MANCHESTER >> Manchester Community Library and Vermont PBS invite the public to attend a free film screening and discussion of the PBS film "Last Will. & Testament" on Thursday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the library.

April 23, 1564 is Shakespeare's birthday. Was Will Shakespeare, the grain dealer from Stratford, really the literary icon we celebrate today? Praised by critics as "a powerful artistic achievement," and "a force for historical re-assessment," Last Will. & Testament explores the greatest literary mystery of all time: Who wrote the works of William Shakespeare?

Although the official story of a Stratford merchant writing for the London box office has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems has persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles are among the many famous figures who doubt that a grain-dealer from Stratford-Upon-Avon was England's 'Star of Poets.'

Derek Jacobi leads a cast featuring Vanessa Redgrave and 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.


The film screening will be followed by a discussion of this provocative theory, with Harvey Flaxman facilitating the conversation. Professor Emeritus Harvey Flaxman was the department chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Farleigh Dickinson University. He is an Academy Award nominated film producer as well as a screenwriter, director, and actor.

The event is free and open to the public. Manchester Community Library is located at 138 Cemetery Ave. For more information, contact the library at 802-362-2607.