Radical Shakespeare discussion

Photo: l to r: Professor Stephen Booth, Pavol Liska, Kelly Copper, Young Jean Lee, Professor Rich McCoy. Photo by Bobby McElver

Our first discussion was a fascinating look at the topic of creating responses to Shakespeare. It is now available to listen to on-line.
Click here to listen to it in its entirety.

Panelists biographies:

STEPHEN BOOTH is Professor of English Literature at University of California Berkeley where he specializes in Shakespeare studies. His books include Precious Nonsense: The Gettysburg Address, Ben Jonson’s Epitaphs on His Children, and “Twelfth Night” (Berkeley, 1998) and “King Lear,” “Macbeth,” Indefinition & Tragedy (New Haven, revised edition 2000). He is the author of many papers on Shakespeare studies and he has been invited to deliver them throughout North America, as well as in Stratford-upon-Avon. He has co-directed two Shakespeare productions—Twelfth Night and All’s Well That Ends Well—and has received an NEH Fellowship, the Marshall Scholarship, the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Distinguished Teaching Award at Berkeley. In July 1995 he was made an Officer of the British Empire. He has seen 1,672 different productions of Shakespeare plays (some productions several times).

KELLY COPPER and PAVOL LISKA Nature Theater of Oklahoma is a New York performance group under the direction of Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. Since Poetics: a ballet brut, our first dance piece created as an ensemble, Nature Theater of Oklahoma has been devoted to making the work we don’t know how to make, putting ourselves in impossible situations, and working from out of our own ignorance and unease. We strive to create an unsettling live situation that demands total presence from everyone in the room. We use the readymade material, found space, overheard speech, and observed gesture, and through extreme formal manipulation and superhuman effort, we affect in our work a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live.

YOUNG JEAN LEE has written and directed seven shows in New York and toured her work to over twenty cities around the world. She is a member of New Dramatists and 13P and has an MFA from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program at Brooklyn College. Her plays have been published in Three Plays by Young Jean Lee (Samuel French) and Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays (Theatre Communications Group). Her play THE SHIPMENT will be published by TCG in February 2010. Young Jean is currently under commission from Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is the artistic director of Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and is a recipient of the ZKB Patronage Prize 2007 of the Zuercher Theater Spektakel and a 2007 Emerging Playwright OBIE Award.

RICHARD McCOY (moderator) is Professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author of three books – Sir Philip Sidney: Rebellion in Arcadia (Rutgers, 1979), The Rites of Knighthood: The Literature and Politics of Elizabethan Chivalry (California, 1989) and Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation (Columbia, 2002) – as well as numerous articles on Shakespeare’s plays, including The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and Henry V. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, and he recently received a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his book on Faith in Shakespeare, exploring links between belief in performance and shifts in Reformation religious beliefs.

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