Making Shakespeare: Theatre as Community Engagement

Making Shakespeare: Theatre as Community Engagement

Katherine Steele Brokaw (UC Merced)
Thursday, January 19 / 4:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

How does Shakespeare make different kinds of meaning in various local communities? And how can amateur theatre be a form of community engagement for drama and Shakespeare scholars? This talk will consider how community productions of Shakespeare produce indigenous forms of knowledge that should be of interest to academics and amateur theatre-makers alike. It further calls for academics who study Shakespeare to engage with their own community by not only attending local productions of Shakespeare, but also by making theatre alongside amateur actors and directors who are engaging in practice-based, collaborative research that shares knowledge and expertise and de-centers Shakespearean authority. Examples in the talk will be drawn from Brokaw’s own work acting, directing, and dramaturging with the amateur company Merced Shakespearefest in California’s Central Valley.

Katherine Steele Brokaw received her PhD in English from the University of Michigan in 2011. She is the author of Staging Harmony: Music and Religious Change in Late Medieval Early English Drama (Cornell University Press, 2016). She has also published articles and reviews in Shakespeare Bulletin, Comparative Drama, and Pedagogy, and has an essay in the forthcoming collection Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Music Circulation in Early Modern England (Indiana University Press, 2017). She is currently working on articles about dice games in Tudor drama, and about contemporary performances of amateur drama.

Click here to listen to a recording of Katherine Brokaw’s talk for the 2016-17 IHC series: Community Matters.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Community Matters series and the Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment.