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Shakespeare Forever: Shakespeare as Popular Entertainer: Elizabethan Stage Practice and the First Folio as Performance Text


Shakespeare as Popular Entertainer: Elizabethan Stage Practice and the First Folio as Performance Text

Lecture by Professor Rick DesRochers, PhD. Department of Theater, Film, and Dance. LIU Post

Prof. DesRochers has served as the literary manager and dramaturg for the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and has  worked with directors, actors, and designers on many of Shakespeare’s plays both for the Central Park shows at the Delacorte Theater as well as The Public’s downtown theater in Astor Place. His approach will be to contextualize the plays of Shakespeare as popular performance during the Elizabethan period, and how this translates to contemporary productions. He will use a production of Othello featuring Liev Schreiber as Iago and Keith David as Othello, directed by Doug Hughes, in addition to the Old Globe Theater’s production of Richard II featuring Brian Bedford and directed by Joseph Hardy, for which he served as dramaturg and associate producer. How the First Folio was used in a professional setting for rehearsals will be discussed with anecdotal and research materials used for the productions considered. He will look as Shakespeare as a theater practitioner who worked in collaboration with fellow playwrights, actors, and producers in order to examine the Shakespeare’s plays as performance texts.  He will also reference the First Folio as a contemporary tool for actors and directors of Shakespeare in performance.

Prof. Rick DesRochers Bio.

B.A., Arizona State University

M.F.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst

Ph.D., City University of New York Graduate Center

Rick DesRochers is an Associate Professor of Theatre at LIU  Post, and an Associate Artist at the PlayPenn New Play Development  Conference.   He has served as the Literary Director of New Play and  Musical Development for the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York  Shakespeare Festival and The Goodman Theatre of Chicago, as well as the  Artistic Director of the New Theatre in Boston.  He is a member of the  Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers, and in New York City he  has been director and dramaturg for several theater companies including  the New York Music Theatre Festival, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts,  Young Playwrights' Inc., Rude Mechanicals, and for regional theaters  across the country including The Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis and  Chicago Dramatists, as well as internationally for the Soho Theatre of  London.  He has taught in theatre departments across the country  including the New York University Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic  Writing Program, New School University, and Emerson College. Professor  DesRochers holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in stage direction and  dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a  Masters of Philosophy and a Ph.D. in theatre from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is currently working on a new book  for Palgrave Macmillan, The New Humor in the Progressive Era -  Americanization and the Vaudeville Comedian.


Theatre History; Dramaturgy; Shakespeare and Renaissance  Drama; Directing; Early Cinema History; Performance Studies; Political  Theatre Studies; U.S. and Caribbean Theatre Studies


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