Author: Shakespeare's Globe Blog

Response to The Stage article, 15 August 2018The Globe’s Head of…

Response to The Stage article, 15 August 2018

The Globe’s Head of Higher Education & Research, Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, responds to an article that appeared in The Stage on 15 August 2018:  

Shakespeare’s Globe sparks new row with lighting designers over claims of racial discrimination

week the Globe is hosting a festival to discuss Shakespeare and race. The
workshops and symposium are being attending by a variety of people across the
theatre industry and academia. The academics and theatre artists attending and
participating in the Shakespeare and Race festival have experience of attending
and performing in plays in many other theatres with lighting design. It is not
just the experience of the Globe that is informing this discussion. The Sam
Wanamaker Playhouse utilises various types of handheld candles and stage
designs, all contributing to ensure an actor’s face is illuminated properly. It
would be wrong to deny that this issue exists in theatre today. There are many
factors that contribute to discrimination of an actor of colour, lighting is
certainly an element, alongside other factors including blocking, costuming and
stage design.

glad discussion and debate have been sparked and would encourage a continued
conversation, and invite people to attend the remainder of our festival,
including a workshop on Women and Theatre in Britain, Playing Othello featuring actors who have all played the role, Hip-hop Shakespeare Unplugged,
and Shakespeare and Race Across Borders: a scholarly symposium.

Having discussed the many issues
facing actors of colour with actors attending our festival, this is certainly
an issue that should not be dismissed. The conversation is, and must remain,
complex and our festival is an attempt to open up conversation in the fight
against discrimination.

Emilia in production.Our new play has been a hit with critics…

Emilia in production.

Our new play has been a hit with critics and audiences alike. Written by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, directed by Nicole Charles, and designed by Jo Scotcher, this incredible production is not one you want to miss. 

See the story of Emilia Bassano brought to life in the Globe Theatre until 1 September 2018.

Photography by Helen Murray

Love’s Labour’s Lost in rehearsal.Eight actors create the world…

Love’s Labour’s Lost in rehearsal.

Eight actors create the world of Love’s Labour’s Lost in a style inspired by a Victorian children’s pop-up book. Originally written for the indoor Blackfriars Theatre, it is perfectly at home in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Love’s Labour’s Lost opens 23 August 2018.

Photography by Marc Brenner

Staging Race and Diversity workshop summary.

In our Staging Race and Diversity in Shakespearean Theatre workshop on Monday, a small, racially diverse company of actors performed scenes from Titus Andronicus, Richard II and Macbeth in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Each scene was presented multiple times with actors swapping parts and instructions to change the staging given by facilitators Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Head of Higher Education and Research, Shakespeare’s Globe) and Dr Erika Lin (The
Graduate Center, City University of New York) with Will Tosh. 

The discussion, led by symposium panellists Professor Kim F. Hall, Arthur L.Little and Professor Ayanna Thompson opened up questions on how the staging, language and cultural conditioning disadvantaged the actors of colour performing Shakespeare on stage, and in particular, in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Some of the main points of the evening were captured by audience member Dr Ambereen Dadabhoy. You can read her tweets here.

How we stage race, how race is staged, how we cast, comission, and stage actors of colour is an ongoing conversation both on and off stage and one that we encourage you to join. Tweet your thoughts using #ShakespeareAndRace.

Shakespeare & Race, 11-18 August, is a festival of events dedicated to the topic of Shakespeare and Race, which includes performances, workshops, public lectures, panels and an international conference. Curated to draw attention to and provide a platform for scholars, practitioners and educators of colour in the teaching, study and performance of Shakespeare, this festival will highlight the importance of race to the consideration of Shakespeare not only in his time, but more urgently, in our own.

Staging Race and Diversity in Shakespearean Theatre was part of our ongoing Research in Action series. 

Photography: Pete Le May 

Emilia: Your Tweets.

Staging Race and Diversity.To what extent do choices about…

Akiya Henry

Leo Wan

Jonathan Christie

Stefan Adegbola

Suzanne Ahmet

Staging Race and Diversity.

To what extent do choices about costume, set and lighting either privilege white actors or place actors of colour at a disadvantage? Does staging Shakespeare in historical dress present a challenge to directors and designers when it comes to racial diversity? What are the implicit biases that exist in the casting, directing and staging of Shakespeare’s plays?

This summer Shakespeare’s Globe is hosting a festival dedicated to the topic of Shakespeare & Race. As part of this festival and our ongoing Research in Action programme we are running a workshop entitled Staging Race and Diversity in the Shakespearean Theatre in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Using extracts from Macbeth, Richard II and Titus Andronicus Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Head of Higher Education and Research, Shakespeare’s Globe) and Professor Erika T. Lin (The City University of New York) will be joined by seven actors to examine the relationship between staging practices and racial diversity.

We hope you can join us to unearth, challenge and debate long-held assumptions and to ask questions about how to change practices. We are hoping to have a robust, at times, difficult conversation and we hope those attending will bring their own experiences to bear upon what we discover.

Cast includes:
Stefan Adegbola
Suzanne Ahmet
Jonathan Christie
Akiya Henry
Leo Wan

Shakespeare & Race Symposium speakers. Our Shakespeare &…

Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw

Professor Luke Harris

Ian Smith

Ayanna Thompson

Arthur L. Little and Kim F. Hall

Shakespeare & Race Symposium speakers. 

Our Shakespeare & Race festival culminates in an international symposium – Shakespeare and Race Across Borders: A Scholarly Symposium

This ground-breaking conference brings together scholars from the disciplines of race, Shakespeare, theatre and performance studies to discuss the ways in which race is taught at university, discussed in the critical field and represented in performance.

Keynote speakers for the symposium comprise Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and UCLA, she coined the term “intersectionality” and is a leader in the intellectual movement of Critical Race Theory.

Professor Luke Harris is Associate Professor of American Politics and Constitutional Law at Vassar College and co-founder of the African American Policy Forum.

Ian Smith is a professor of English and teaches at Lafayette College. His current research project, Black Shakespeare, examines Shakespeare’s interest in social and political racial identities.

Professor Ayanna Thompson has written extensively on the subject of Shakespeare and race. Ayanna is the 2018-19 President of the Shakespeare Association of America and Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.

Arthur L. Little is an Associate Professor of English at UCLA and author of numerous articles on Shakespeare, race and justice.

Kim F. Hall (Barnard College) will also be on the panel. Kim is Lucyle Hook Professor of English and Professor of Africana Studies at Barnard College, University of Colombia

Other keynote speakers:

Devon Carbado teaches at UCLA School of Law and has won numerous teaching awards, including the inaugural Fletcher Foundation Fellowship.

Ania Loomba is the Catherine Byson Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania where she researches and teaches early modern literature, race and feminist theory.

Joyce Green MacDonald is the Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

See the website for a full list of speakers.

Win tickets to see Emilia. We have five pairs of seated tickets…

Win tickets to see Emilia. 

We have five pairs of seated tickets to see the world premiere of Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s new play Emilia

‘ Men, who forgetting they were born of women, nourished of women, and if they were not of the means of women, they would be quite extinguished out of the world, and a final end of them all; do like vipers deface the wombs wherein they were bred.’

In 1611 Emilia Bassano penned these words to her ‘Vertuous Reader’, as part of a volume of radical, feminist and subversive poetry.

Emilia Bassano, was she the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets? Maybe, but she definitely was an exceptional woman for her time and a poet, mother, and feminist.

Nicole Charles directs an all-female cast who will shine a light on Emilia and share Her Story, erased, until now, by history.


How to enter

To be in with a chance of winning one of five pairs of tickets tweet us @The_Globe and tell us who your favourite forgotten woman from history is and include the hashtag #GlobeEmilia. 

Winners will be picked at random and contacted through Twitter. 

The competition runs from 11.30am on Wednesday 8 August and closes at 12 midday on Friday 10 August. 

Five winners will win a pair of seated tickets for one of the following shows: 

  • Saturday 11 August, 7.30pm
  • Monday 13 August, 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 14 August, 2.00pm

Please read our general competition terms and conditions. 

Photography: Helen Murray 

Eyam cast. Eyam is a new play by award-winning writer Matt…

Eyam cast. 

Eyam is a new play by award-winning writer Matt Hartley who turns his attention to the real village decimated by plague in 1665. Directed by Adele Thomas, Eyam opens 15 September.

Annette Badland will play Rev Stanley
Zora Bishop will play Elizabeth Hancock/Elizabeth Sheldon
Adrian Bower will play Phillip Sheldon
Priyanga Burford will play Katherine Mompesson
Sam Crane will play William Mompesson
John Paul Connolly will play John Hancock 
Becci Gemmell will play Elizabeth Sydall/Mary Talbot
Will Keen will play John Sydall
Norah Lopez-Holden will play Emmott Sydall 
Luke MacGregor will play Edward Cooper/ Rolland Torre
Jordan Metcalfe will play Francis Bockinge/George Viccars
Oliver Ryan will play Unwin 
Sirine Saba will play Mary Cooper 
Howard Ward will play Marshall Howe 
Rosie Wardlaw will play Harriet Stubbs 

Voices in the Dark in rehearsal. The team behind the Young…

Voices in the Dark in rehearsal. 

The team behind the Young Muslim Voices project believe in the power of sharing and telling peoples stories to challenge perceptions, to promote a community of diversity, and to remind us that we are united by more than divides us.

At The Globe our cause is to “celebrate Shakespeare’s transformative impact on the world…”

Voices In The Dark is our chance to question that cause. Does Shakespeare really have a transformative impact on the world? And if he does, whose world is he impacting on?

This questioning led us to two organisations: Intermission and Voices, organisations who are using the power of language, story and performance to try to transform our world for the better.

Voices is a social start-up which aims to creatively challenge perceptions through the sharing and telling of people’s stories. The stories you will hear tonight are all monologues that have been written anonymously (if they so wish) by young Muslims in the UK and tonight they will be performed by professional actors for the first time.

Intermission Youth Theatre is a charity giving young people the tools to make positive choices, to become the best version of themselves through theatre. Using Shakespeare as inspiration, they reimagine his language to tell stories and create their own contemporary interpretations.
Working with these organisations we partnered their scenes and monologues with some of Shakespeare’s own stories to see if we could get any closer to answering our question.

Voices in the Dark is a night of poetry, personal stories, and performance; a call and response from now to then, spanning 400 years of storytelling.

Michelle Terry is the Artistic Director of the Globe. 

Photography: Pete Le May