May 12, 2023

Jamie Robinson and Marlis Schweitzer challenge the politics of casting practices 

Jamie Robinson and Marlis Schweitzer bring together artists, academics, students, and educators to discuss intersectional, inclusive casting practices within Shakespeare with (Re)casting Shakespeare in Canada: A Symposium. 

“The timing was right to just continue the conversation. You know, during the pandemic, there were a lot of calls for a moratorium on Shakespeare. And we wanted to have that conversation. We wanted to hear the voices of people who are speaking or doing Shakespeare in Canada,” says Robinson 

This two-day symposium sought to challenge and engage theatre professionals and the wider community in critical conversations about Shakespeare’s history, legacy, and future in Canada. The lectures, panels and open discussions placed significance on inclusive, intersectional, and innovative casting practices modelled by IBPOC Canadian theatre artists. 

(Re)casting Shakespeare in Canada is part of a larger 5-year project, “(Re): Setting the Stage: The Past, Present, and Future of Casting Practices in Canada,” created in response to urgent questions about the relationship between historical casting practices and the onstage representation of women, IBPOC and 2SLGBTQ communities in contemporary Anglo-American performance.  

Robinson and Schweitzer called on theatre professionals Keira Loughran, Jeff Ho, Liam Lockhart-Rush, and Hope Van Der Merwe to help bring the symposium to life, with accessibility support by Rachel Hannah Arnold.