I am pleased to announce “Shakespeare in Performance,” an international conference to be hosted by the University of Maine at Farmington May 4-5, 2012, as part of the spring University Forum Series. In celebration of the new Emery Community Arts Center, and in cooperation with an international exchange of faculty from the Université du Maine, Le Mans, the two-day conference will include presentations and workshops on previously under-examined Shakespearean performance (musical scores, opera, materiality, hybridization, and so forth) as well as plenary lectures and academic papers presented by scholars from across the United States and France. This conference is co-organized by Eric Brown, UMF, and Estelle Rivier, Université du Maine, and continues a discussion of similar topics developed for the “Shakespeare and Performance” conference in Le Mans, France, in November 2011, also co-organized by Brown and Rivier.
On Friday, May 4, we will commence the two day conference with paper sessions and a Common Ground lecture by Martin Andrucki, Charles A. Dana Professor of Theater, Bates College, who will speak on the topic of “Shakespeare in Hungary” both before and after the political changes of 1989-90. His paper will take Hungary as an example of a political state in which the playhouse became “a theater of parables, metaphors and allegories: of insinuations through secrecy; a theater of meta-communication, where the message was conveyed through stylistic tricks,” and one in which Shakespeare figured prominently in this art of insinuation. The remainder of the conference will include papers on diverse topics in performance.
In addition to the conference itself, we have organized a roundtable discussion on Shakespeare, performance, and pedagogy, scheduled for May 2, and several film screenings relevant to the conference topic, all based around Shakespeare’s Othello. On March 18, the University Film Series will present the famed adaptation by Orson Welles, with a Common Ground discussion to follow on Wednesday, March 21. On Sunday, April 29, we will screen A Double Life about an actor struggling to separate his real and theatrical lives. And on Wednesday, May 2, we will screen the classic French film Les enfants du paradis, a work that will also be featured in our plenary lecture on Saturday, May 5, by Douglas Lanier, Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and author of the book Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture .
All events in the series are free and open to the public. For the conference proper, events will be housed in the Emery Community Arts Center. With support from the University Culture Committee, Office of the Provost, Office of Rob Lively, Division of Humanities, Division of Sound, Performance and Visual Inquiry, and the Maine Humanities Council.
UMF Organizing committee: Eric Brown, Associate Professor of English; Misty Beck, Lecturer in English, UMF/Writing Specialist and Lecturer, Environmental Studies, Bates College; Linda Britt, Professor of Spanish, UMF; Phil Carlsen, Professor of Music, UMF; Jayne Decker, Instructor of Theater, UMF/Director of Emery Community Arts Center; Misty Krueger, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, UMF; Daniel Salerno, Instructor of English, UMF.