The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0990 Tuesday, 9 May 2000.
Date: Monday, 08 May 2000 10:53:55 -0400
Subject: Gender and Violence in Early Modern Tragedy
A series of workshops are to be held at King Alfred's College,
Winchester, UK that I hope will interest list members - this is an open
invitation to anyone interested to attend the final open workshop on
Tuesday May 30th.
The project has been made possible by an Arts & Humanities Research
Board sabbatical award, and is part of my on-going research into early
modern texts via performance. The workshops will explore extracts from
a number of 16th and 17th century revenge tragedies with the main aim of
interrogating the representation of gender and violence in the plays.
Two weekends of closed workshops with a team of professional actors will
culminate in a public event where audiences will be invited to watch,
debate and participate in the process. Audiences are expected to be
made up chiefly of postgraduate and undergraduate students, academics
and theatre practitioners from inside and outside the college.
Essential to the project will be input from experts in this field of
research, particularly during the open workshop event, and in subsequent
Extracts from texts will be explored in depth, often in parallel, to
analyse in greater detail, via performance, the gender/violence
dialectic. The aim is to contextualise the plays in their particular
historical moments, as well as discover how early modern ideologies, as
revealed in this context, might illuminate contemporary concerns.
Specific techniques will include multiple casting (2 actors playing 1
persona), cross-gender casting, reworking of texts, development of
internal monologues, juxtaposition of scenes and scene extracts from
different plays, and use of physical text. Plays under investigation
include "The Duchess of Malfi", "The Changeling", "The Maid's Tragedy",
"The Revenger's Tragedy", "'Tis Pity She's a Whore" and "The Maiden's
The work is part of a larger project aimed at establishing a model for
cultural materialist theatre practice - earlier work has included an
interrogation of anti-Semitism in Marlowe's "The Jew of Malta" (1997),
with associated articles published in On Stage Studies (1998), Cahiers
Elizabethains (1999) and Studies in Theatre Production (1999), and a
recent production of "The White Devil" (1999).
This is a free event, but it would help if you could contact me should
you decide to attend, so that I can get some idea of numbers, and begin
to reserve places as necessary. Please do pass on this information to
any colleagues who may be interested. You are also welcome to bring
groups of students (in which case I will definitely need some
notification of numbers as soon as possible).
I would be glad to provide further details should you require them, as
well as directions to the college. The workshop will begin at 7.30pm:
in keeping with the interactive form of the workshop, it will be
open-ended, but I would anticipate it finishing by 10pm. I hope there
will be time for more informal discussion at the end.
Please feel free to contact me for further information, on my home
Dr. Stevie Simkin
Research Centre for Community & Performing Arts
King Alfred's College