Shakespeare Inside-out: Depth, Surface, Meaning

British Shakespeare Association – 10th Anniversary Conference

24-26 February 2012

Conference programme includes performances of Much Ado About Nothing (Lancaster Castle) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Northern Broadsides). Academic speakers include:

  • Professor Jean E. Howard
  • Professor Stanley Wells
  • Professor Bob White
  • Professor Stuart Sillars
  • Professor Andrew Gurr
  • Professor Kate McLuskie
  • Professor John Drakakis
  • Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves
  • and Professor Andrew Hiscock

There will be theatre, teaching workshops and panels with theatre directors (Barrie Rutter, David Thacker, Helena Kaut-Howson); Cicely Berry and Alycia Smith-Howard (RSC); designers, musical directors and actors (Demi-Paradise productions).

Shakespeare’s texts produce meaning by turning insides out. We are drawn into the plays and poems from the outside through surfaces: books, screens, words, objects, costumes, the surfaces of actors’ faces and bodies, retellings or adaptations, teaching spaces and theatres, and via our experiences of immediate effects like music, laughter, tears, movement. The texts, meanwhile, turn deep human questions, emotions, subjectivities outwards by projecting them as words and performance. This conference will ask how the relationship between surface and depth operates in Shakespeare’s work. How does it function in different types of performance practice from live theatre to film? In the traces of the past that have come down to us? And in our practices as teachers and critics? The conference will explore ‘the deep value of surfaces’ (Shusterman), the dynamic relationship between surface and depth across a range of practices: reading, watching, editing, teaching, performing.

Further information