Shakespeare In Action

Housed in the College of Arts and Architecture, but working across colleges and disciplines (particularly the departments of English and Theatre), Shakespeare In Action (SIA) serves to advance and coordinate various activities and initiatives related to the production and exploration of Shakespeare’s work and that of his contemporaries. Its goal is to further the study and enjoyment of Renaissance/Early Modern drama and culture, particularly through performance, on campus and in the broader Charlotte community.  SIA brings in guest speakers for lectures, round tables and colloquia; integrates live performance into campus learning; provides student scholarships and sponsors special classes, including a spring break program in England. SIA orchestrates student and faculty gatherings, is actively engaged in community outreach, engages with area schools, and is dedicated to fostering dialogue between experts in theatre, literature, history, art, psychology, music, education and other areas of art and material culture relevant to the study of Shakespeare’s works. SIA’s activities are funded in part by the endowment controlled by Andrew Hartley, Robinson Professor of Shakespeare studies.

Between 2010 and 2016, SIA’s various activities coalesced into a single project called “36 in 6,” the mission of which was to host an event connected to each play in the Shakespeare cannon in the 6-year period leading up to the 400th anniversary of his death on April 23rd, 2016. In keeping with SIA’s previous work, these events took different forms—lectures by professors with particular expertise in the selected play, staged readings, theatre department productions, and guest productions—all culminating in a gala event built around As You Like It.

SIA was on hiatus for the 2016-17 academic year while Dr. Hartley was away on reassignment of duties. In 2017-18 SIA helped fund the Actors From the London Stage’s visiting production of Measure for Measure, and donated scholarship money to the Shakespeare in England study abroad course. It will resume its series of guest lectures in Fall 2018.

A selection of the 36 in 6 project’s offerings between 2010 and 2016.

Theatre Department Productions


A Midsummer Night’s Dream (spring 2011), dir. Hartley. Included a guest lecture on the play by Peter Holland (Notre Dame University): Disfigured Dreams and the Problem of Marriage in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Twelfth Night (spring 2012), dir. Bumgarner.

Romeo and Juliet (spring 2013), dir. Vesce.

The Shrew Project (spring 2014), an adaptive workshop production of The Taming of the Shrew which played in campus and toured local high schools, dir. Mizell and Hartley

Merry Wives (Fall 2014), an adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor, dir. Mizell.

The Tragical History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Fall 2015), based on the 1602 (First Quarto) text, dir. Vesce. Also featured a guest lecture by Paul Menzer (Mary Baldwin College) on staging Hamlet Q1.

As We Like It, a selection of scenes from As You Like It performed by students (dir. Hartley) with musical selections from the play performed by the music department’s jazz ensemble, and interspersed with brief lectures by SIA faculty, Drs. Hartley, Menikoff and Munroe (April 2016).

Guest Company Performances


Macbeth, Actors from the London Stage, March 2015

Othello, Actors from the London Stage, October 2013. Including guest lecture by Dr. Ayanna Thompson (George Washington University): “Othello in the Twenty First Century: To Perform or Not to Perform”

The Merchant of Venice, Actors from the London Stage, October 2012

The Tempest, Actors from the London Stage, November 2011

Guest Lectures


Dr. Kent Cartwright (University of Maryland)

What I Learned About Shakespeare from Editing... The Comedy of Errors
4:00 PM | Thursday, January 21, 2016 | Fretwell 290B

Dr. Garrett Sullivan (Penn State University)

A Pair So Famous: Memory, Sexuality, and Selfhood in Antony and Cleopatra
4:00 PM | Wednesday, October 14, 2015| Fretwell 290B

Dr. Sujata Iyengar (University of Georgia)

Why Shakespeare’s King John leaves out the Magna Carta
4:00 PM | Thursday, September 10, 2015| Fretwell 290B

Dr. Richard Preiss (University of Utah)

Stained with Variation: Clowning in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2
4:00 PM | October 2nd 2014 | Fretwell 290B

Dr. Sonya Brockman (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Raping Lucrece: Trauma, Rhetoric and Reception in The Rape of Lucrece
4:00 PM | February 19th, 2014 | Robinson Choir Room

Dr. Jeremy Lopez (University of Toronto)

Modern Times; Apocryphal Plays and the Meaning of ‘Non-Shakepseare’
6:00 PM | October 2, 2011 | Robinson Hall 106

Dr. Rebecca Laroche  (University of Colorado)

No simple maid: Women, Herbal Medicine, and the Complex Heroine of All’s Well That Ends Well
10.30 am | February 25th, 2012 | Winghaven Gardens

Tara Ochs (Georgia Shakespeare and Dad’s Garage)

A conversation on performing in Two Gentlemen of Verona
4:00 PM | February 5th, 2015 | Fretwell 290B

Dr. Kirk Melnikoff (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Texts and Performances: Measure for Measure
6:00 PM | March 1, 2011 | Queens University, Sykes Auditorium

Dr. Helen Hull (Queens University)

Henry VIII on Trial
6:00 PM | January 27th, 2011 | Robinson Hall 106

Dr. Rebecca Bushnell (University of Pennsylvania)

Shakespeare’s Gardens Then and Now: Richard II (36 in 6 launch event)
11:00 AM | April 24th, 2010 | Mint Museum

SIA Faculty

Love’s Labour’s Lost and Modern Performance Contexts: A Public Workshop
5:30 PM | October 20, 2010 | Robinson Hall 109

Dr. Samuel Crowl (Ohio University)

Coriolanus (Film screening, lecture and discussion, partnered with the Charlotte Film Society)
12:00 PM | November 3rd, 2013 | Crownpoint Movie Theatre

Dr. Jennifer Munroe (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Speaking for Lavinia: Gender and Power in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus in Film
5.30 PM | March 28th, 2013 | Fretwell 121

Dr. Andrew James Hartley (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

Julius Caesar on Film (Including screening of the 1953 film, dir. Mankiewicz)
1:30 PM | October 29th, 2011 | UNCC Centre City Building

Dr. James Siemon (Boston University)

How the Tyrant got his Hump and Limp: The Social Body of Shakespeare’s Richard III
6:30 PM | October 2nd, 2013 | Robinson Hall Choir Room

Dr. Stuart Hampton-Reeves (University of Central Lancashire)

Shakespeare’s Worst Plays?: Staging the Three Parts of Henry VI
11:00 AM | November 6th, 2010 | Winghaven

Tom Cornford (University of York)

Adapting The Winter’s Tale: Rehearsal Based Approaches to Shakespeare
6:30 PM | March 20th, 2014 | Robinson 103