Engendering the Stage in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond
2018 John Douglas Taylor Conference
24 September 2018
All events are open to the public.
Casting women in men’s roles may seem like a radical departure of our times. So might portrayals of early modern characters by trans and non-binary actors. Yet playing with gender was in fact an exciting feature of early modern theatre practice across Europe.
“Engendering the Stage in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond” is an international research project dedicated to exploring 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.
On Monday September 24, international scholars, artists, and directors will visit McMaster to report on the project’s recent week-long Performance as Research workshop hosted as part of the Stratford Festival’s Theatre Laboratory, sharing insights and discussing next steps forward.
Gender on the Early Modern Stage: What We Learned at the Stratford Lab and Next Steps
10:30am-12pm, Black Box Theatre (next to Wilson Hall)
How might portrayals of gender on the early modern stage resonate with today’s opening up of gender to a non-binary paradigm? Roundtable participants include Peter Cockett (Theatre and Film Studies, McMaster), Melinda Gough (English and Cultural Studies/GSFR, McMaster), Clare McManus (Roehampton University, London), and Keira Loughran (the Stratford Festival).
Trans, Queer, and Feminist Histories in Early Modern Theatre: Then and Now
1:30-2:20 pm, Black Box Theatre (next to 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 Galateaby John Lyly, one of Shakespeare’s immediate precursors. A love story with a same-sex couple at its centre, Galatea offers positive representations of LGBTQ identities as well as a strong feminist perspective: all of the main protagonists are female identified, but many of them are also at odds with or experimenting with their gender identity. Synthesizing highlights from the Galatea project work with insights gained from the workshop in Stratford, Emma will discuss future possibilities for more inclusive feminist/LGBTQ inspired work in classical theatre production.
Creating the Gender-Fluid World of The Comedy of Errors, Stratford Festival 2018
2:30-3:20 pm, Wilson Hall
Keira Loughran (Associate Artistic Director, the Stratford Festival), Jessica Hill (actor, the Stratford Festival), and Joanna Yu (costume designer, the Stratford Festival) will speak about their work creating the fun, gender fluid world of Ephesus for the 2018 Comedy ofErrorsproduction. Erin Julian (University of Western Ontario) will speak to this production’s significance as a case study for building inclusivity in today’s professional theatre industry.
7:00pm, Wilson Hall
Join renowned writer and CBC broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel in conversation with Canadian stage icons Martha Henry and Seana McKenna, who are shifting perceptions of gender and performance as Prospero and Julius Caesar this season at the Stratford Festival.
The John Douglas Taylor Family; the Stratford Festival; the Socrates Project; the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Graduate Program, McMaster University; the Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University; the Faculty of Humanities, McMaster University; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council