed about these issues,” says Londré.  “Authorship literacy has become an essential component of Shakespeare studies.”
This advance screening of “Last Will. & Testament” is co-sponsored by the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) Theatre and by the English-Speaking Union Kansas City Branch.


Lisa Wilson: (Director/Producer) has been documenting the Shakespeare authorship question for over two decades and is a trustee of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust. She is also the co-founder of 1604 Productions with Laura Wilson Matthias; specializing in Shakespeare Authorship research & development and film production.
In 1997, she interviewed author and Oxfordian pioneer Charlton Ogburn Jr., recording twelve hours of archival footage in what was to be his last interview.  In his honor, she’s been documenting the Shakespeare Authorship Question ever since.
The next decade would include travel to Canada, Italy, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom, documenting Authorship sites and compiling a multi-media archive of portraits, properties, tombs, monuments, engravings, documents and artifacts.  
Beginning in 2005, Lisa and Laura Wilson Matthias provided script consulting services to the motion picture ANONYMOUS (Columbia Pictures).
In 2010, they established First Folio Pictures with Executive Producer Roland Emmerich and Producers Aaron Boyd & Patrick Prentice to bring two decades of authorship investigation to a worldwide audience.  LAST WILL. & TESTAMENT is the product of that partnership and represents Lisa and Laura Wilson’s directorial debut.

Dr. Felicia Londré:  Curators’ Professor of Theatre at UMKC and Honorary Co-Founder of Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, began presenting lectures on the Shakespeare authorship question in 1991 and has since presented the Oxfordian case to audiences in Hungary, Japan, China, and many American cities. Shakespeare is the focus of several of her fourteen books, which include Love’s Labour’s Lost: Critical Essays, Shakespeare Around the Globe: A Guide to Notable Postwar Revivals, and Shakespeare Companies and Festivals.
This year she became Dean of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre in April at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  She will serve a two-year term as leader of that most prestigious theatre organization honoring both theatre professionals and academics.  Dr. Londré earned her B.A. in French at the University of Montana followed by a year of Fulbright study at the Université de Caen, her M.A. in Romance Languages at the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in Speech-Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has taught at UMKC since 1978, with visiting professorships at Hosei University in Tokyo and Marquette University in Milwaukee. She has lectured at the Sorbonne and at the Universities of Rouen and Caen.

Co-Sponsor UMKC Theatre

UMKC Theatre has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top graduate theatre training programs in the country. For 34 years, the theatre department has trained and developed some of the finest theatre artisans working in the industry today. From its humble beginnings in 1964 as an offshoot of the Speech department, UMKC Theatre has grown and expanded to include a well-respected, world-renowned faculty who continue as working theatre professionals as well as other famed theatre artists who act as visiting professors.

UMKC Theatre not only trains a select group of highly talented actors, designers, stage managers, technicians, and dramaturges for careers in the performing arts, they also produce numerous plays each season...a valued benefit to Kansas City residents.  Dynamic co-productions with local professional theatres provide a sense of the real world for students and even more enriching experiences for Kansas City theatre-lovers.

Graduates from UMKC Theatre programs are invited to the most prestigious New York and LA showcases and auditions to exhibit their exemplary work and have the opportunity of securing positions with national and international companies. Our program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and is a member of the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA). For more information about UMKC Theatre’s programs, go to or contact Cindy Stofiel at (816) 235-6683 or by email

Co-Sponsor English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political, educational organization whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, teachers and its members. Headquartered in New York City, the ESU implements programs through a network of 70 Branches across the United States. Branch members nationwide participate in cultural and social events and provide financial support to sustain our educational programs at the Branch and National levels.

The ESU Kansas City Branch has hosted the Annual Shakespeare Competition for 28 years and has produced two First Place National Winners and a Second Place National Winner.  In addition, we are host for the annual lecture series by the Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor of British History from Westminster College, Fulton, MO.  The Kansas City Branch has funded the British Universities Summer School Fellowship program offered to secondary school teachers for summer study in the United Kingdom at The Globe, Oxford University and Edinburgh University.  We celebrate the birthday of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II annually and we are proud to support the fine educational programs and entertainment of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.  

For more information on past, present and future events in the Kansas City Branch of the ESU, go to  For local Kansas City membership information, email or contact Jeff Schnabel (816) 442-7007.

Media Contacts:

Tom Mardikes                        
UMKC Theatre                   
(816) 235-2784                            

Jeff Schnabel
English-Speaking Union
(816) 442-7007

Lisa Wilson
First Folio Pictures
(774) 255-1812
Source:English-Speaking Union, Kansas City Branch
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Tags:Film, Documentary, Shakespeare, Umkc, ESU
Industry:Education, Arts
Location:Kansas City - Missouri - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Sep 23, 2012
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