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 will explore what it means for Shakespeare to be embodied by a diverse group of people and why representation on the classical stage matters.