This panel will explore issues surrounding the performance of race in Shakespeare’s plays, in both contemporary and early modern productions. It will feature a presentation by José Esquea, the producer/director of the Soñadores Productions Shakespeare series, as well as papers by scholars Patricia Akhimie and Sydnee Wagner. The event will be moderated by Erika Lin.
Audiences will hear Patricia Akhimie’s commentary on the work of José Esquea with Soñadores Productions, a classical theater group that features Latinx, African-American and Asian-American actors, and mixed-ability casting (as well as a combination of professional and amateur actors from the community). José Esquea will respond and speak about recent productions, including the performance at The CUNY Graduate Center on May 1st, “Shakespeare in Living Color: Race and Performance Now.”
Sydnee Wagner’s “Gypsies and Midnight Hags: Witchcraft and Race in Shakespeare's Macbeth” focuses on the affective responses to early modern witches and Gypsies, as well as the imagined racialized affect shared between witches and Gypsies in Shakespeare's Macbeth to argue that representations of witches and witchcraft are inherently racialized in early modern England, leading to shared biopolitical responses for handling these "weyward" and "outlandish" populations.