- Socrates: Gender-bending Shakespeare
SOCRATES: Gender-bending Shakespeare
Writer and CBC broadcaster (Writers & Company) Eleanor Wachtel in conversation with Canadian stage icons Martha Henry and Seana McKenna
Admission free. Register online here.
Martha Henry’s first role at Stratford was in 1962, as Miranda in The Tempest, opposite William Hutt’s Prospero. This year, at age 80, Henry is herself playing Prospero. Also playing a major male Shakespearean character at Stratford this year is Seana McKenna, 62, as Julius Ceasar. McKenna has played a male character before at Stratford, as Richard III in 2011. But her other 40-plus roles over the past 23 years at the festival have been strictly female, starting in 1982 with Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as Diana in All’s Well That Ends Well.
Both actors are Canadian icons, so it’s fitting that yet a third illustrious woman on Canada’s arts scene, writer and CBC broadcaster, Eleanor Wachtel of Writers & Company will be on hand to interview Henry and McKenna.
Photography by Clay Stang – The Garden.
Gender-Bending Shakespeare is the conclusion of Engendering the Stage in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond, an international research project that explores resonances between the history of gendered performance on the early modern stage and our contemporary drive to achieve gender equity in today’s professional theatre industry.
The Stratford Lab:
This conference begins with a week-long workshop in Stratford’s Theatre Laboratory involving actors from the company, two indigenous artists, a trans actor from England, a local non-binary performance artist and a carefully assembled group of international scholars.
Events at McMaster University, September 24
- Gender on the Early Modern Stage, Then and Now:What we learned at the Stratford Lab and where to go next? 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm, Black Box Theatre (L.R. Wilson Hall). This roundtable brings together scholars and theatre practitioners to share individual and collective findings about how portrayals of gender on the early modern stage resonate with today’s opening up of gender to a non-binary paradigm.
- Early Modern Theatre: Then and Now. 1:30-2:20 p.m, Black Box Theatre (L.R. Wilson Hall). Award-winning UK based theatre maker and director Emma Frankland will speak about her recent work on a large scale outdoor revival of Galatea by John Lyly, one of Shakespeare’s immediate precursors.
- Creating Stratford’s Gender-Fluid World of The Comedy of Errors. 2:30-3:20 p.m., Concert Hall (L.R. Wilson Hall). Keira Loughran (Associate Artistic Director, the Stratford Festival), Jessica Hill (actor), and Joanna Yu (costume designer) and Erin Julian (University of Western Ontario) will discuss the gender fluid world of Ephesus for the 2018 Comedy of Errors production. They will speak to this production’s significance as a case study for building inclusivity.
In partnership with The John Douglas Taylor Family, Stratford Festival, The Socrates Project, Gender Studies and Feminist Research Graduate Program, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Concert Hall, 7pm
Date(s) - 24/09/2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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