Spring 2019

Red Talk with Professor Rosa Joshi, MFA (Spring 2019)

Everybody's Shakespeare: Making Inclusive Spaces in Classical Theatre

With Rosa Joshi, MFA

Department of Performing Arts & Arts Leadership
Chair and Professor of Theatre

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Pigott Auditorium

The western classical canon can present challenges for theatre artists wanting to make work that is relevant for a contemporary American audience.  In this talk, Joshi explores the need for inclusivity in classical performance specifically in the work of William Shakespeare, the most produced playwright of our time. Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed in the Elizabethan era by a company of men and boys, and it was not until the 17th century that women were permitted on the English stage. Following the original Elizabethan convention, there is a long tradition of all-male companies performing Shakespeare. All-female work by contrast is a relatively newer practice that has in recent years spurred conversations around diversity and equity in the theatre. Focusing on her work with upstart crow collective, a company that produces classical work with female and non-binary casts, Joshi explores what it means for Shakespeare to be embodied by a diverse group of people and why representation on the classical stage matters.

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More about Professor Joshi

Rosa Joshi

Professor Joshi has been teaching at Seattle University since 2000 and directs one production annually for the Seattle University Theatre season. She has also taught at Hong Kong University, Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts and has directed at Cornish College for the Arts.  She holds an M.F.A. in directing from the Yale School of Drama and B.A. in Theatre and Psychology from Bucknell University.

Joshi’s professional directing credits include: As You Like It, Henry V (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Richard III, Bring Down the House (upstart crow collective and Seattle Shakespeare Company; King John, Titus Andronicus (upstart crow); John Baxter is a Switch Hitter(Intiman Theatre Festival); Richard II (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Life of Galileo(Strawberry Theatre Workshop); Fen, Twelfth Night (New City Theater).

Joshi was Interim Artistic director at Northwest Asian American Theatre (NWAAT) where she led the International Artists Program, a Ford Foundation funded program that supported multi-disciplinary collaborations between Asian American and Asian artists. She was a resident director at New City Theatre under the sponsorship of a Princess Grace award. She is a co-founder of upstart crow collective, a Seattle-based theatre company that is committed to producing classical plays with diverse female and non-binary casts.

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Q&A with Professor Joshi