"The World's Common Place": Leveling the Shakespearean Playing Field

Sheila T. Cavanagh, Emory University


Based at Emory University, the World Shakespeare Project (WSP) uses videoconferencing to connect students and faculty from India, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, England, and several North American Tribal Colleges in Shakespearean performance exercises and discussions. As much as possible, the WSP endeavors to facilitate both cooperative and collaborative research and pedagogy so that each partner institution contributes and gains something substantive through these collaborations despite disparate socioeconomic, geographical, religious, educational, technological, and cultural divides among the participants. In the context of what here is being termed "Service Shakespeare," therefore, these partnerships problematize the concept of "service"; the WSP supports an exchange where common ground is identified wherever possible, while each partner also offers distinctive contributions specific to its own cultural, historic, and geographical particulars.

Equal Partners

The World Shakespeare Project (WSP) uses videoconferencing to connect students from locations across the world in Shakespearean performance exercises and discussions. Based at Emory University, the WSP currently partners with faculty and students in India, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, England, and at several North American Tribal Colleges.1 The WSP facilitates both cooperative and collaborative research and pedagogy despite the disparate socioeconomic, geographical, religious, educational, technological, and cultural divides among participants. As much as possible, moreover, the WSP endeavors to "level the playing field" so that each partner institution contributes and gains something substantive through these collaborations. In the context of what is here being termed "Service Shakespeare," therefore, these partnerships bear a challenging requirement that problematizes the concept of "service."
In each instance, the WSP supports an exchange in which common ground is identified wherever possible, while each partner also offers distinctive contributions specific to its own cultural, historic, and geographical particulars. In their introduction to an examination of "Globally Networked Learning Environments (GLNEs)," Doreen Starke-Meyerring, Ann Hill Duin, Talene Palvetzian, and Melanie Wilson astutely note that "questioning and stepping out of one's habitual ways of thinking, addressing power imbalances, and overcoming culturally and ideologically sedimented practices are not easy tasks" (Starke-Meyerring, Duin, Palvetzian, and Wilson 2008, 22). The WSP acknowledges these challenges, while embracing what it hopes will be an important role in redefining higher education in the twenty-first century.
Variations in resources frequently confound efforts to build academic partnerships between diverse populations. In fact, as Dennis McGrath, Richard Donovan, Barbara Schaier-Peleg, and William Van Buskirk from the National Center for Educational Alliances sagely suggest, education "too frequently intensifies inequalities rather than countering them" (McGrath, Donovan, Schaier-Peleg, and Van Buskirk 2005, xi). Recognizing this danger, the WSP goal is not, therefore, to "bring" Shakespeare to a population outside standard educational structures. Instead, the WSP fosters collaborations where significant academic work can occur despite substantial variations between the cultural and educational backgrounds of its participants. The colleges and universities we work with differ from each other enormously, but they are all engaged in the business of providing students with an accredited undergraduate education. Incorporating places as diverse as Spirit Lake, North Dakota; Ifrane, Morocco; Córdoba, Argentina; and Purulia, West Bengal; the growing WSP network contains institutions facing a host of individualized challenges within distinctive, but fundamentally congruent, educational missions. Importantly, therefore, WSP interactive videoconferencing sessions encourage students to interact as peers, regardless of their educational and personal background.
Figure 1. Cankdeska Cikana College, North Dakota
Figure 1. Cankdeska Cikana College, North Dakota
Some of our partner institutions primarily enroll students whose parents received little or no formal education. In many such instances, these undergraduates have never travelled outside their immediate, rural environments. Other WSP students, representing a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, live in urban areas, such as Kolkata, Casablanca, or Buenos Aires. In both North America and India, we collaborate with institutions characterized as "tribal" colleges, which predominantly serve local American Indian or Eastern Indian indigenous students.2 In addition, most of our international partners (and some of our Emory students) speak English as a second or third language. Despite disparate family backgrounds and experiences of formal education, however, each student population faces a historic and linguistic distance from Shakespeare that helps equalize the learning experience. None of these students is expert in Shakespeare, despite the fact that some have stronger traditional educational backgrounds than others. Furthermore, each of them brings areas of relevant expertise, even though few of them initially recognize this. We have found that linguistic ability, historical knowledge, backgrounds in performing arts, and even facility in math and science can enhance our communal Shakespearean studies. Students training as translators at the Universidad Del Salvador in Argentina, for instance, commonly provide more nuanced sight-readings of Shakespearean English than do typical Emory undergraduates. One North American chemistry major, in contrast, consulted Romeo and Juliet and early modern herbal texts in order to determine what poisons killed the young lovers, while an astronomy student calculated whether Puck could circle the world in forty minutes — as he promises Oberon — without leaving the earth's atmosphere (A Midsummer Night's Dream 2.1).3 (Notably, the mathematical answer, without magic involved, is "No, he cannot.") Students at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Michigan immediately recognized correlations between The Tempest and their own tribal histories, just as Eastern Indian students at Sido Kanhu Murmu University in Dumka, Jharkhand applied their personal experiences of vicious local moneylenders to their enactment of the trial scene from The Merchant of Venice. Repeatedly, when students transform individual skill sets into communal expertise, they illuminate Shakespearean drama during a process that also heightens intercultural awareness.
The WSP's commitment to building bridges between complexly diverse educational partners correlates with similar efforts being undertaken through other international projects. Robbin D. Crabtree, David Alan Sapp, José Alfonso Malespín, and Gonzalo Norori, for instance, rightly note "gross asymmetries in the experience and distribution of the benefits of globalization" (Crabtree, Sapp, Malespín, and Norori 2008, 88), which they endeavor to address in a partnership linking Jesuit universities in the socioeconomically disparate educational systems of Nicaragua and the United States. Although the WSP collaborates with institutions spanning an even broader economic and technological spectrum, it shares this faculty group's determination to "promote partnerships in developing countries and with groups who are most marginalized in the current world political order and information economy" (87). Our partners accordingly include students from regions providing limited opportunities as well as from backgrounds offering comparative affluence. Not surprisingly, crafting an appropriate and productive balance between our distinctive collaborators remains an ongoing, yet invigorating challenge.
Former Director of the Global Classroom Project, Tyanna Herrington of the Georgia Institute for Technology, speaks of the need for "truly joint collaboration with input from students as well as their professors" (Herrington 2008, 37). Our work is designed to create and sustain the kind of "effective, egalitarian learning environments" that she advocates (37). Our rubric often leads us in unexpected directions as we endeavor to include disparate cultural experiences into our textual and performative explorations. Since every population encounters concerns with gender roles, for example, the WSP often includes Taming of the Shrew in its pedagogical repertoire. This curricular choice was originally intended to open up discussions about the ways in which different personal, religious, and historical contexts might shape student responses to this play, but this text has prompted unforeseen conversations. One of the scenes included, for instance, depicts Katherine's thwarted efforts to eat, while Grumio tempts her with the possibility of food:
GRUMIO: What say you to a neat's foot?
KATHERINE: 'Tis passing good: I prithee let me have it.
GRUMIO: I fear it is too choleric a meat.
How say you to a fat tripe finely broil'd?
KATHERINE: I like it well: good Grumio, fetch it me.
(Taming of the Shrew, 4.3.17-21)
At Emory, students generally grimace during discussions of this episode, particularly when British WSP co-instructor Kevin Quarmby describes his mother's preparation of neat's-foot jelly as a home remedy for childhood ills. The prevalence of unexpected foods in this dialogue (which also features "fat tripe finely broiled" as a gustatory temptation) frequently revolts Emory undergraduates accustomed to more conventional American cuisine.
Our partners in Morocco, however, typically respond to this text with warm nostalgia, since it recalls familial and religious traditions of ritual sacrifice during annual observances of Eid-ul-Adha.4 Accordingly, at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech and at Université Hassan II Ben-M'sik in Casablanca, consideration of this text sparks animated recollections of positive childhood experiences. Both faculty and students eagerly describe the significance of age, gender, and family placement in determining how the ritual sacrifice proceeds. Unlike Emory students who recoil at the foodstuffs being proffered, Moroccan undergraduates respond from a culture where such items remain commonly available.
Figure 2. Butcher Shop in Casablanca, Morocco, image provided by Kevin Quarmby
Figure 2. Butcher Shop in Casablanca, Morocco, image provided by Kevin Quarmby
Clearly, Shakespeare had no thought of North African religious traditions while composing this scene from Taming of the Shrew. Neither North American nor Moroccan dietary habits bear directly on standard academic interpretations of this interchange between Petruchio's starving wife and his taunting serving man. Nevertheless, the discussions this interlude typically provokes with modern international undergraduates demonstrate the diverse intellectual and cultural riches emanating from the WSP's collaborations. The WSP uses many performance exercises that it terms "on yer feet" exercises and that were developed by Kevin Quarmby during his stint as a Globe Education Lecturer at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. Although these performance exercises and discussions occur through videoconferencing, they typically generate a level of shared intellectual enthusiasm that focuses considerable attention upon the Shakespearean scene at hand.5 By the conclusion of classroom "on yer feet" presentations of these lines, with their attendant, wide-ranging conversations, students in both locations have gained a better understanding of Shakespeare's text as well as a broader awareness of American and Moroccan dietary and religious practices.
Université Hassan II Ben-M'sik was established in a rough area of Casablanca in the 1970s in order to bring higher education to this neighborhood's socioeconomically disadvantaged population. Emory University, in contrast, generally enrolls students raised in comparative privilege. Neither group, however, enters these communal electronic classrooms with a detailed understanding of Taming of the Shrew. Nevertheless, by the end of these sessions, students can speak knowledgeably about the issues presented in these scenes as well as about the lives of their international collaborators. Since Emory students typically begin these classes with no concept of Morocco, both academic and cultural advances tend to be considerable. As Starke-Meyerring and Wilson recognize, such interactions can prompt considerable intellectual realignments, allowing "learners to recognize and challenge the culturally bounded assumptions, habitual and normalized ways of thinking, knowing and doing; to inquire into, question, and negotiate diverse ways of knowing; and to learn how to build shared learning and knowledge cultures across traditional boundaries" (Starke-Meyerring and Wilson 2008, 106). The WSP regularly encounters similar educational transformations during its videoconferencing sessions.
Unscripted conversations frequently introduce valuable, unexpected, new material into shared WSP discussions. A group of students at Nistarini Women's College, in Purulia, West Bengal, for instance, presented a performance of the witches' scenes in Macbeth in their local Manbhum dialect that was transmitted to London and Atlanta through videoconferencing. According to Soma Dey, a student who played one of the witches, "Manbhum is the original name for the region of Purulia. It is the indigenous dialect that native inhabitants of Purulia talk in" (Dey 2012). Dey described correspondences between local beliefs and practices and this rendition of Macbeth:
Macbeth is all about ambition and that is one thing which is on the rise everywhere in our times. Moreover, in the interiors of rural Purulia, witchcraft is something that is widely believed in. Witches are called "Dahin" in the Manbhum dialect, and they are believed to be the embodiments of evil and destruction. So when we played the witches we featured them just as witches are believed to be like in Purulia — not very old, like Shakespeare's hags, but young, vicious women with kohl-lined eyes, with their sarees trailing behind — possessed — wild-eyed and vengeful. (Dey 2012)
When asked about other localized alterations to the text, Dey explained, "our Macbeth was a tribal 'Sardar' — a tribal chief and the illegitimate son of Duncan who had planned to kill both his father Duncan and his stepbrother Malcolm to make his way to be the next chief" (Dey 2012). As these excerpts indicate, the Purulian Macbeth introduced numerous salient issues for discussion about the play and about West Bengal, including the nature of witchcraft and of political power. Such intersections between Shakespearean text and local cultures remain the hallmark of WSP interactions, regardless of which partners are involved.
Figure 3. The Macbeths, Nistarini Women's College, Purulia, West Bengal, India
Figure 3. The Macbeths, Nistarini Women's College, Purulia, West Bengal, India
As part of a 2011 electronic exchange with Nistarini Women's College, Emory students held a videoconferencing discussion about the differences between vocabulary choices in American English and the translation decisions faced by Bengali faculty and students who daily communicate in several different languages and dialects. In various WSP contexts, students in Purulia and Atlanta have also considered correspondences between Shakespeare and distinctively Bengali cultural traditions, such as Chhau dancing and Baul singing. Over the past several years, our Indian faculty partners, in concert with arts practitioners in Purulia, Kolkata and Santiniketan, West Bengal, have been exploring intersections between Shakespearean performance and these genres. The colorful and athletic Chhau dancers present stories drawn from major Indian narrative traditions, while Baul singers incorporate distinctive instruments into religiously-based performances that include both voice and movement.6 The WSP uses recorded and live performances to prompt discussions analyzing Shakespeare's potential role in such diverse arts traditions. Here, we also include scenes from Synetic Theater's "wordless Shakespeare," which draws from its artistic directors' dance and theater background in the Republic of Georgia. Synetic's decision to abandon Shakespeare's verbal text as part of their award-winning presentations facilitates the kind of unconventional thinking that best supports WSP discussions and projects. Students in Eastern India approach their familiar, regional art forms as welcome mediators between their prior experiences and challenging Shakespearean texts, while Atlanta students welcome the opportunity to consider how local traditions from various regions can shed new light on Shakespeare and on intercultural dialogues.
Figure 4. Chau Dancer, Purulia, West Bengal, India
Figure 4. Chau Dancer, Purulia, West Bengal, India
Figure 5. Baul Singers, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India
Figure 5. Baul Singers, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India
Currently, WSP collaborator Dr. Aparajita Hazra (formerly of Nistarini Women's College) is working on a Bengali adaptation of King Lear in her new post at Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, also in Purulia. The WSP plans to share this performance with students during the 2013-2014 academic year. Incorporating Bengali perspectives, including highly developed but relatively obscure arts such as Chhau and Baul, into global classroom exchanges consistently broadens awareness of such significant cultural traditions, while deepening knowledge of Shakespeare, since many aesthetic and philosophical questions raised in this early modern drama resonate through the East Indian arts practices.
The WSP is fortunate also to work with Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal. This institution, founded in the early twentieth century by Bengali literary Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, boasts close ties to the Baul tradition. In addition, Tagore's great-granddaughter, Souraja Tagore, who lives in Kolkata, is an accomplished dancer and a post-graduate Shakespeare student.
Figure 6. King Lear at Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia, West Bengal
Figure 6. King Lear at Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia, West Bengal
Recordings of Souraja Tagore's choreography linking Shakespearean heroines with Indian dance traditions further enrich our cross-cultural conversations. According to Visva-Bharati University's Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta, "Santiniketan has to look outside and collaborate with good institutions and scholars from all over the world." He further notes: "[Rabindranath] Tagore excelled at collaborating" (Express News Service 2013). In this same spirit, the "Global Learning Rubric" devised by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) promotes the principle that "effective and transformative global learning offers students meaningful opportunities to analyze and explore complex global challenges [and] collaborate respectfully with diverse others" (AACU 2013). The WSP endeavors to create such worthwhile global collaborations. Accordingly, just as Moroccan religious and societal practices enhanced investigations of Shrew, integrating the mythological, spiritual, and folk traditions affiliated with Baul and Chhau opens up space for students to discover how local arts traditions can be incorporated into Shakespearean performance and to consider the ritualistic, cultural, and performative bases of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. One of our regular collaborators, award-winning documentary maker Steve Rowland, interviewed the directors of the entire 2012 Globe to Globe Festival in London. This remarkable event, hosted by Shakespeare's Globe, included Shakespeare's complete canon, performed in thirty-seven different languages. Steve has participated in both live and electronic WSP sessions, and he accompanied us on our site visit to Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College. Whether in person or on screen, his magnificent recounting of the Globe to Globe performances and the perspectives of their directors enhances our corresponding investigations, helping students to dissect and analyze the power of international Shakespeare.
Figure 7. Souraja Tagore, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
Figure 7. Souraja Tagore, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
Incorporating Indian performing arts traditions into Shakespearean classroom discussions prompted one group from Atlanta to create a masterful dance production featuring scenes from Othello. These students are members of SaRaas, the nationally competitive Garba-Raas dance team at Emory, who perform traditional folk dances from the Indian state of Gujarat. "Garba," characterized by swaying and circular movements, is religious in origin, while "Raas," another devotional dance style, involves the energetic hitting of dandiyas (sticks) with a partner. The analytical paper that accompanied this student performance linked costuming and movement choices to lines from the play. Othello is dressed in a black "kurta" or traditional tunic, for instance, to reflect his purported "sooty bosom" (Othello 1.2.71). Similarly, this dancer's aggressive movements and gestures emanate from textual analogies between Othello and a "Barbary horse" (Othello 1.1.113). This dance project reflects the WSP's consistent privileging of what Starke-Meyerring and Wilson term "active, experiential, and collaborative pedagogies" (2008, 106). It also concurs with Applied Theatre theorist Nicola Shaughnessy's contention that "the experiential engages in dialogue with the social, cultural, and critical" (Shaughnessy 20012, xix). Students and faculty in numerous countries, including the United States, can draw new awareness about India and Shakespeare from such undertakings, then use them as models in their own settings. At the same time, such assignments facilitate curricular development, aligning with the AACU's "Intercultural Knowledge and Competence" rubric, which promotes "a complex understanding of cultural differences in verbal and nonverbal communication" and encourages students to interpret "intercultural experience from the perspectives of [one's] own and more than one worldview" (AACU 2013). Since students in these disparate regions face different curricular demands, the WSP endeavors to make all of its course modules adaptable to individual circumstances. This WSP commitment to diverse "audiences" of students marks its intersection between conventional classrooms and applied theater. By using videoconferencing to diversify its participatory base, it expands the possibilities for students to integrate insights and information from multiple sources, thereby increasing their ability to create new knowledge while forming productive global networks.
Figure 8. Emory SaRaas dancers, Othello and Desdemona
Figure 8. Emory SaRaas dancers, Othello and Desdemona

"All The Ties Between Us"

Significantly, the WSP's twenty-first century efforts to transcend geographical distance in order to bridge conversational divides intersect closely with surprisingly related historic attempts. In 1865, for example, the year that the American Civil War ended, William Thomas Henley's factory alongside the Thames in North Woolwich, England manufactured the shore ends of the second transatlantic cable that would span the ocean. The first cable, laid in 1858, generated considerable excitement, as Michael Sechrist describes:
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom swiftly transmitted an official message to U.S. President James Buchanan. What had previously taken two weeks to send by ship now took less than a day. Common citizens thought it was nothing short of magic. Within hours of receiving Queen Victoria's message, joyous celebrations broke out across major U.S. cities. (Sechrist 2010, 40)
While the telegraph initially seems far distant from twenty-first century electronic advances, these early cables actually helped create a technological process that continues to dominate global communication, even though other connective models have largely supplanted the telegraph itself. Andrew Blum's recent account of the Internet describes some of these unexpected parallels between seemingly unrelated technologies:
[The Internet] is, in fact, a series of tubes. There are tubes beneath the ocean that connect London and New York. Tubes that connect Google and Facebook. There are buildings filled with tubes, and hundreds of thousands of miles of roads and railroad tracks, beside which lie buried tubes. Everything you do online travels through a tube. (Blum 2012, x)
Refuting common misperceptions that the Internet functions by satellite, Blum notes the continuing role played by modern cables in connecting the world. Surprisingly, therefore, the twenty-first century equivalents of Henley's nineteenth-century shore ends still facilitate international conversations and play a significant part in the WSP discussions.7 This historical trajectory underscores an important point that is often obscured. What constitute "new" media shifts through time, but relevant technology and personnel often offer both practical and serendipitous continuity that can influence long-term developments. Yesterday's chalkboard bears close resemblance, for example, to contemporary smartboards.
International communication demands the interplay of people and connective technology, a constant requirement in a world that, deceptively, seems to be dominated by change. Furthermore, as Michael Saylor reminds us, technological innovations can offer a transformative "ability to deliver [globally] a First World education" (Saylor 2012, x). He also claims "every now and again, a truly disruptive technology appears" (4). Saylor is here describing the effects of mobile computing, but the WSP demonstrates that videoconferencing can also disrupt conventional educational patterns, particularly since we collaborate with remote colleges in areas such as India, where significant, earlier electronic communication tools such as the telegraph are just now disappearing.8 Students in these regions, therefore, need access to more recent technologies if they are to participate in global educational encounters. The economic resources needed in order to implement such innovations cannot be taken for granted, however. Accordingly, the WSP provides both encouragement and practical support for important technological improvements in these regions, whenever possible. Thus far, institutions in Morocco, India, and Argentina have been able to use their participation in the WSP in order to obtain financial assistance for technological improvements on their campuses. As much as possible, the WSP relies on widely available technologies such as Skype and Facetime in order to minimize technical and financial demands upon our partners.
It is exciting, however, when technological renovations become possible because of our collaborations. As noted, the WSP desire for substantive and expeditious international communication reflects its placement within a long-standing technological and educational tradition that predates the telegraph and presumably will outlive the Internet. The kind of intellectual exchange that historically demanded personal travel or comparatively slow communicative devices can now occur instantaneously. Although we still encounter challenges resulting from variant time zones and examination schedules, in addition to the cultural and socioeconomic differences described above, the WSP's ability to better Puck's time for circling the world opens abundant new educational and intercultural possibilities.

"Lay the Future Open"

As the WSP continues, we plan to develop additional curricular materials that take optimal advantage of the talents and needs presented by our collaborators. Supported by a grant from the Royal Society of the Arts U.S.,9 we are currently extending our partnerships with North American Tribal communities to include tribes in Montana. Thanks to the efforts of Gretchen Minton from Montana State University, this new aspect of our initiative will enable us to connect with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, whose mission is "to make quality, live theatrical productions of Shakespeare and other classics accessible to communities in Montana and surrounding states with an emphasis on underserved, rural areas who would not otherwise have this opportunity" (Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 2013; emphasis in original). This facet of our work will be enriched further by a new partnership with fellow Royal Society of the Arts colleagues Scott Jackson, Executive Director of Shakespeare Notre Dame, and Eunice Roberts, a London arts practitioner allied with Actors from the London Stage. At the same time, our collaborations with international partners will continue to be a major focus.
In addition to links between Atlanta and our partners abroad, however, we hope to bring students from India, Morocco, Brazil, and Argentina into "live" conversations and performance exercises with these North American institutions that were founded for reasons that resonate with the WSP mission. According to the AIHEC website, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs):
were created in response to the higher education needs of American Indians and generally serve geographically isolated populations that have no other means of accessing education beyond the high school level. TCUs have become increasingly important to educational opportunity for native American students and are unique institutions that combine personal attention with cultural relevance to encourage American Indians — especially those living on reservations — to overcome the barriers they face to higher education. (American Indian Higher Education Consortium 2013)
While expanding efforts to bring our partners into communication with each other as well as with Emory students, we will continue our investigation into the comparative merits of designing assignments that are either "collaborative" or "cooperative." As T. M. Paulus explains, "The primary difference between the two is whether tasks are divided up and completed individually (cooperative) or completed together through dialogue (collaborative)" (Paulus 2005, 112). Thus far, students have expressed considerable interest in the idea of working collaboratively, but often default to "cooperation" when time differences, fear of insufficient English language skills, scheduling conflicts, and other obstacles intrude. The WSP's inherent goal of facilitating collaborative learning between international partners continues to present challenges, therefore, that will undoubtedly inform our future directions.
Just as the historical and technological trajectory from telegraph to videoconferencing has only accommodated in part complex desires for global communication and enhanced international education, the WSP recognizes both the "high risk" and the "high potential" that accompany its pedagogical journeys. While claims of Shakespeare's "universality" rightly remain vexed, the place of his drama within international educational communities makes these plays a valuable site for testing new possibilities for global learning. In a similar vein, although "all the world's a stage" (As You Like It, 2.7.139-66) suffers from over-quotation, its sentiment remains vital, as Shakespeare provides an exciting conduit for significant advances in what Starke-Meyerring and Wilson helpfully designate as "Globally Networked Learning Environments."


1.   While this essay is written by Sheila T. Cavanagh, the WSP has benefited from the work of Kevin Quarmby, as well as assistance from many Educational Technologists at Emory University. In particular, Stewart Varner, Jason Brewer, Brenda Rockswold, Leah Chuchran, and Wayne Morse, Jr. have offered invaluable consultations. The WSP is grateful to the Royal Society of the Arts and numerous divisions at Emory University for financial support.
2.   In North America, these colleges are part of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. The WSP was honored to address the presidents of these Colleges at a 2012 AIHEC board meeting in Minnesota.
3.   All references to Shakespeare's plays are to the Oxford Shakespeare Complete Works (1986).
4.   Eid-ul-Adha is also known in Morocco as "Eid el-Kbir." The Moroccan celebration of Eid-ul-Adha is similar to its observances in other countries. As elsewhere, animal sacrifices are carried out in Morocco as a dedication to the Lord. Generally a cow, sheep, or a ram is slaughtered, and its meat is then distributed among the poor people. The festive days have people visiting their nearest mosques for prayer services and sermons, following which people visit each other's homes and relish festive meals together. As in other countries, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated here as a three-day festival.
5.   Quarmby's decades as a professional actor, which preceded his academic career, contributed significantly to the development of the WSP's performance modules. When the WSP began, Quarmby participated through Skype from London. He is now Assistant Professor of English at Oxford College of Emory University, which is located forty miles from the Emory Atlanta campus. Students from Atlanta and Oxford share classes via videoconferencing.
6.   The Purulia District website offers a detailed description of Chhau (or Chau) dancing, which uses martial arts-based choreography, elaborate costumes, and distinctive music to perform mythological narratives: See http://purulia.gov.in/distAdmin/departments/dico/chau_dance.html. Chau dancing makes important economic and cultural contributions to Purulia. William Dalrymple offers a concise description of the Baul tradition in his Guardian article about a 2009 Baul performance in London (Dalyrimple 2009). I offer my deep gratitude to the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India, particularly Professors Amitava Roy, Tapu Biswas, Indrani Deb, and Chhandam Deb for their facilitation of numerous encounters with the Chhau dancers and Baul singers of West Bengal.
7.   Remarkably, this particular historical progression is reflected genealogically through the WSP, since its former co-director, Kevin Quarmby, is grandson to Samuel Edwin Sellers, the Henley's general manager who oversaw the introduction of the world's first digital radio sixty one years after the company's successful transatlantic cable came ashore in Cornwall.
8.   Telegraph service was recently abandoned in India, an occurrence that received international press coverage ("India Scraps the Telegram" 2013).
9.   Cavanagh and Kevin Quarmby are both Fellows of the Royal Society of the Arts. We appreciate the support of the RSA and particularly acknowledge David and Sharon Turner and Lynn Broadbent of RSA US.


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Dey, Soma. 2012. Written notes on performance, given to Sheila T. Cavanagh in Purulia, West Bengal, India.

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Online Resources

Actors from the London Stage. http://shakespeare.nd.edu/actors-from-the-london-stage/.


Making sacrifice for Eid-ul-Adha. Village Journals. Alpha Naseeb. http://www.naseeb.com/villages/journals/making-sacrifice-for-eid-ul-adha-80667.

Purulia Government Website. http://purulia.gov.in/distAdmin/departments/dico/chau_dance.html.

Rowland, Steve. Executive Director, Shakespeare Central. http://www.shakespeareis.com/.

Royal Society of the Arts U.S. http://www.thersa.org/fellowship/where-you-are/usa.

Synetic Theatre. http://www.synetictheater.org.

Université Hassan II Ben-M'sik. http://www.flbenmsik.ma/.

World Shakespeare Project. Directed by Sheila T. Cavanagh. http://www.worldshakespeareproject.org.

World Shakespeare Project. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/worldshake.

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