The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0428  Friday, 10 November 2010

From:         Sarah Enloe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 5, 2010 12:46:57 PM EDT
Subject:      CFP: 6th Blackfriars Conference

25 - 30 October 2011, Sixth Blackfriars Conference
(Be there for the bear . . .  or for the truancy)

On odd numbered years since the first October the Blackfriars Playhouse opened, 
scholars from around the world have gathered in Staunton, during the height of the 
Shenandoah Valley's famed Fall colors, to hear lectures, see plays, and learn about 
early modern theatre. In 2011, the American Shakespeare Center's Education and 
Research Department will once again host Shakespeareans, scholars and practitioners 
alike, to explore Shakespeare in the study and Shakespeare on the stage and to find 
ways that these two worlds -- sometime in collision -- can collaborate. Past 
conferences have included such notable scholars as Andrew Gurr, the "godfather" of 
the Blackfriars Playhouse, Tiffany Stern, Russ McDonald, Gary Taylor, Stephen 
Greenblatt, Roz Knutson, Tina Packer, and many more in five days full of activities. 

Except for banquets, all events -- papers, plays, workshops -- take place in the 
world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse. 
This conference distinguishes itself from saner conferences in a variety of other 
ways. First, to model the kind of collaboration we think possible we encourage 
presenters to feature actors as partners in the demonstration of their theses. For 
instance, in 2009, Gary Taylor's keynote presentation "Lyrical Middleton" featured 
ASC actors singing and dancing to the songs in Middleton's plays. Second, we limit 
each paper session to six short papers (10 minutes for solo presentations, 13 
minutes for presentations with actors). Third, we enforce this rule by ursine fiat -
- a bear chases from the stage those speakers who go over their allotted time. 
Delegates also attend all of the plays in the ASC fall season -- Hamlet, Henry V, 
The Tempest, by Shakespeare, Tamburlaine by Christopher Marlowe, and The Importance 
of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde -- and, for the past several conferences, bonus 
plays written by their colleagues and performed by actors in the Mary Baldwin 
College MFA in Shakespeare in Performance program. The spirit of fun that imbues the 
conference manifests itself in the annual Truancy Award, for the sensible conferee 
who -- visiting the Shenandoah Valley at the height of Fall -- has the good sense to 
miss the most sessions.

The 2011 gathering will include a returning keynote speaker, Shakespearean scholar 
Tiffany Stern, author of essential performance studies such as Making Shakespeare, 
Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan, and Documents of Performance. Professor 
Stern's work has played an influential role in the development of the American 
Shakespeare Center's Actors' Renaissance Season, and her presentations continue to 
inspire the further exploration of the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries 
in the ASC's educational and artistic programming. Additionally, George T. Wright, 
author of Shakespeare's Metrical Art, will present. Professor Wright's text on 
prosody illuminates Shakespeare's use of meter for actors and scholars. We will 
invite our other speakers with an eye to other aspects of Shakespeare's plays in 
performance such as playing the possibilities of rhetoric, playing in early modern 
theatres, early modern play audiences (then and now), metrical analysis, early 
modern rehearsal practice, early modern visual design, pedagogy (early modern and 
current practice and its influence on performance).

Since each conference expands on the activities of the preceding conferences, the 
2011 incarnation will include thematic panels following each keynote address. The 
work of the conference always echoes in the work on stage at the Blackfriars 
Playhouse and in the American Shakespeare Center's Research and Scholarship 
department, and it has provided the material for two books devoted specifically to 
essays from the conference (Inside Shakespeare, edited by Paul Menzer, and Thunder 
in the Playhouse, edited by Matt Kosusko and Peter Kanelos). Plans are already afoot 
to include papers from the upcoming conference in a third book.

ASC Education and Research extends this call for papers on any matters to do with 
the performance of early modern drama (historical, architectural, political, 
dramatical, sartorial, medical, linguistical, comical, pastoral) to all interested 
parties for our bi-annual conference to be held at the Blackfriars Playhouse in 
Staunton, Virginia, 25-30 October 2011. 

Please submit an abstract here:

All best,
Sarah Enloe

American Shakespeare Center
Director of Education
540-885-5588 x28

The American Shakespeare Center recovers the joy and accessibility of Shakespeare's 
theatre, language, and humanity by exploring the English Renaissance stage and its 
practices through performance and education.

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