Trent University Scholars Help Bring Top Plays by
George Bernard Shaw to Ontario Students
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Professor Leonard Conolly and Masters Students Digitize
Learning Resources for ORION Project to Launch on April 14
Tuesday, April 14, 2009, Peterborough
Ontario students and teachers will soon have easy access to two
masterful plays by George Bernard Shaw thanks to the worldclass
scholarship of Trent University’s Dr. Leonard Conolly and
graduate students Henry Bakker and Christopher Gray as part of
a project with the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical
The ORION-Shaw Project, which launches today, uses a highspeed
fibre optic network to connect research institutions with
school boards to provide students and teachers access to newly
digitized resources on two Shaw Festival 2009 season plays: The
Devil’s Disciple and In Good King Charles’s Golden Days. Trent University and the
Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board are both members of this unique educational
As a professor of English Literature at Trent, a corresponding scholar with the Shaw
Festival, literary advisor to the Shaw Estate and vice-president of the International Shaw
Society, Prof. Conolly has been heavily involved this new initiative. "Shaw described
classroom texts as ‘instruments of torture’, but whenever students get introduced to
Shaw's plays they find them provocative and stimulating, still illuminating, as they do, all
kinds of social and political problems facing us today," he said.
Two Trent graduate students from the Masters Program in Public Texts, Henry Bakker
and Christopher Gray, have been working with Prof. Conolly to prepare the information
for this online teaching resource. The final product includes annotated texts and
resources for the plays complete with the production details, contextual documents,
research materials, quizzes and activities, a search engine, and study guides tailored to
the Ontario school curriculum.
“This clearly has the potential of not only expanding appreciation and understanding of
Shaw's work, but also of making it more accessible to new audiences through new
technologies,” said Prof. Conolly. This project is among the new programs and services
ORION in partnership with York University is introducing to help students and teachers
derive maximum benefits from ORION’s state-of-the art capabilities.
George Bernard Shaw, one of the 20th century’s greatest playwrights and political
thinkers, remains a compelling figure for youth and adults alike thanks to Prof. Conolly’s
prodigious work during his academic career. Considered one of the world’s leading
Shaw scholars, Prof. Conolly has been reading, viewing, and studying Shaw's work for
45 years. He is the founder of two scholarly journals and the author or editor of 14
books on Shaw and other theatre and literature subjects. He has also published over
sixty research essays and reviews. In 1998 the theatre archives at the University of
Guelph, one of the largest such archives in North America, were named the L. W.
Conolly Theatre Archives in Professor Conolly’s honour.
For further information, please contact Professor Leonard Conolly, Department of
English Literature at (705) 748-1011, ext. 6029, or firstname.lastname@example.org .