When was the last time you thought about Shakespeare? It’s likely that you’ve quoted more than a few famous lines, like “To be or not to be,” or “All the world’s a stage,” but have you ever wondered what lies beyond these undying words? You might assume that all things Shakespeare can only be experienced if you’re somewhere near the English countryside, but the world-famous playwright actually has a strong presence in Asia. In fact, there are plenty of people who will be right here in Manila this month to prove just that.
Whether you’re a curious passerby or a loyal fan, there’s always something new to learn about The Bard, and this May you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on his life and work. The Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines Diliman are hosting a conference this month that gathers the leading Shakespearean scholars and theater practitioners from around the globe. “Shakespeare, Traffics, Tropics” is the third Asian Shakespeare Association Conference, and it will be held on May 28 to 30 with a series of seminars, workshops, exhibits, and performances that will fuel your inner literary soul.
Registration starts on May 28 at 8 a.m. at Arete, Ateneo de Manila University. The conference will open with “On the Shakespeare Trail,” a keynote address by Professor Peter Holland, followed by an exhibit opening for the 2nd Graphic Shakespeare Competition. Day 1 closes with a performance from Tanghalang Ateneo of The Squaddies’ Shrew directed by Ian McLennan at the Doreen Black Box, Areté.
The second day of the conference will be held at the College of Arts and Letters, UP Diliman, with sessions on Shakespeare and Manga, Shakespearean Translations, and other panel discussions. The KL Shakespeare Players will also be staging Shakespeare Demystified: MACBETH at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre, Palma Hall, UP Diliman on the same day.
Day 3 closes with a performance of RD3RD, directed by Anton Juan and Ricardo Abad, with dramaturgy by Judy Ick at the Fine Arts Blackbox at ADMU, alongside other panel discussions held throughout the day.
Online registration has closed, but walk-ins are welcome. For ticket information, visit the conference website
The event is sponsored by Japan Foundation, UPD Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, Smart, and Metrobank Foundation.
The Asian Shakespeare Association is a non-profit, non-government organization dedicated to researching, producing, teaching, translating, and promoting Shakespeare from an Asian perspective. Members of the association include scholars, artists, and students from Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.