Global Shakespeare Symposium

Global Shakespeare Symposium

12:00PM: Bi-qi Beatrice Lei, Shakespeare Our Contemporary: Performing Resistance in Southeast Asia

Introduced by Daphne Lei, UCI Drama

In 1962, Jan Kott proclaimed Shakespeare "our contemporary." Having endured Nazi invasion and Stalinist oppression in Poland, Kott found the violence, cruelty, and horror in Shakespeare speaking directly to his political reality. Today, in Southeast Asia, Shakespeare continues to speak in the present tense. Kott's politicized and presentist interpretation is not only relevant but even urgent, with increasing threats of authoritarianism, terror, and human rights violations plaguing the area in the twenty-first century. This talk will discuss Shakespeare Must Die, a 2012 Thai film adaptation of Macbeth, and RD3RD, a 2018 Filipino stage adaptation of Richard III. Neither production ends with poetic justice, the redemption that Shakespeare's original texts offer. They nonetheless raise consciousness and empower resistance, and provide fresh perspectives on how we can navigate in our chaotic world with Shakespeare.

2:00PM: Mihai Măniuţiu (UCI Drama), Shakespeare Our Contemporary: WHY STAGE SHAKESPEARE or MY SHAKESPEARE
Introduced by Eli Simon, UCI Drama

Director Mihai Măniuţiu will also take his cue from Jan Kott's Shakespeare Our Contemporary. He will share his innovative stagings of Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, Antony and CleopatraRichard III, Richard II, and other works. In his words,  "Shakespeare helped me outwit the communist censorship. Once again, Shakespeare was more present and efficient in my era than during his own lifetime. This paradox was excellently analyzed by Jan Kott, in his Shakespeare, Our Contemporary – a book that influenced Romanian directors (but also from other Eastern European countries) and the way they approached Shakespeare."

Bi-qi Beatrice Lei is Founding Chair of the Asian Shakespeare Association. The two volumes she co-edited, Shakespeare in Culture (National Taiwan University Press) and Shakespeare’s Asian Journeys: Critical Encounters, Cultural Geographies, and the Politics of Travel (Routledge), offer fresh perspectives on Asian Shakespeare and intercultural performances. Lei received her Ph.D. in English from New York University, and has published on Sidney, Shakespeare, early modern culture, intercultural theater, films, television, and popular culture. She is Founding Director of the Taiwan Shakespeare Database, Trustee of the International Shakespeare Association, and Assistant Director of the Shakespeare Association of America. She is co-editing the book series Global Shakespeare Inverted for the Arden Shakespeare and co-organizing the 2021 World Shakespeare Congress in Singapore.

Mihai Măniuţiu is a Romanian theatre director, academic and writer. He is Professor of Drama at „Babes-Bolyai” University of Cluj, Romania, and Distinguished Professor of Drama at University of California, Irvine, USA. Currently, he is Artistic & Executive Director of the Cluj National Theatre, Romania. Since 1978, he has staged over one hundred theatre, dance, and opera productions in Romania and abroad. His productions toured in the UK, Belgium, France, Italy, Croatia, Turkey, Canada, Egypt, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Serbia, Brazil, and South Coreea. His directorial accolades include: Best Director Award and Best Dramaturgy Award, Ancient Theatre Festival of Merida, Spain (2008); Best Theatre Production of the Year, UNITER Gala Awards (1993, 2005, 2018); Best Director of the Year, UNITER Gala Awards (1998, 2002, 2003); and Best Director of the Year, International Association of Theatre Critics, Romanian Section (1991, 2005). He has published several volumes of fiction and poems, two volumes of theatre theory and a collection of essays on Shakespeare, The Golden Round, in which he explores the theme of power in Shakespeare’s plays. To date, four monographic studies have been dedicated to his work as a director: The Trilogy of the Double (Bucharest: Unitext, 1997), MĂNIUŢIU. Theatre Images by Cipriana Petre-Mateescu, Dancing on Ruins by Dan C. Mihăilescu, and Măniuţiu. The Ever Changing Space by Cristina Modreanu, and a volume of critical essays by Mircea Morariu: Mihai Măniuţiu. Essential Visions.

Event Details

  • When: Friday, February 1, 12-4 p.m.
  • Where: Humanities Gateway 1010
  • Organizer: Julia Lupton (email)