Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Presides Over Shylock’s Appeal

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Presides Over Shylock’s Appeal – Read The New York Times article


Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States — Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States


Professor Diana Henderson and MIT students are in Venice, documenting the historic production of The Merchant of Venice and creating materials for publication on the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive.


Related News: 2016 Marks the 500th Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice




Workshop: Korean Shakespeare in Theory and Practice

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Hosted by the Korean Cultural Centre & Shakespeare Association of Korea

Leaders: Hyon-u Lee and Daniel Gallimore

Since 1990, more than 400 Korean Shakespeare productions have been staged in South Korea, many of them touring beyond the Korean peninsula. Yet now that Korean Shakespeare has become known among both audiences and academics beyond the Korean peninsula, there is a need for greater understanding of the traditional Korean theatre which Korean Shakespeares have so thoroughly adopted.

This workshop aims to introduce Korean Shakespeare Boom. Especially it will show how traditional Korean theatres are applied to Shakespearean productions. Hyon-u Lee and Daniel Gallimore will lead this workshop, and Yong Li Lan, Boram Choi, and Eleine Ng Hui Ru will read their papers. The workshop will also run in tandem with a Koreanized Taming of the Shrew by EDP, student drama club of Soon Chun Hyang University. Starting in 2007, this production has been staged successfully in Seoul, Tokyo, Nagoya, Singapore, New York, Boston, and Brisbane, receiving several awards at the College Student Shakespeare Festival hosted by the Shakespeare Association of Korea and National Theatre of Korea. This production was well acclaimed by professional reviewers, who gave it four or three stars, at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. The particular use that this production makes of traditional Korean dance, music and theatre makes it an effective model of the Koreanization of Shakespeare.

Venue: The Korean Cultural Centre at London, Grand Buildings, 1 – 3, Strand, London, WC2N 5BW (Main Entrance on Northumberland Avenue)

Date: August, 8th, 2016.

Time: Workshop 5 PM/ Performance 7:30 PM

Ticket: Free

Register: Email or telephone 020 7004 2600


Petruchio (Min-joon Lee) faces Katherina (So-hyeon Jeong) in Act II, Sc. i. from The Taming of the Shrew at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Yohangza’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to Wellesley

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Wellesley College celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with Shakespeare on the Global Stage: A Festival of Performance and Scholarship. To kick off the festival, a keynote lecture will be given by Tiffany Stern and Hyon-u Lee on Saturday April 23 at 4:15pm. Yohangza, an internationally acclaimed theatre troupe from Seoul, South Korea, will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7:00pm. Please see the links below for details about each event.

Details about keynote panel

Details about A Midsummer Night’s Dream performance

Register for tickets to performance



hyonu_lee_2013oct Professor Hyon-u Lee, Soon Chun Hyang University, is a long time collaborator of the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive and curator of several productions in our collection from South Korea. The Yohangza Theatre Company and Yang Jun-ung have been very generous in granting permission to MIT to archive and share their extraordinary work.



Hamlet Q1 adapted and directed by Hyon-u Lee, 2009

A Midsummer Night’s Dream adapted and directed by Yang Jung-ung, 2006

Hamlet directed by Yang Jung-ung, 2010

Pericles adapted by Hyon-u Lee and directed by Kim Kwang Lim, 2010

Hamlet the Actor adapted and directed by Sung Chon-mo, 2012




2016 Marks the 500th Anniversary of the Jewish Ghetto in Venice

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
The Venetian Ghetto in Venice, Italy was instituted on 29 March 1516.

The Venetian Ghetto in Venice, Italy was instituted on 29 March 1516.


MIT’s Global Shakespeares and “The Merchant in Venice” project commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with the first ever on-site performance of The Merchant of Venice in Venice’s 500 year-old Jewish Ghetto.

Compagnia de’ Colombari is staging the play as part of the Ghetto Quincentennial. The play, running from 26-31 July 2016 has attracted the interest of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who will be adjudicating a mock trial involving Shylock and Antonio, the rival merchants of the play.

MIT President Rafael Reif and his wife, Christine, will be in attendance at the event. Literature Professor Diana Henderson, who serves on the Academic Advisory Board, will be participating in Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s affiliated summer school course during the event and coordinating Global Shakespeare’s multimedia contribution to the Merchant in Venice project.


The Merchant in Venice Five performances:

Tuesday July 26, 2016 at dusk

Wednesday July 27, 2016 at dusk

Thursday July 28, 2016 at dusk

Friday July 29, 2016 at 5pm

Final Performance Sunday July 31, 2016 at dusk
(Rain date Monday August 1, 2016 at dusk)



New Translations of the Arab Hamlet Tradition

Monday, March 14th, 2016

To celebrate the release of Four Arab Hamlet Plays, a special evening of readings and discussion will take place at the Segal Theatre in New York on March 14, 2016. Co-editor of the book Margaret Litvin, Arab World Regional Editor for the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive, will participate via Skype.

The book features the plays:

  • Nabyl Lahlou (Ophelia is Not Dead, Morocco, 1968)
  • Mamduh Adwan (Hamlet Wakes Up Late, Syria, 1976)
  • Nader Omran (A Theatre Company Found a Theatre and Theatred “Hamlet”, Jordan, 1984)
  • Jawad al-Assadi (Forget Hamlet, Iraq, 1994)

plus an autobiographical sketch by Mahmoud Aboudoma (“Gamlet” is Russian for “Hamlet”, Egypt, 2006).

For more details about this event, please visit:


Four Arab Hamlet Plays, edited by Marvin Carlson and Margaret Litvin with Joy Arab. Published by TCG for the Martin E. Segal Theater Center, City University of New York.

Four Arab Hamlet Plays, edited by Marvin Carlson and Margaret Litvin with Joy Arab. Published by TCG for the Martin E. Segal Theater Center, City University of New York.

Available from Amazon or the Segal Center, and soon from TCG.




Shakespeare Happenings in Arizona

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Cris Busato Smith, Brazil Regional Editor for the MIT Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive, gave two talks at the 22nd Annual ACMRS Conference held 3-6 February 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona: “Brazilian Shakespeares,” delivered on February 4 as part of the panel “Dead at 400: Shakespeare, Cervantes and El Inca Garcilasco,” and “Ophelia in Contemporary Brazilian Art,” delivered on February 6.  This interdisciplinary conference in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is hosted by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS) at the Arizona State University. To learn more about the ACMRS, please visit

One of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio is touring the United States and currently on display February 15 to March 15 at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson. During this time, the University of Arizona is hosting many events to join in the celebration of 400 years of Shakespeare. One of its workshops, “Shakespeare First! From Page to Stage!” took place on February 20 and was streamed live to the Mesa Public Library and the Yuma Main Library. Dr. Busato Smith was on hand at the Mesa Public Library as a special guest presenting her talk: “‘Wheresoe’er Thou Art in this World’s Globe’:  the MIT Global Shakespeares Digital Archive”.

Cris Busato Smith also has a forthcoming essay publication in The Shakespearean International Yearbook, entitled  “What ceremony else?” Images of Ophelia in Brazil: the Politics of Subversion of the Female Artist.


Cris Busato Smith gives a live presentation at the Mesa Public Library.




When “Global Shakespeare” met the “Arab Spring”

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

How do Arab theatre makers navigate a “World Shakespeare” festival, maneuvering between interesting times in their home countries and the expectations of British and global funders and audiences? A recently published article by GS Arab world editor Margaret Litvin and two collaborators, Saffron Walkling (University of York) and Raphael Cormack (University of Edinburgh) explores some of the contingencies, ironies, and unexpected beauties of these collaborations.

Read or download it at


Palestinian Ashtar Theatre’s Richard II ©  Marc Brenner

Palestinian Ashtar Theatre’s Richard II © Marc Brenner



Iraqi Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad © Royal Shakespeare Company

Iraqi Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad © Royal Shakespeare Company



Tunisian Artistes Producteurs Associés’ Macbeth: Leila and Ben –  A Bloody History © Lotfi Achour

Tunisian Artistes Producteurs Associés’ Macbeth: Leila and Ben – A Bloody History © Lotfi Achour




New Book on Ethics, Shakespeare, and Appropriation

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

EthicsAt a time when Shakespeare is becoming increasingly globalized and diversified it is urgent more than ever to ask how this appropriated ‘Shakespeare’ constructs ethical value across cultural and other fault lines. Making an important new contribution to rapidly expanding fields of study surrounding the adaptation and appropriation of Shakespeare, Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (edited by Alexa Huang and Elizabeth Rivlin) is the first book to address the intersection of ethics, aesthetics, authority, and authenticity.

The collected essays approach ethics from a rich variety of perspectives: some explore how ethical issues in Shakespeare’s plays have been received and interpreted, some investigate the ethical commitments of Shakespearean appropriations, and some interrogate the ethical tenets that underlie the processes of adaptation and appropriation. As a whole, the volume suggests that appropriations are always on some level comparative and that their work has value in generating sites of discussion between otherwise strongly divergent frameworks of understanding.

In addition to Global Shakespeares co-founder Alexa’s co-introduction, also featured in the book are Global Shakespeares regional editor Margaret Litvin’s article and interview of Sulayman Al-Bassam.

The book is available through,, Palgrave, and elsewhere.


Lady Macbeth and Ophelia: Beyond Drowning and Sleep-walking

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Cris Busato Smith, Brazil Regional Editor for MIT Global Shakespeares, delivered a lecture on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ entitled “Lady Macbeth and Ophelia: Beyond Drowning and Sleep-walking.” The event was well attended and generated many questions from the audience. The lecture was part of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Public Programs Series.


About the Program
Both Lady Macbeth and Ophelia have intriguing stories that transgress the space of page from stage to real life. Whether in the guise of a ruthless, ambitious woman or a beautiful suicidal muse, both characters have exerted a strong appeal to popular imagination. This talk investigates the cultural contexts that prompted this interesting phenomenon.

About Cris Busato Smith
Cris Busato Smith is an MIT regional editor for Global Shakespeares and an ACMRS adjunct scholar. She has taught at both undergraduate and graduate levels in Brazil. She received an MA in English and American Literature in 1995, and a PhD in Literary Studies from the Federal University of Parana (the oldest university in Brazil) in 2007. She also held a Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (University of Leeds, UK). Over the last fifteen years, Dr. Smith published numerous articles on literature and Shakespeare. She is the author of Representations of Ophelia in Victorian England (in press).



Aneta Mancewicz publishes new book on European Shakespeare performance

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Global Shakespeares European Regional Editor Aneta Mancewicz has published a book Intermedial Shakespeares on European Stages (Palgrave 2014) that examines the application of digital media in European Shakespeare performances in the 21st Century. The book makes reference to Global Shakespeares project and discusses two plays which are available on the website: Hamlet gliwicki, directed by Piotr Lachmann (Poland), and Hamlet, directed by Maria Federica Maestri and Francesco Pititto (Italy).


Intermedial Shakespeares on European Stages argues that digital intermediality over the past decade has refashioned Shakespearean performance in Europe. Defining intermediality as a reflexive interrelationship between live and digital media on stage, the book examines stagings of Shakespeare in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the UK, and situates them in their linguistic and cultural contexts. It focuses on the ways in which text and author, time and space, actor and audience have been redefined in performances that incorporate digital media. It also traces transformations in cultural practices related to shifts in staging techniques in intermedial Shakespeare productions. It addresses the implications of digital coding of data, virtual reality, and global communication networks.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction
2 Drama: Intermedial Texture
3 Time and Space: Intermedial Stratigraphy
4 Actors and Audiences: Intermedial Mirror
5 New Media as Old Media
6 Digital Intermediality without Digital Technology
7 Conclusions
Appendix: Table of Performances
Cited Works

More details about the publication and how to buy it –