Join us on Friday, May 15 from 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. EDT for a conversation featuring Artistic Director of Shakespeare Theatre Company Simon Godwin in conversation with Aspen Institute Corporate Secretary and Executive Vice President Eric Motley about the enduring cultural significance of Shakespeare’s work throughout time. Guided by Motley, Godwin will discuss the need for theatre, art, and community in the time of the pandemic, as well as the ways in which those particular values take root in Shakespeare’s plays written in times of tragedy and plague.
**If you are not currently a member of the Society of Fellows, and are interested in joining, please contact the SOF team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-544-7980.
Simon Godwin joined Shakespeare Theatre Company as Artistic Director in September 2019. He has served as Associate Director of the National Theatre of London, the Royal Court Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, and the Royal and Derngate Theatres (Northampton). While at the Royal Court, Simon directed seven world premieres, including Routes, If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, NSFW, The Witness, Goodbye to All That, The Acid Test and Wanderlust. He made his debut at the National Theatre with Strange Interlude followed by Man and Superman, and went on to direct The Beaux’ Stratagem, Twelfth Night, a celebrated production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, and most recently, the world premiere of Simon Wood’s Hansard. Simon has also directed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, including productions of Timon of Athens with Kathryn Hunter in the titular role, which will be reimagined in early 2020 for Theatre for a New Audience in New York City and Shakespeare Theatre Company, an acclaimed Hamlet, which toured to the Kennedy Center, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Simon recently made his Tokyo debut, directing a Japanese cast in Hamlet for Theatre Cocoon. Other productions include The Little Mermaid, Krapp’s Last Tape/A Kind of Alaska, Faith Healer, Far Away, Everyman, Habeas Corpus and Relatively Speaking. In 2012 Simon was awarded the inaugural Evening Standard/Burberry Award for an Emerging Director.
Eric L. Motley, Ph.D., is an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, responsible for Institutional Advancement and governance. He previously served as Vice President and Executive Director of National Programs and prior to that he served as Vice President and Managing Director of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program. In addition to managing the Henry Crown Fellowship Program, he served as the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute-Rockefeller Foundation’s Commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process, an independent, nonpartisan effort to evaluate the Federal government’s vetting and clearance procedures. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, he served as the Director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors within the bureau of Public Diplomacy. In 2003, he became Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for Presidential Personnel, where he managed the appointment process in the White House for over 1,200 presidentially-appointed advisory board and commission positions. He joined the White House staff as Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel in 2001.
Motley serves on the Board of Directors of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, The James Madison Council of the Library of Congress, the Library Cabinet for the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mt. Vernon, Chair of the Nominating Committee of the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s National Council, The John F. Kennedy Centennial Memorial Task Force, National Advisory Board of Honored, Young Concert Artists, Advisory Board of Planet Word Museum, Board of Overseers of Samford University and is a former member of the Chapter Board of the Washington National Cathedral. He is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC and the Grolier Club of New York City. Eric is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation and Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. He is an avid book collector of first editions and rare books with a concentration on the English writer and lexicographer Samuel Johnson. In February 2017, he published a memoir, Madison Park, A Place of Hope, telling the story of where he grew up – a small community in Montgomery, Alabama that was founded in 1880 by a group of freed slaves.
Motley earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Samford University. As a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he earned a Master of Letters in International Relations and a Ph.D. as the John Steven Watson Scholar.