Shakespeare, Playing, Gender
We will study some of the best- and lesser-known plays of Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale)considering them against the background of gender, sexuality, and transvestite theater, as well as of race, politics, and empire in Shakespeare’s day. As its title suggests, this seminar will also focus on theatrical and other kinds of "playing," including both "playing gender" or the ambiguities of gender performance in a transvestite context (where boy actors played women and female characters cross-dressed as male) and playing against stereotypes of female and male. There will also be opportunities on Zoom to play with or try out different ways of performing particular characters or scenes (with no memorizing required!), as well as engaging in lively discussions.