David Schalkwyk Appointed as Director of Global Shakespeare


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0376  Thursday, 1 August 2013


From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 1, 2013 7:51:16 AM EDT

Subject:     David Schalkwyk Appointed as Director of Global Shakespeare


International scholar appointed as director of Global Shakespeare

Monday 15 July 2013


Professor David Schalkwyk - Photo by Julie Ainsworth. Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library


An internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar has been appointed as Academic Director of a new research collaboration dedicated to the playwright’s world-wide impact.


Professor David Schalkwyk will run Global Shakespeare—an innovative partnership between Queen Mary, University of London and The University of Warwick.


Global Shakespeare has been set up to shape the future research agenda in 21st century Shakespeare studies across all platforms including criticism, performance, history, and media from television to digital reproduction.


It will offer a range of programmes which will look at creative historical and contemporary approaches as to why ‘Global Shakespeare’ is so relevant to scholars, performers, practitioners, artists, teachers and above all, the next generation of students.


Professor Schalkwyk is a leading authority on the writings and plays of the bard and recently published Hamlet’s Dreams: The Robben Island Shakespeare which brings together the Robben Island Prison of Nelson Mandela and the prison that is Denmark for Hamlet.


He joins the programme from Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC—which is home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Shakespeare materials - where he was Director of Research. He was formerly editor of Shakespeare Quarterly and before joining Folger he was Professor of English at Cape Town University.


Speaking about his new role Professor Schalkwyk said: “The new Global Shakespeare programme offers a unique opportunity to harness the expertise in scholarship and performance at two great universities to establish a collaborative network which will engage with Shakespeareans across the globe in a set of new interdisciplinary partnerships.  The challenge is to provide a programme that is both wide-ranging and intellectually rigorous, will offer new critical perspectives on the very notion of Global Shakespeare, and ensure mutually enriching conversations for all participants.”


Professor Morag Shiach, Vice Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London and Professor Ann Caesar, Pro Vice-Chancellor at The University of Warwick, commented jointly on the appointment:


“David Schalkwyk is a major international figure in the field of Shakespeare Studies whose research has opened up exciting and important new areas of inquiry and we are delighted that he will be joining us for this new joint project. We are confident that David, in collaboration with colleagues at both universities, will create an innovative a very successful centre for research and teaching on Global Shakespeare, and very much look forward to working with him.”


Professor Schalkwyk will be taking up his post in September 2013.


CFP Shakespeare Anniversary, Paris


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0371  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Michele Marrapodi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 29, 2013 4:01:50 AM EDT

Subject:     CFP Shakespeare Anniversary, Paris


Reminder of the CFP of Seminar 5 for the Shakespeare Anniversary in Paris in April 2014. 


Seminar 5: Shakespeare and the Visual Arts


Seminar leader: Michele Marrapodi, University of Palermo


Critical investigation into the rubric of “Shakespeare and the visual arts” has generally focused on the influence exerted by the works of Shakespeare on a number of artists, painters, and sculptors in the course of the centuries. Relying on the aesthetics of intertextuality and profiting from the more recent concepts of cultural mobility and permeability between cultures in the early modern period, this seminar will study instead the dramatic use and function of Renaissance material arts and artists in Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Among the great variety of possible topics, participants in the “Shakespeare and the visual arts” Seminar may like to consider:

  • the impact of optics and pictorial perspective;
  • anamorphosis and trompe l’oeil effects on the whole range of visual representation; 
  • the rhetoric of “verbal painting” in dramatic discourse;
  • the actual citation and intertextuality of classical and Renaissance artists;
  • the legacy of iconographic topoi;
  • the humanistic debate or Paragone of the Sister Arts;
  • the use of emblems and emblematic language;
  • explicit and implicit ekphrasis and ekphrastic passages in the plays
  • ekphrastic intertextuality, etc.

Registered participants are invited to submit by 10th August 2013 to the address below a one-page abstract of their proposed article on any aspect of the relationship between the age of Shakespeare and Renaissance arts, including the theoretical approach of the arts in the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Every abstract (approx. 250 words) should include the participant’s name, email, affiliation, and title of the proposed contribution.


Prof. Michele Marrapodi
Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia
Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche
Viale delle Scienze
90128 Palermo, Italy.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Post Doc Announcement


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0370  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Sharon O’Dair <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 27, 2013 1:56:18 PM EDT

Subject:     Post Doc Announcement


The Alabama Digital Humanities Center at the University of Alabama ( is pleased to invite applications for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Digital Humanities. The fellowship offers the successful candidate a unique platform for professional advancement: financial and material support for independent research combined with the opportunity to play an instrumental role in nurturing the growing digital humanities community at the University of Alabama.

A program of the University Libraries, the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC) is a space and a community of over 80 faculty and staff members from Art and Art History, Communication and Information Sciences, Continuing Studies, Education, English, Gender and Race Studies, History, the Libraries, Honors, Modern Languages and Classics, Music, UA Press, and the Center for Community-Based Partnerships.  The facility is outfitted with a high-tech array of equipment, specialized software, presentation space, high-definition virtual conferencing capabilities, and group and individual workspace.  The initiative has evolved through collaboration and represents a growing and dynamic community on campus.  Housed in the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, a central gathering point on campus, the Center was built through generous support from the University Libraries and the Office of Information Technology.  Open now for two and a half years, the Center has hosted graduate digital humanities classes, numerous guest lectures, monthly brown-bag discussion gatherings, private project consultations, tool training sessions, project work, and community conversations.  

The post-doctoral fellow will hold a joint appointment in the University Libraries and the English Department. In addition to conducting his or her own research, the fellow will serve as an ambassador within the University of Alabama faculty to promote the resources and community of the Alabama Digital Humanities Center.

The University of Alabama is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.  


The fellow will devote 50% time to conducting his or her own research.

  • The fellow will conduct his/her own research and demonstrate progress toward publication goals. In addition, each semester the fellow will give faculty workshops or other public presentations on his or her research as a way to increase the profile of the digital humanities among faculty at the University of Alabama. 
  • The fellow will be provided with travel funds and be expected to present at digital humanities conferences to make both his or her own research and the work of Center more visible in the larger digital humanities community.
  • There may be opportunities for teaching.

The fellow will devote 50% time to outreach activities promoting the digital humanities and the mission of the ADHC.

  • The fellow will work closely with the Libraries faculty and staff in organizing and leading lunch discussions, training workshops, and other public events related to the digital humanities.  As the ADHC operates in a team atmosphere, the fellow will be expected to take an active role in the established community to help the ADHC maintain a responsive environment and to assess its impact.  
  • The fellow will be available for consultations by appointment to work with faculty and graduate students on digital humanities projects.
  • The fellow will take a leading role in planning a public presentation (in person or virtual) at least once a semester by a visiting scholar on digital humanities research.
  • The fellow will take a visible public role on campus in promoting the work of the ADHC, including communications about ADHC events and projects, publishing web site content, and engaging with the ADHC community through social media.
  • The fellow will be asked to propose and give a faculty workshop on a topic in digital pedagogy at the beginning of each academic year. The specific topic of the workshop will be left to the determination of the fellow in consultation with the College of Arts & Sciences and the ADHC.
  • The position will report to the Associate Dean for Branch Libraries and Digital Student Services to whom the digital humanities center reports in the Libraries.  


Qualifications and Requirements:

Applications for the fellowship are encouraged from those who have recently finished their doctoral dissertations (degree must be in hand by June 1, 2013). More advanced scholars will also be considered.

Residence within the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area during the term of the post-doctoral appointment is required. Preference will be given to candidates who can begin the position in August 2013.

Applications should be completed electronically at and include a letter of application, a curriculum vita, three letters of reference, and a dossier (composed of a research proposal, a statement of digital humanities philosophy, a writing sample, and a link to a sample of digital scholarship). Inquiries may be directed to Prof. Thomas C. Wilson, Search Committee Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Review of applications will begin July 24, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.

  • Three Letters of recommendation: All letters of recommendation should be sent via e-mail to Vera Johnson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. These letters should be from senior scholars who are familiar with the applicant’s work and the proposal being made for the fellowship. Letters of recommendation should include evaluation of the applicant’s research proposal as well as the overall quality of the applicant’s work as a scholar. At least two of these letters must be from scholars who can speak to the applicant’s engagement with the field of digital humanities.
  • Dossier: Please submit a dossier as a single .pdf file composed of the following four items:
  1. Research Proposal: A 150 word abstract, accompanied by a detailed narrative statement (no more than 1000 words) describing the research project the applicant plans to undertake during the term of the fellowship. The narrative statement should explain how the proposed project would make a contribution to the applicant’s research and advance their larger field of study; the anticipated outcomes of the proposed research (including names of potential journals or publishers); a timetable for completion of the proposed project during the term of the fellowship; and the implications of the project for digital humanities scholarship more broadly.
  2. Digital Humanities Outreach Proposal: A separate statement (no more than 1000 words) discussing the applicant’s engagement with Digital Humanities as an emerging field of scholarship. This statement should both highlight past experience in the field and offer a proposal for how the applicant would work with the ADHC to develop or expand the field at the University of Alabama. This statement should include proposals for a faculty workshop on digital pedagogy and also for possible public events with guest scholars.
  3. Writing Sample: A representative sample of the applicants work as a scholar. Please limit this to 30 pages or less.
  4. Sample of Digital Scholarship: The applicant should provide a link to a sample of his or her digital scholarship.

About the University of Alabama:
Founded in 1831 as Alabama’s first public college, The University of Alabama ( is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service. We provide a creative, nurturing campus environment where our students can become the best individuals possible, can learn from the best and brightest faculty, and can make a positive difference in the community, the state and the world. The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division, with approximately 7,000 undergraduate students and 1,100 graduate students.

The University of Alabama Libraries ( ranks 56th among 115 U.S. and Canadian university libraries qualifying for membership in the Association of Research Libraries and  32nd among libraries at publicly funded universities in the U.S., belonging to ARL. The Libraries is also a member of the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Center for Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, the Coalition for Networked Information, and centerNet. The Libraries maintains an ongoing program to digitize special collections, supported in part by a $1.5 million gift.  Among its research collections, both in print and online, the Libraries’ special collections pertaining to the history, culture, and economic development of the South are nationally recognized for their breadth and depth.  Noteworthy strengths are in Southern economic, political and social history; Civil Rights; and African-American studies. An extensive photo archive of the South, ca. 1850 to the present (largely unpublished and unstudied), oral histories of prominent national and Civil Rights figures, sheet music, sound recordings in a broad range of formats and subjects, and extensive collections of historical documents, literary archives, and correspondence round out the collections.

The University of Alabama English Department ( seeks to cultivate the arts of reading, writing, and speaking the English language. We encourage the creation and interpretation of imaginative works of literature; we strive for a mastery of composition, linguistics, literary history, and theory. We challenge our students to read, write, and think in a sophisticated and critical fashion; to understand the historical evolutions of American and English literatures; to participate in the development of knowledge through scholarly research, publication, and creative writing; and to provide meaningful service, to the state and nation, as teachers, writers, and scholars. The department offers graduate programs in Literature (specialization: Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies), Composition/Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Creative Writing.  


REVIEW: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s Henry VIII


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0368  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Michael Luskin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 28, 2013 1:56:49 PM EDT

Subject:     REVIEW: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s Henry VIII 


On Thursday, I went to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of Henry VIII. The company is professional and performs at DeSales University, just south of Allentown, PA, an hour north of Philadelphia and an hour and a half west of New York City. The theater is small and intimate, and the acoustics are excellent—every seat is a good seat. 


Before the performance, the director gave a short presentation on the history, the play, and the circumstances of the production. She pointed out that, in Shakespeare’s day, there was no director, the Globe presented about forty plays a season, and actors had to learn or renew their acquaintance with their parts in a few days, with almost no rehearsal time.  As an experiment, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival decided to do the same with this production. The cast first met less than a week ago, they had to rummage in the production warehouse for costumes, the lighting was borrowed from another production, and there was almost no scenery. Finally, the director warned us in advance that the actors had not had time to fully memorize their lines, and that there might be calls for help to the prompter. Given the lack of rehearsal time, Wolsey had to call for lines a dozen times, but he did it so smoothly that it did not interrupt the flow at all. All the characters were well-presented, especially Henry and Wolsey. The production is well thought out, with great attention to detail. I have always felt that Henry VIII was a dull read and had never seen it performed, but the group brought it to life; I am very glad I went. Also, the play is a series of vignettes, a series of scenes, a collection of characters, not really a play, nothing grows. Somehow, in spite of this, the production was compelling.  


My only cavil is with the production is with the actress who played Katherine. In the play, before her trial, she has a magnificent speech, denouncing the process, protesting her devotion to Henry, and condemning the obvious outcome. On paper, it is powerful, but the actress did so much yelling and arm waving that she simply came off as being very angry, the pathos and nobility of the speech were lost.  


All told, it was very good. If you are in the Philadelphia/New York area, I strongly recommend attending. By the way, at the very end of the play, there is a paean to Anne Boleyn’s daughter Elizabeth, who has just been born. Given that George Alexander Louis was just a day or two old, this was very well-received.  


The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is presenting six plays this summer, and I plan to see their Measure for Measure later this week. 



REVIEW: Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0369  Monday, 26 July 2013


From:        Brenda Liddy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 28, 2013 6:13:27 PM EDT

Subject:     REVIEW: Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s A Midsummer’s 

Night Dream


Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s Summer Production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream


And think no More of This Night’s Accidents

But as the Fierce Vexation of a Dream




Chapterhouse Theatre Company’s summer production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream took place at Carnfunnock Country Park, County Antrim (Northern Ireland, UK) on 27/07/13. This was an open-air performance, and the audience were allowed to bring a picnic to share with family and friends. There was a marquee in the grounds as well. It was a magical experience; and as the audience enjoyed the beautiful weather and the scrumptious food, the talented players treaded the boards. As in all in good comedies, there were three key ingredients, exposition, complication and resolution. Instead of agreeing to marry Demetrius, Hermia runs off into the woods with Lysander and is followed by Helena and Demetrius. The stage is set for an evening of frolics in forest where the mischievous Puck leads the foolish mortals up and down until the right Jack finds the right Jill, the Changeling child is given to Oberon and Quince’s Rude Mechanicals put on an amazing play. At the end of the play, Demetrius comments to the lion, ‘Well roared, Lion, and Theseus commends Thisbe’s running and Hippolyta praises the Moon’s shining abilities. I would like to extol the talent of the seven actors who played twenty-one roles, from the Athenians, to the fairies to the Rude Mechanicals. 



The path of true live never runs smooth whereas this was a polished performance, a ‘most rare vision.’


Brenda Liddy 28/07/ 



Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0357  Wednesday, 24 July 2013


From:        Hugh Grady <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 24, 2013 9:56:15 AM EDT

Subject:     Book Announcement: Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now


Book announcement:


I am pleased to announce the official publication by Palgrave MacMillan of a new critical anthology co-edited by Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady, Shakespeare and the Urgency of Now. The theme of the work is Shakespeare as viewed in the cultural-political present. The contents are as follows:




Forward: A Bigger Splash

Terence Hawkes 



Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady


1. Presentism, Anachronism and the Case of Titus Andronicus

Cary DiPietro and Hugh Grady 


2.  The Presentist Threat to Editions of Shakespeare

Gabriel Egan


3 Shakespeare Dwelling: Pericles and the Affordances of Action

Julia Reinhard Lupton


4. Green Economics and the English Renaissance: from Capital to the Commons

Charles Whitney


5. “Consuming means, soon preys upon itself”: Political Expedience and Environmental Degradation in Richard II

Lynne Bruckner


6. The Performance of Place in The Tempest

Cary DiPietro


7.  “What light through yonder window speaks?”: Populism, Pedagogy, and Performance in The Nature Theater of Oklahoma Romeo and Juliet

W. B. Worthen


8. Reification, Mourning, and the Aesthetic in Antony and Cleopatra and The Winter’s Tale

Hugh Grady


9. The Hour is Unknown: Julius Caesar, et cetera

Mark Robson


 All best,

Hugh Grady 


Book Announcement: Shakespeare’s English


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0353  Tuesday, 23 July 2013


From:        Keith Johnson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 23, 2013 9:58:22 AM EDT

Subject:     Book Announcement: Shakespeare’s English


Book Announcement


Just to say that my book Shakespeare’s English: A Practical Linguistic Guide (Pearson) is now published. It is intended for use as a textbook by language/literature students, and is quite activity-based. There are details at


Keith Johnson

Emeritus Professor

Department of Linguistics 

University of Lancaster, UK 


Book Announcement: Rhythm and Meaning in Shakespeare


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0336  Monday, 15 July 2013


From:        Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 15, 2013 8:15:05 AM EDT

Subject:     Book Announcement: Rhythm and Meaning in Shakespeare


Book announcement


This is just to announce my new book Rhythm and Meaning in Shakespeare: A Guide for Readers and Actors  (Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2013); the title says it all, but there are more details at


Peter Groves


Reader’s Companion to Mary Wroth’s The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania.


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0331  Friday, 12 July 2013


From:        Amy Greenstadt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 12, 2013 3:25:20 PM EDT

Subject:     Reader’s Companion The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania


Publication: Reader’s Companion to Mary Wroth’s The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania.


The Companion, published as a Kindle book, provides a guide to the complex plot of Wroth’s romance. More information can be found at:


Amy Greenstadt

Associate Professor of English

Portland State University


REVIEW: Shakespeare Behind Bars’s RICHARD III


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0325  Wednesday, 10 July 2013


From:        Jack Heller <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 10, 2013 10:58:24 AM EDT

Subject:     REVIEW: Shakespeare Behind Bars’s RICHARD III


Last week, I attended the production of Shakespeare’s Richard III at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, KY. When I tell people about Shakespeare Behind Bars, the question they ask me most frequently is, “Are they any good?” The related questions are, “Can they put on a good show?” “Do they understand the plays?” “Do they know how to act?” The answer to all of these questions is yes. However, I want to recast these questions to two which I have rarely been asked: What is the audience experience of attending a Shakespeare Behind Bars production, and how does its productions compare to other productions I’ve seen?


I have seen a few hundred plays in the past 25 years, and nine plays so far in 2013. The shows I’ve attended have ranged from Royal Shakespeare and West End plays in England, numerous plays at the Stratford Festival in Canada, and professional theatre in Chicago to many community theatre productions in parks and churches and college and university productions. My experience with attending plays is probably atypical of most of the audience members who attend a SBB production, many of whom are there because they are the family and friends of the inmate actors. Other identifiable groups of the audience are prison staff members, social activists, sometimes a smattering of students who have previously taken a field trip to the prison, and a few academics like me and the two colleagues I attended with this year.


Attending a Shakespeare Behind Bars production begins with commitment. The Luther Luckett Correctional Complex limits the number of outside visitors to eighty per show for four shows. An interested person must request permission to attend no later than three weeks before the shows begin, and rather than buying a ticket, one must complete a form for a criminal background check. If more people request an opportunity to attend than the prison will accommodate, then the priority for attendance goes first to the inmates’ family members, then those who support SBB financially, and then others as space permits. The commitment requires attending a play on a week night (Monday – Thursday), arriving at the prison in the late afternoon, going through a security check, leaving your license and getting wrist-banded at the entrance, waiting up to 45 minutes in a visitors’ area before entering the chapel where the play is performed, and following the prison’s visitors dress code. There is also the commitment of getting to the prison itself. Relatives travel from hours away in Kentucky, my group traveled 4-5 hours to attend, and one inmate’s sister attended from as far away as Texas. Nothing about attending a SBB play is typical.


The performance occurs in the prison’s chapel, which has been used for the shows since the performance of The Winter’s Tale in 2010. This is a different space from the visitors’ room, which was used for performances before 2010, including for The Tempest in the Shakespeare Behind Bars documentary. The chairs have been arranged to face the front of the chapel, which can be a disadvantage to an audience member if a scene is played close to the floor. During the performance of Richard III, Richard uncovers and looks upon the corpse of the dead King Henry, all of this below the line of sight for anyone sitting beyond the second row. However, the switch to the chapel has seemed more suitable to the nature of Shakespeare Behind Bars’s work. The visitors’ room had seemed a space between the inmates and the audience, an area of intersection of our lives. In the chapel, we enter into the prison, into the area of the sacred in the inmates’ lives where the work of their souls is evident. The visitors’ room felt institutional. While the chapel is also institutional, its space is designed to be more accommodating to the encounter of players and audience.


The Shakespeare Behind Bars men have been at it for 18 years. This would have some of the men performing more Shakespeare than most professional actors not associated with one of the repertory Shakespeare festivals. Jerry “Big G” Guenthner performed Richard, Duke of Gloucester as if he had been left the world for him to bustle in. His bustling was even more impressive as he worked without his left arm and hand which were costumed into a sling. When Lady Anne (performed by Hal Cobb) spit in Richard’s face, he wiped his face and seemed to taste her spit. Then he removed the ring from his right hand with his mouth and placed it on Anne’s finger to win her over. Spit for spit, nothing would seem to stop Richard from getting anything he wanted.


Many Richards are most concerned for establishing their authority. Guenthner found more of the humor possible in the role, disarming the audience’s resistance to his villainy, not by winking and nodding at the audience, but by upping the outrageousness of his behavior. We are still startled with Buckingham when Richard tells him just to chop off Hastings’s head if he won’t go along with their plots. It turns macabre when Richard swings a bag with Hastings’s head around as if it were just happened to be holding while he was talking. Guenthner’s Richard knows that he operates like a villainous Falstaff.


For any particular play, a number of the SBB men may also be in their first or second productions. Last year, a colleague mentioned one performer, Christopher Lindauer, who did not seem to be in character in his scenes. This year, Lindauer played Queen Elizabeth, who has the job of winning a battle of wits with the wittier Richard. Elizabeth’s outrage gives her a quicker wit than Lady Anne, who really should have known better than to trust Richard earlier in the play. One of the joys of attending SBB productions over a number of years is the opportunity to see several men grow in their abilities as performers and take responsibility for their own actions. Lindauer’s Elizabeth recognized that what she does affected more than her daughter’s future, but the future of the country. His was a serious and fully engaged performance.


A Shakespeare Behind Bars production makes the best of the circumstances of its space. In the Shakespeare Behind Bars documentary, Ryan Graham observes that if he were playing Ariel on a professional stage, he would be attached to a wire and flown over the audience. The story presentation in Shakespeare Behind Bars productions is straightforward, not given to the idiosyncratic whimsy of the director, but to the connection to the inmates’ own lives. (1) In 2010’s production of The Winter’s Tale, the appearance of the allegorized time in the second act gave the men an opportunity to engage the audience with the time that they have served behind bars. In Richard III, Tyrell, acted by Mario Mitchell, served as Richard’s designated assassin. Productions today typically have Tyrell be one of the unnamed murderers of Clarence and of Hastings, so when Tyrell spoke killing the princes—“The tyrannous and bloody deed is done. / The most arch of piteous massacre / That ever yet this land was guilty of”—Mitchell represented a simultaneous remorse and fear of discovery of his remorse by Richard, who in his misplaced contentment would reward Tyrell for the deeds Tyrell would regret. Moments such as this are the point of connection between the plays and these performers.


This year, the men performed before a photographic image of the Tower of London, so clear as to seem tactile to the audience. As we went to the chapel, we had to pass the segregated housing unit, often referred to as “the hole,” with windows as narrow as those we saw in the image of the tower. The plays operate in the space where the men live.


Shakespeare Behind Bars productions have some innate limitations based on where they are done. The inmates must wear their costumes over their prison khakis. It is no big deal that the women roles are played by men, as we know that Shakespeare’s women roles were originally play by males. However, an audience member may have to suspend some disbelief when a Portia needs a closer shave or a Juliet is in his late 30s. The level of talent does vary somewhat within the company. Occasionally a performer will slip out of his character or rush his speech too much. However, the men work hard to choose roles that enhance their personal growth and develop their acting abilities. They rehearse around two hundred hours per play. The totality of the shows has been equal to the best productions I’ve seen of college and community theatre productions. In 2014, those who can should make every effort to attend Shakespeare Behind Bars’s next production, Much Ado about Nothing.


(1) I can’t help thinking here of Robert Falls’s “daring” professional production of Measure for Measure at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, which, against any indication of the play text itself, ended with Barnardine killing the heroine Isabella. No such follies occur in a Shakespeare Behind Bars production.


Jack Heller


[Editor’s Note: This review will be shared with The Internet Shakespeare Editions Performance Chronicle: –Hardy]


Correction: CFP Shakespeare in Slavic/Eastern European Countries


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0316  Monday, 8 July 2013


From:        Michelle Assay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         July 4, 2013 11:30:19 AM EDT

Subject:     Correction: CFP Shakespeare in Slavic/Eastern European Countries


Dear Shakespearian colleagues,


We would like to make a slight modification to the previously published CFP regarding Shakespeare 450 anniversary in Paris. Our previous title “Shakespeare in Slavic Countries” seems inadvertently to leave out countries such as Hungary, even though we do speak of “Eastern and Central Europe” in the text of CFP. Thus we think it is best if we change the title to “Shakespeare in Slavic/ Eastern European countries”, and likewise add  “Eastern European” to all other references to the subject of the panel.


Unfortunately there is also a typo in the text, as you might have noticed. After Sandor Petofi’s quote which is from Zdeněk Stříbrný’s book, Shakespeare in Eastern Europe, the year mentioned should of course be 1847 not 1947.


We hope that these changes will soon appear on the conference website.


In the meantime we thank you for your understanding and attention.


Best regards

David Fanning and Michelle Assay



This is the corrected CFP.


Panel: Shakespeare and Slavic/ East and Central European Countries


‘The Slavs’ great capacity for hero worship, particularly for the man of intellect, has given Shakespeare as high a place in their estimation as we would give a military hero returning from a victory’ (Cyril Bryner, 1941).

‘Shakespeare. Change his name into a mountain, and it will surpass the Himalayas…Before his appearance the world was incomplete’ (Sándor Petőfi, 1847).

This panel will study Shakespeare’s adoption and adaptation within the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, including those comprising the former USSR. Angles such as the historic, cultural, political, theatrical, and translation studies will be considered.

Shakespeare’s journey in Central and Eastern Europe goes as far back as tours of English comedians during his lifetime and soon after his death to the court of Zygmunt III of Poland. The 18th century saw the first attempts at appropriating and adapting his work in the Russian language, with Sumarokov’s first quasi-translation of Hamlet. The age of National movements in European cultural and political life continued well into the 19th century, as did admiration for Shakespeare. In Russia of the Romantic era, Shakespeare and Byron were two major sources of inspiration for poets, artists and composers. Tchaikovsky dreamt of composing an opera based on Hamlet, but he found the Danish Prince’s irony untranslatable into music. However, he did not shrink from composing incidental music and symphonic pieces based on Shakespeare’s plays. Apart from productions, translations, and adaptations, studies and analysis of Shakespeare’s plays began to appear. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the arrival of Socialist doctrines brought more overtly political shades into Shakespeare productions, along with experimental interpretations especially during the avant-garde 20s and early 30s. Wartime Shakespeare took various shapes and colours to fit the purposes and morale of the various nations - for example, certain more introspective plays such as Hamlet were absent from most Soviet stages. The Thaw saw two great cinema adaptations of Shakespeare by Grigori Kozintsev, as well as many key Shakespeare studies, such as Jan Kott’s, Shakespeare our contemporary (1964).

Discussion topics for the panel include but are not limited to:

  • History of Shakespeare translations into Slavic/ Central and Eastern European languages
  • Shakespeare stage productions in the (former) Eastern Bloc
  • Shakespeare and the Soviet Union
  • Shakespeare and Russian/Soviet music
  • Shakespeare and cinema in the (former) Eastern Bloc
  • Shakespeare studies in Slavic/ Central and Eastern European countries

Please submit abstracts (200-300 words) and brief biography (c.150 words) including your affiliation by 1 August 2013 to the panel convenors: Michelle Assay (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Professor David Fanning (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 


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