Bard Forum: Reconciling Shakespeare with Contemporary Values

Thursday, March 14, 2024
7:30pm – 8:30pm
BMO Theatre Centre, 162 West 1st Avenue

“Speak, breathe, discuss” —Host in The Merry Wives of Windsor

Society has undergone massive changes over the past 400 years, and yet we’re still exploring, producing, and enjoying Shakespeare’s plays. Join artists and scholars for a lively, illuminating discussion about how we can engage with these works with fresh eyes, curious minds, and open hearts to see how they can hold the mirror up to who we are today.


Jivesh Parasram (he/him), Director of Bard’s upcoming Measure for Measure

Jivesh Parasaram looking toward the camera

Jivesh is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist and facilitator of Indo-Caribbean descent. His work has toured nationally and internationally. Jiv is the founding Artistic Producer of Pandemic Theatre, and became the Artistic Director of Rumble Theatre following three years as the Associate Artistic Producer at Theatre Passe Muraille. He was a member of the Cultural Leader Lab with the Banff Centre and Toronto Arts Council. His public service work has included collaborations with the Ad Hoc Assembly, The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and as an advisor to the National Arts Centre. His current cultural practice centres decolonization through aesthetics.


Dennis Britton (he/him), University of British Columbia – PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Dennis Britton smiling at the camera

Dr. Britton researches and teaches early modern English literature, with a focus on the history of race, critical race theory, Protestant theology, and the history of emotion. He is the author of Becoming Christian: Race, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance (2014), and has recently co-edited a special issue of the journal Spenser Studies on “Spenser and Race.” He is currently working on two books, Shakespeare and Pity: Feeling Difference on the Early Modern English Stage and Reforming Ethiopia: African-Anglo Relations in Protestant England.


Ronda Arab (she/her), Simon Fraser University – PhD (Columbia University)

Ronda Arab standing at a microphone

Ronda Arab’s main fields of study are Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, and her research interests include intersections of class, gender, and work on the Early Modern English stage and the role of literature and theatre in the construction of cultural discourse and social practice. She is the author of Manly Mechanicals on the Early Modern English Stage (Susquehanna University Press, 2011) and The Bonds of Love and Friendship in Early Modern English Literature (SFU Publications, 2021), and co-editor of Historical Affects and the Early Modern Theater (Routledge, 2015) and Intersections of Class in Early Modern English Drama (Palgrave, 2023).


This event will be moderated by Bard on the Beach’s Director of Education, Mary Hartman.