<p>Forbidden Planet, the classic sci-fi adaptation of The Tempest.</p>
The 2nd Shakespearean Theatre Conference – “Shakespeare 401: What’s Next?” – took place June 21-24, 2017. Some 140 people attended the event, which was held at the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus and provided access to Stratford Festival productions that included Timon of Athens, The Changeling, and Twelfth Night.
The conference program featured plenary lectures by Sarah Beckwith, Martha Henry, Peter Holland, and Julia Reinhard Lupton, a roundtable discussion of The Changeling, featuring Ben Carlson, Mikaela Davies, M.J. Kidnie, Jackie Maxwell, and Jennifer Panek, and a second roundtable on Timon of Athens, with Sarah Beckwith, Julia Lupton, Stephen Ouimette, and Joseph Ziegler. Additional highlights included an impromptu tour of the Festival Archives led by the Festival’s Artistic Director, Antoni Cimolino; “Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender,” a one-woman show by Lisa Wolpe, the founding director of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company; a workshop on current performance practices and early modern texts led by Grant Mudge; and a live performance of The Winter’s Tale Remix: The Triumph of Time, a 60-minute piece for violin, piano, clarinet, and spoken voice. In all 90 speakers addressed such topics as cross-gender and colour-blind casting, Shakespeare and jazz, Shakespeare’s digital afterlives, Shakespeare in Canada, teaching Shakespeare, and global Shakespeare. A collection of essays by conference participants is in development.
The Shakespearean Theatre Conference is a joint venture of the University of Waterloo and the Stratford Festival; it brings together scholars and practitioners to talk about how performance influences scholarship and vice versa. It is the successor to the Elizabethan Theatre Conference, which the University of Waterloo hosted 17 times between 1968 and 2005. Watch this space for information on the next conference, likely in 2019.