By Ibarra C. Mateo
PROMINENT Shakespearean scholars and theatre practitioners from all over the world, with focus and keen interest in “Shakespeare as produced in and by Asia,” have started on Monday in the Philippines the 3rd biennial conference of the Asian Shakespeare Association.
Filipino organizers of the Shakespeare, Traffics, Tropics – jointly hosted by the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines in Diliman – said the three-day conference includes a mini-festival of Shakespearean performances from Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
The conference features plenary, panel, and seminar sessions on several aspects of Shakespearean pedagogy, publication, translation, adaptation, and theatrical histories in various Asian locations, organizers said.
Selected papers from the conference will be published as a special issue of Kritika Kultura, a Thomson-Reuters-indexed and Scopus-listed internationally refereed online journal on literary, language, and cultural studies published by the Ateneo de Manila University.
On Monday, Prof. Peter Holland, chairman of the International Shakespeare Association and one of the central figures in performance-oriented Shakespeare criticism, delivered the keynote speech of the conference. Holland teaches at the University of Notre Dame, where he holds the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies and is associate dean for the arts.
The Monday keynote by Holland, “On the Shakespeare Trail,” was followed by an exhibit opening for the 2nd Graphic Shakespeare Competition. The 1st day was capped by the performance from Tanghalang Ateneo of “The Squaddies’ Shrew” directed by Ian McLennan at the Doreen Black Box, Areté.
The 2nd day of the conference moved to the UP Diliman’s College of Arts and Letters, with sessions on Shakespeare and Manga, Shakespearean Translations, and other panel discussions. The KL Shakespeare Players will stage “Shakespeare Demystified: Macbeth” at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre, Palma Hall, UP Diliman, also on Tuesday.
Organizers said Day 3 is expected to close 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.
The event is sponsored by Japan Foundation and the UPD Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, among others.
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.
Professors Judy Celine Ick and Ricardo G. Abad are conference co-convenors.