Ayanna Thompson

Ayanna Thompson

Shakespeare, Race, and Performance: What We Still Don’t Know

Ayanna Thompson
Apr 12, 4:15 PM
Collins Cinema
Free and open to the public

Nontraditional casting—the practice of casting actors of color in roles that were originally imagined as white characters to be performed by white actors—is a common phenomenon in British and American theatre and film. Nonetheless, very little research has been conducted on the effects of perceptions of race on the reception of classical performances. Scholars interested in audience reception have mostly been limited to anecdotal information from sources such as published theatre reviews, interviews with actors and directors, and overheard conversations in theatre lobbies.  In her lecture, Ayanna Thompson, a professor at George Washington University and president of the Shakespeare Association of America, will challenge our scholarly understandings of audience responses to nontraditional casting.

Generously supported by Wellesley Phi Beta Kappa, the English Department, and the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program