Lynchburg College English professor Dr. Robin Bates recently attended the World Shakespeare Congress as an invited delegate. The 10th annual worldwide conference on the life and works of William Shakespeare marked the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death and was held in two locations — Stratford-upon-Avon, his birthplace; and London, the city where he wrote and his plays were performed.
During the Congress, Dr. Bates presented her original research on Shakespeare’s history plays and the representation of sixteenth-century landscape and land-use. She also took a workshop with Ben Crystal, an English actor and Shakespeare scholar, to learn about “original pronunciation,” the use of pronunciation that actors would have used in Shakespeare’s lifetime. She also saw a production of the play “Cymbeline,” which the Royal Shakespeare Company chose to set in a post-Brexit England. With Rome, where some scenes take place, presented as a resource-rich European Union, the performance provided commentary and criticism of Great Britain’s choice to leave the union. “It was very interesting to see such an overtly political production,” Dr. Bates said.