A young black female stands on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse stage.

Shakespeare and Race

Here at Shakespeare’s Globe, we have a responsibility to talk honestly about the period from which Shakespeare emerged, and to facilitate difficult conversations about the ways in which race is represented in theatre and Shakespeare Studies.

The theme of the Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022 is ‘Spoken Word(s)’, and we are delighted to announce that speakers and performers will include Terrance Hayes (award-winning Poet and Author), Karen Ann Daniels (Artistic Director, Folger Theatre),  Iqbal Khan (Associate Director, Birmingham Rep), Cameron Knight (Head of Acting at Rutgers Conservatory), and Akiya Henry (Much Ado About Nothing, RSC), with more to be announced. The festival will also showcase new and exciting creative work from the Folger Institute, as well as ground-breaking research from Shakespeare and Race scholars from around the world. This year, the Festival is co-produced and co-sponsored by King’s College London.

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STATEMENT OF INTENT

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Originally launched in 2018, our inaugural Shakespeare and Race Festival was conceived and curated by our very own Professor Farah Karim-Cooper to highlight the importance of race in the consideration of Shakespeare – not only in his time, but just as urgently, in our own – and to give a platform to scholars, actors, writers, theatre-makers and educators of colour.

The Festival will include readings, performances, round-table discussions, a two-day symposium, workshops, and more. As well as the publicly attendable events, poets, academics and practitioners will be running workshops and performance opportunities for students from the King’s K+ programme, undergraduates and postgraduates in Shakespeare Studies and related fields. Events will take place in our ‘magical’ Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the historic Bush House at King’s College London, and the Globe Theatre.

The Festival opens as we launch the new Shakespeare Centre London, a joint initiative between Shakespeare’s Globe and King’s College London. This research centre will build on and formalise two decades of successful collaborations between our two renowned institutions, and particularly the Research and Higher Education Teams at Shakespeare’s Globe, and the London Shakespeare Centre at King’s.

Our collaborations so far have included the joint MA in Shakespeare Studies and our co-sponsorship of biennial postgraduate conferences, and most recently the Early Modern Scholars of Colour network. With its focus on critical knowledge, creative practice and social justice, the Shakespeare Centre London will strive to be an inclusive space for the study and dissemination of new research in Shakespeare and early modern studies, and especially premodern critical race studies. The Shakespeare and Race Festival 2022 is the first event to emerge from this exciting partnership.

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