Indian Shakespeares on Screen

Back in November, we posted a CfP for the Indian Shakespeare on Screen conference, which will have events running from 27 – 30 April. Here’s some more information on the conference, as well as their amazing poster.

Poster final

According to the organisers, “‘Indian Shakespeares on Screen’ examines the full influence of Shakespeare in Indian cinema and the way in which Indian cinema has mobilized Shakespeare to raise urgent local and national concerns.” For conference registration or for more information about ticket bookings for the screenings and public interviews, please contact the organisers at: shakespeareandbollywood@gmail.com.

You can find out more about the conference by downloading their conference project description.

 

STR New Researchers’ Network CFP

Looking for another conference to attend (or at which to present) after BritGrad closes this summer? Look no further: the STR New Researchers’ Network is holding their third annual symposium on 6 July. The Call for Papers is below and on their website. The deadline for paper proposals has now been extended to 22 April.

Call for Papers:

Third Annual Symposium:

Innovation in Performance History and Practice

Wednesday 6th July, 10.00am-6.00pm, University of Bristol

The STR New Researchers’ Network (NRN) is pleased to announce their third annual symposium, which will centre on the theme of Innovation in Performance History and Practice. The symposium will also feature a keynote address from Catherine Hindson (University of Bristol).

Innovation is what drives our work as researchers in the academy, and generating original contributions to knowledge is at the core of our development as scholars. As practitioners and performers, too, our work depends upon creativity and originality. For this reason the NRN symposium 2016 is devoted to ‘innovation’ and what it means to the field of performance. Now that the symposium is in its third year – and in the midst of the Decade of Centenaries as well as the marking of Shakespeare 400 – it is more important than ever to reflect on what innovation and change means in relation to theatrical and cultural institutions, or outside of them.

Performance innovates to be popular and relevant to its time, and this year’s symposium is interested in innovation in 21st century performance as well as in the past. The definition of live performance has changed in the last 15 years: innovative live art practices, cinematic presentations of theatrical works, and 3D projections now fall under this umbrella. What is perceived as innovative is also up for debate, with immersive practices, for example, seen either as ‘new’ or as part of a longer history that includes the Happenings in the 1960s. How have innovations shaped the way we think about performance and performance history/historiography today? How is innovative thinking about history important, especially in terms of minority/marginalised groups telling their stories? How can we credibly break with convention when teaching performance history by choosing not to teach the canon of white male practitioners such as Shakespeare and Stanislavski whilst retaining a credible curriculum? What innovative methodologies can we employ when researching performance? Moreover, how has theatre and performance studies as a field overall adapted to change?

With these contexts in mind, we invite proposals that may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Changing definitions of performances and audiences;
  • Challenges to established canons or definitions of performance innovation;
  • The digital age and the future of the performance;
  • The historian or scholar as innovator;
  • Interdisciplinary creativity and industry collaborations;
  • Creative responses to issues such as budget cuts, casualisation, REF/TEF, EBacc, etc;
  • Applications of innovative performance practices in educational, social and community contexts.

The NRN Committee welcomes proposals from new scholars, postgraduates, and early career researchers, on any aspect of the conference theme, broadly interpreted. This year we will be accepting proposals for traditional, 15-minute papers as well as three-paper panels, performed and performative responses, and PechaKucha presentations. Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted to nrn@str.org.uk by Tuesday 12th April. Applicants will be contacted by Friday 6th May. Please feel free to contact us at the email address above with queries at any time.

Please note that this symposium will be free for all STR members (you can receive the special discounted membership rate of £10 by attending the Symposium). There will be up to 5 bursaries available for University of Bristol students who volunteer as conference assistants. Email us on nrn@str.org.uk for more details.

This symposium is part of a series of events devoted to innovation run by the New Researchers’ Network this academic year. These include the Teaching Practice event, which encouraged innovation in performance pedagogy, and the V&A Study Day, where Senior Curator Simon Sladen explored how archives might respond to change.

[Enter Page]

– All’s Well that Ends Well, 1.1.188 or Merry Wives of Windsor, 1.1.67

One question we’ve gotten from a number of early-bird registrants is “where do you recommend I stay while in Stratford?” Well, you asked and we delivered. We’ve added another new page to our site today, located in the drop-down menu below the Registration link; it’s filled with information about visiting Stratford: where to stay, where to eat, and all the fun things you can do in your downtime.

This page should be considered a work-in-progress. While it’s ready for you to use right now (with helpful links and everything), it will be updated throughout the run-up to the conference. If we find out about an event that will be happening while you’re here for BritGrad, we’ll post it there. If any pubs or restaurants are running specials, we’ll pop that on the page too. If we hear about reduced hours or special exhibitions, we’ll let you know.

If you haven’t registered for BritGrad yet, you can secure your spot at the conference by visiting our registration page and filing out the electronic form. Remember, Early Bird Registration ends for auditors (those not presenting papers) on 19 May – after that, late fees will apply. (Delegates, you’ll want to complete your registration by 21 April.)

As always, contact us with any questions; we’re happy to help.

Now, go forth and book your accommodations (seriously, rooms fill up fast).

~ The BritGrad Committee

The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For…

We’ll cut right to the chase with the most exciting news: registration for BritGrad 2016 is officially open!

Now the long-form version: we’ve added two brand new pages to our website today – first, the 2016 Registration page and, second, a Dates and Deadlines page. Hopefully the latter will help answer any deadline-related questions you may have, since we know there are quite a few floating around.

What’s new this year? A snazzy GoogleForm for registration! This doesn’t change much about how you’ll register as a delegate or auditor for BritGrad, it’s just a faster, easier way for us to record your registration details. Don’t worry, we’ve provided PDF and Word versions of the form, if you’re the pen and paper type. Conference costs, payment information, and other details you’ll need to know are all available on the registration page.

Finally, once you’ve submitted your registration, make sure you ‘like’ and ‘follow’ the BritGrad Facebook and Twitter accounts; we’ll be posting and tweeting throughout the run-up to the conference and we love to read your comments and posts as well.

As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions — we’ll do our best to help.

~ The BritGrad Committee

Plenary Announcement

It’s been difficult keeping this quiet, but today we finally get to share the big news with you! Below is the official list of plenary speakers for BritGrad 2016. We’re thrilled to be able to offer nine amazing plenaries (including some BritGrad alums!) at this year’s conference, providing a broad range of interests and perspectives.

This year’s speakers include:

Martin Killeen (University of Birmingham)

John Jowett (The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)

Sarah Dustagheer (University of Kent)

Patrick Gray (Durham University)

Emma Whipday (Kings College London)

Stephen Purcell (University of Warwick)

Eoin Price (Swansea University)

Harry Newman (Royal Holloway)

Erica Whyman (Royal Shakespeare Company)

You can download a PDF version of our 2016 Plenary Announcement here.

We will also continue to post Plenary Profiles each Friday over the next few weeks so that you can learn more about each speaker. We hope that you’re just as excited about them as we are!

~ The BritGrad Committee

CFP: BritGrad 2016!

While we normally post CfPs from all sorts of other universities and conferences, today the BritGrad committee is excited to announce a very special CfP — our own!

We’ve updated our Call for Papers page with the 2016 information (including a downloadable pdf), but you can also find the link right here.

One new thing to note this year: we’ve separated the registration and abstract submission processes, which means that those who wish to present at BritGrad should first submit a 200-word abstract and then register once we’ve gotten back to you. This is for two reasons: one, we’re thrilled (and quite flattered) that BritGrad has grown so popular over the last few years and that so many people want to submit abstracts! But this leads to point number two, which is that we have a limited amount of space and time slots for our conference in which to fit all those many people who want to submit abstracts. However this will give all potential speakers some great experience for any other, future academic conferences to which they will undoubtedly apply. If you have any questions, please get in touch — we’re happy to chat.

Hopefully you’re all as excited as we are for BritGrad 2016.

~ The BritGrad Committee

Faces and Places (actually, just one place — The Shakespeare Institute)

waiting
These are our “morning on the first day of BritGrad” faces.
intro
Michael Dobson, waiting for his moment.
richard 1
Richard O’Brien in the hall.
panel 1
Before the first panel of the first day!
panel 1 1
Blake Barbiche presenting “O (no) Romeo, Romeo” (as is made obvious by her slideshow).
books
Book alcove.
waiting 1
Taking a brief moment to chill
meals
The weather was alarmingly cooperative.
susan and tea
We were provided with PLENTY of tea and food.
meals 1
A break in the lovely sun.

(Stay tuned for a summary of the final day of BritGrad…)

Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare

We interrupt our somewhat irregularly scheduled post-BritGrad programming to bring you this message:

Check out this weird and wonderful new take on the complete works of Shakespeare – as told by experimental theatre company Forced Entertainment. 36 plays, 9 days, one meter table top – and a collection on unextraordinary everyday items as stand-ins for characters. ‘Complete Works: Table top Shakespeare’ live streams every day June 25 – July 4 atforcedentertainment.com – more info and how to watch here: http://ow.ly/OaDcK

Table Top Shakespeare started today!

 

Brudermord and an Award!

Yesterday, we completed DAY ONE of BritGrad’s 2015 conference. A write-up of Thursday’s events will appear soon. For now, I’d like to summarize what happened on Wednesday:

As you know, Professor Tiffany Stern from Oxford University gave a talk on Wednesday afternoon about the play Der Bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished) a German adaptation of Hamlet from the 18th century. She discussed her journey into the world of early modern puppetry, noting that plays in Shakespeare’s day were often adapted into puppet shows. For example, Julius Caesar‘s stabbing scene could be turned into humorous, cartoon-like violence. Many of these shows were mishmashes of characters, plays, and settings.

Commedia dell’Arte thrived in England’s puppet performances. Due to the high level of improvisation, puppeteers had leeway to push the limits of censorship. We know that English theatre traveled abroad, and sometimes companies with dwindling numbers of employees conflated people and puppet shows or converted entirely to puppetry. Stern decided that, though she had known Fratricide Punished as a play for actors, evidence supports the possibility that it was also a puppet show. Its stage directions and cast, including extra violence and unnecessary characters, suggests puppet shenanigans.

Her talk was followed by a fantastic, high-octane, hilarious production of Der Bestrafte Brudermord by Hidden Room Theatre and a talk-back with its performers. They discussed how they composed the music, crafted the puppets, and collaborated on comedic bits and more emotional moments. Because it worked so well, director Beth Burns was quite convinced that the play was designed to be a puppet show.

After that, we walked across the street to The Windmill to catch up with attendees at the pub!

I’d also like to announce that last year’s BritGrad won the Second Annual Bardie Award for Best Conference of the Year. The Shakespeare Standard called it “a brilliant opportunity and friendly atmosphere for postgraduate and early career researchers to discuss Shakespeare and early modern theater.” Read more about the award here. Congratulations BritGrad 2014, and here’s to BritGrad 2015!

Schedule for June 3rd and Possible Rail Strike

BritGrad technically starts on Thursday, June 4th, but, as our previous post demonstrated, we will still be around on Wednesday!

15.30-16.30- Pre-show talk by Oxford Professor Tiffany Stern

17.30-18.45- Performance of Der Bestrafte Brudermord (Fratricide Punished), a Hamlet puppet show

20.00- Join us at the Windmill, a pub just across the street from the Shakespeare Institute.

Also, please note that there might be a National Rail strike from 17.00 on Thursday, June 4th until 16.59 Friday, June 5th. Visit National Rail’s page on service alterations for more details.