The Shakespeare & Performance Research Team (SPRiTe) is a group of scholars and theatrical professionals from McGill University and neighbouring Montréal institutions including Concordia University, the Université de Montréal, the Université du Québec à Montréal, Dawson College, and the National Theatre School. The group operates out of McGill’s Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI). Since its inception, SPRiTe has worked to redefine established and foundational categories in Shakespeare studies by combining historical-literary scholarship with theatre history and performance studies. This work involves the organization of seminars for the presentation of new research, public outreach events, and regular collaboration with the McGill Drama and Theatre Program. In addition to individual and collaborative presentations, the team has organized seminars at the International Shakespeare Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Shakespeare World Congress, and the Shakespeare Association of America Conference. These activities have fostered the publication of numerous articles and book-length studies (see publications). SPRiTe began in 1993 with a three-year FCAR-funded project entitled “Shakespeare in the Theatre: an Interdisciplinary Approach.” Core membership at that time included the Principal Investigator, John Ripley (McGill), Michael Bristol (McGill), Leanore Lieblein (McGill), Denis Salter (McGill), Catherine Shaw (McGill), and Ed Pechter (Concordia). In addition to hosting a series of seminars and public lectures, the project provided funds to send graduate students to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., thus inaugurating a strong relationship with the Folger that continues to this day. A collection of essays deriving from the project appeared in 1996 (Textual and Theatrical Shakespeare: Questions of Evidence, ed. Edward Pechter). A second three-year FCAR-funded project entitled “Shakespeare and Modernism” began in 1996, with Michael Bristol as Principal Investigator. In addition to continuing the activities of “Shakespeare in the Theatre,” this project convened a major international...Read More
As part of the global celebrations of Shakespeare’s life and works throughout 2016, the city of Montreal and its partners are proud to announce the following events to commemorate the quadricentenial of Shakespeare’s death, June 10 – 13. Hamlet on the Wire Atrium Le 1000 (1000, De la Gauchetière West) Friday June 10th, 12pm and 1pm Saturday June 11th, 1:30pm and 5pm Renowned dramaturge Louis-Patrick Leroux adapts Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy as a hybrid work of theater, circus, and sound engineering. The live performance in a public space represents a ground-breaking engagement with Shakespeare’s famous character that both reaffirms and challenges the performative, linguistic, and iconic dimensions of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Hamlet on the Wire: Resonant Response Workshop Concordia University, McConnell Building Webster Library (1400, de Maisonneuve Blvd. W) LB-322 Saturday June 11th 2pm-4pm Following the 1 o’clock performance, the artists gather with a group of scholars to discuss and work through “Hamlet on the Wire.” Participants include: Joyce Boro (University of Montreal), Jennifer Drouin (University of Alabama), Meredith Evans (Concordia University), Jenny Long (Marianopolis College), Fiona Ritchie (McGill University), Stephen Wittek (IPLAI, McGill University), Paul Yachnin (McGill University) Shakespeare au Cinema: A conversation with Adrian Wootton National Institute of Image and Sound (301, De Maisonneuve Blvd. East) Saturday June 11th, 8pm The National Institute of Image and Sound is proud to host an evening dedicated to the long and storied relationship between the Shakespearean oeuvre and the art of film. We welcome our honoured guest for the event Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London. Mr. Wootton will deliver a short lecture on the history of Shakespeare and film, followed by a...Read More
Was Shakespeare really the original genius he has appeared to be since the eighteenth century, a poet whose words came from nature itself? The contributors to Shakespeare’s World of Words (Bloomsbury, 2014) propose that Shakespeare was not the poet of nature, but rather that he is a genius of rewriting and re-creation, someone able to generate a new language and new ways of seeing the world by orchestrating existing social and literary vocabularies.
Shakespeare and Character (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) brings together leading scholars in theory, literary criticism, and performance studies in order to redress a serious gap in Shakespeare studies and to put character back at the centre of our understanding of Shakespeare’s achievement as an artist and thinker.
Shakespeare and Modern Theatre: The Performance of Modernity (Routledge, 2001) presents a collection of essays exploring the institutional practices that shape contemporary performances of Shakespeare’s plays.
In Shakespeare in Québec (University of Toronto Press, 2014), Jennifer Drouin analyses representations of nation and gender in Shakespearean adaptations written in Québec since the Quiet Revolution. Using postcolonial and gender theory, Drouin traces the evolution of discourses of nation and gender in Québec from the Conquest of New France to the present, and she elaborates a theory of adaptation specific to Shakespeare studies.
A Certain William (Playwrights Canada Press, 2010) is a collection of plays in English translation by some of Francophone Canada’s most distinguished playwrights. Chronicling their fraught and changing relationship with Shakespeare, these plays emerge from a context in which language is tied to both personal and political identity.
Wes Folkerth’s The Sound of Shakespeare (Routledge, 2002) reveals the surprising extent to which Shakespeare’s art is informed by the various attitudes, beliefs, practices and discourses that pertained to sound and hearing in his culture.
The Media Players: Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, and the Idea of News builds a case for the central, formative function of Shakespeare’s theater in the news culture of early modern England. In an analysis that combines historical research with recent developments in public sphere theory, Dr. Stephen Wittek argues that the unique discursive space created by commercial theater helped to foster the conceptual framework that made news possible.
Shakespeare and Moral Agency (Bloomsbury, 2010) presents a collection of new essays by literary scholars and philosophers considering character and action in Shakespeare’s plays as heuristic models for the exploration of some salient problems in the field of moral inquiry.
What can or should count as evidence for the claims made by scholars and performers, and how should this evidence be organized? In Textual and Theatrical Shakespeare, ten essayists answer these stimulating questions by exploring the possibilities for and the constraints upon useful communication among critics who come to Shakespeare from so many different directions.