Press release from Monday November 16, 2009

SAC News Releases

May 4, 2016
Doubts about Shakespeare go international for the 400th anniversary
April 25, 2016
Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance revive the debate over Shakespeare's identity in an interview with NPR's Renée Montagne.
April 24, 2016
Doubters claim victory on Shakespeare 400th Anniversary, and renew their challenge to Stratfordians to participate in a mock trial.
March 23, 2016
The SAC at Age 10; Six New Notables; 400th Anniversary International Events
December 27, 2015
Declaration of Reasonable Doubt still un-rebutted after more than eight years
November 22, 2015
Droeshout engraving in First Folio has Shakspere wearing impossible doublet!
May 31, 2015
RSC removes Stanley Wells' article on “Authorship Debate” from its website!
September 28, 2014
SAC Update through September, 2014
December 6, 2013
SAC challenges the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to a mock trial, to prove that Shakspere wrote Shakespeare, offering a £40K donation to the winning side.'
November 21, 2011
Actor Michael York and Shakespeare Authorship Coalition challenge the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon with new reasons to doubt the identity of the author William Shakespeare in the wake of Sony Pictures’ heretical film, Anonymous.
April 30, 2011
Over 2,000 sign Declaration of Reasonable Doubt
September 18, 2010
Theater professionals sign Shakespeare Authorship Declaration
April 20, 2010
Happy Birthday and Retirement, Justice John Paul Stevens!
April 19, 2010
Shakespeare Authorship Coalition updates Declaration signatory lists
November 15, 2009
U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor (retired) sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt.
April 13, 2009
Award-winning Shakespearean actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance joined by growing list of declared Shakespeare authorship doubters. Michael York joins fellow actors as SAC Patron. Shakespeare Authorship Coalition marks 2nd aniversary of Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. Seven signatories added to SAC “notables” list.
November 17, 2008
Huntington Library staff sign Declaration.
June 3, 2008
Sir Derek Jacobi joins the Shakespeare Authorship Coalition as a SAC patron.
December 1, 2007
First annual report of the Shakespeare authorship coalition: the Coalition’s strategy is working! Over 1,200 people have signed the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt, and we’ve attracted enormous attention to the authorship issue. With each new signatory, it becomes more difficult for orthodox scholars to continue claiming that there is “no room for doubt” about the identity of William Shakespeare.
September 23, 2007
Nearly 800 additional signatories have signed the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare” in the two weeks since prominent Shakespearean actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, former artistic director at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, gave the Declaration its launch in the U.K.
July 2, 2007
SAC adds 100 signers to the list of signatories of the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”.
April 23, 2007
SAC releases its first list of signatories of the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”, on the 391st anniversary of William Shakspere's death.
April 14, 2007
SAC and the Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable hold a signing ceremony to issue the “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”
April 11, 2007
SAC and Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable to issue historic “Declaration of Reasonable Doubt”

SAC contact person: John Shahan at (909) 896-2006, or online.

— The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition announced today that U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor (retired) have added their names to a growing list of prominent signatories to the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt About the Identity of William Shakespeare. At least three other U.S. Supreme Court Justices – Harry A. Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., and Antonin Scalia — have also expressed doubts about the identity of the author “Shakespeare,” but Stevens and O'Connor are the first to sign the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt.

The Declaration was first issued on April 14, 2007, in same-day signing ceremonies at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. Five months later, on September 8, 2007, actors Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance, founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, took the lead in promulgating the Declaration in the U.K. in a signing ceremony at the Chichester Festival Theatre in Chichester, West Sussex.

Over 1,660 people have now signed the Declaration. Nearly 80% are college graduates, and 595 have advanced degrees — 347 master's degrees and 248 doctoral degrees. A total of 295 are current or former college or university faculty members. Of these, the largest number were in English literature (62, 21%), followed by those in theatre arts (35), the arts (24), natural sciences (23), math, engineering and computers (20), other humanities (20), medicine and health care (19), education (16), social sciences (17), history (13), management (12), law (11), psychology (9), and library science (6). With the addition of Justices Stevens and O'Connor, nineteen names now appear on the separate list of notable signatories on the SAC website.

The Declaration is neutral about the true identity of the author. Rather than seeking to resolve the long-standing controversy outright, it aims to legitimize the issue by calling attention to the many reasons for doubt about the Stratford man's authorship.

Not one play, not one poem, not one letter in his own hand has ever been found. This is remarkable for such a prolific writer. His six surviving signatures, each spelled differently, are all poorly-executed, suggesting he had difficulty signing his own name. His detailed will contains no Shakespearean turn of phrase and mentions no books, manuscripts or literary effects of any kind. Nothing about it suggests a man with a cultivated mind -- no writing materials or furniture, no art works or musical instruments. Nor did he leave any bequest for education — not to the Stratford grammar school, or even to educate his own grandchildren.

Many people in Stratford and London who knew the Stratford man seem not to have associated him with the poet-playwright; and when he died in 1616, no one seemed to notice. Not until seven years after he died did anyone suggest he was the author. Orthodox scholars tend to assume that all references to "Shakespeare" mean the Stratford man, but this is never made explicit during his lifetime. Contemporaneous comments are all about the works. Nobody seems to have known the author personally. Certainly there is no evidence that the Stratford man ever claimed to have written the works, contrary to what people assume.

“The subject of Shakespeare's identity is fascinating to students,” said SAC Chairman John Shahan, “but the great majority of orthodox Shakespeare scholars deny that it has any legitimacy; and many actively seek to suppress the question in academia. But with increasing numbers of prominent signatories like Justices Stevens and O'Connor, this may become difficult,” he said.

The SAC is a private, non-profit charity founded to advocate for recognition of the legitimacy of the authorship controversy. The Declaration of Reasonable Doubt can be read and signed online.

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SAC contact person: John Shahan at (909) 896-2006, or online.