Imagining Shakespeare in 2050: Performance and Archives

Join a panel of scholars and artistic directors in dialogue about Shakespeare’s work, theatrical performances, and archives, as well as his future role in the world at large.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered arts and research institutions, many used the closures as an opportunity to (re)think Shakespeare’s position in their organizations and imagine new visions for the playwright in the world at large. What role will Shakespeare play in the future? By 2050, what should Shakespearean theatrical productions attempt to provide or achieve? How should Shakespearean archives change by 2050? Can we use Shakespeare’s work to create and foster a culture of radical inclusion?

In-person registration includes admission to The Huntington.



8:309:30 a.m. | Registration & Coffee

9:30 a.m. | Welcome & Remarks

Natalia Molina (The Huntington) and Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University)

10 a.m.–noon | Dialogue 1—Shakespeare in Performance: 2050

Ian Smith (Lafayette College)

  • Carl Cofield (Classical Theatre of Harlem)
  • Barry Edelstein (The Old Globe, San Diego)
  • Erica Whyman (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Noon | Lunch

1 p.m. | Dialogue 2—Shakespeare in the Archives: 2050

Michelle M. Dowd (University of Alabama)

  • Jill Gage (Newberry Library)
  • Michael Witmore (Folger Shakespeare Library)
  • Karla Nielsen (The Huntington)


9:30 a.m. | Registration & Coffee

10 a.m.–noon | Dialogue 3—Future Intersections of the Archives and the Stage, Part 1

Michael Witmore (Folger Shakespeare Library)

  • Greg Doran (Royal Shakespeare Company)
  • Nataki Garrett (Oregon Shakespeare Festival)
  • Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University)

Noon | Lunch

1 p.m. | Dialogue 4—Future Intersections of the Archives and the Stage, Part 2

Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University)

  • Michelle M. Dowd (University of Alabama)
  • Oskar Eustis (The Public Theater)
  • Ian Smith (Lafayette College)

3 p.m. | Closing Remarks

Funding provided by The Philip V. and Sara Lee Swan Endowment and The USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute