Each Friday at 5 PM

An Exploration of Race and Shakespeare

“Then Must You Speak” will bring together scholars and artists for probing conversations about race and Shakespeare on the page and on the stage both in theory and in practice in order to grow our understanding of the many ways in which “classical” theatre and how we pursue it in America exposes and intersects with issues of social justice, systemic racism, equity, and the perpetuation of White supremacy culture while simultaneously offering a lens through which to imagine and embody positive change.

Presented LIVE via Zoom broadcast to our ASC Facebook page for free, every week this summer!

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Calendar for Dr. Ralph Presents: 'Then Must You Speak'

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WEEK BY WEEK

AUGUST 14 - A Conversation with Director Desdemona Chiang

Director Desdemona Chiang (ASC’s 2018-19 Comedy of Errors) joins us for a discussion that will explore her experiences in and approaches to engaging with Shakespeare’s texts, directing diverse ensembles of actors, and more.

  • Desdemona Chiang is a stage director based in Seattle, WA and Ashland, OR. Co-Founder of Azeotrope (Seattle). Click above to read her full bio!
AUGUST 7 - Race and Disability in Shakespeare's Othello

Building off his article “Rub Him About The Temples: Othello, Disability, and the Failures of Care” (Early Theatre 22.2), scholar Justin P. Shaw joins us for a conversation about race and disability in Othello, networks of care, early modern medical practice, the symbolic and material web of the handkerchief, and more.

  • Justin P. Shaw, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of English at Clark University in Massachusetts . His research focuses on the intersections of race, emotions, and medicine in early modern literature around which he is currently developing a book manuscript. His article on disability and race appears in the journal Early Theatre, while others are forthcoming, including in the volume White People in Shakespeare. He has helped to curate exhibits for the Michael C. Carlos Museum such as, Desire & Consumption: The New World in the Age of Shakespeare and has developed the digital humanities project, Shakespeare and the Players.
JULY 31 - Artistic Directors of Color on Shakespeare, Race, and Running a Classical Theatre

A wide-ranging conversation with three leaders of the field on challenging the canon, racism in Shakespeare’s texts, collaborating in a predominantly white field, and much more.

JULY 24 - Twelfth Night Today

Join ASC Founder Ralph Alan Cohen and Literary Manager Anne G. Morgan for an exploration of the themes of Twelfth Night and their contemporary resonances.

Our fast-paced take on “Twelfth Night” begins performances out-of-doors on July 25! Get tickets now >>

JULY 17 - Actresses of Color and ASC's Twelfth Night
On July 3rd, a panel of ASC actors and alums of color discussed playing canonically white characters, approaching production concepts, and collaborating within predominantly white institutions. (Watch it here.) This week’s panel will continue that conversation with a particular focus on our upcoming production of Twelfth Night featuring a panel of women of color from our acting company.
JULY 10 - False Memories of Timeless Whiteness

Dr. Matthieu Chapman, an educator, scholar, theorist, director, and dramaturg joins us for a conversation about “how our current understandings of the world influence how we remember and misremember white history and whiteness in history.”

  • Matthieu Chapman is a professor of Theatre Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He is the author of “Antiblack Racism in Early Modern English Drama: The Other “Other” (Routledge Press: Hardcover 2017, Paperback 2019) as well as numerous academic articles that have appeared in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Theatre Topics, TheatreForum, Theatre History Studies, and Early Theatre. He is a teacher, scholar, theorist, director, dramaturg, and playwright, whose plays have received readings at The Landing Theatre in Houston, The Mid-American Theatre Conference, and numerous colleges across America. His upcoming book, Shattered: The Lived Experience of Black Social Death, interweaves his own narrative with complex theories of black social death to articulate the whys, hows, and whats of black dispossession and inhumanity in modern America.
JULY 3 - Collaboration, Concepts, and Canonically White Characters

Featuring ASC company members and alums, this conversation will explore actors of color’s craft in playing canonically white characters, approaching production concepts, and collaborating within predominantly white institutions.

JUNE 26 - Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen

In the midst of a national awakening about systemic racism in our culture, Dr. Ralph looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly in the depiction of race and otherness in the works of Shakespeare.

 

EXPLORE MORE

RECOMMENDED READING

From week to week, we’ll collect and share recommended resources from our guest speakers, our commenting viewers, and the ASC community.