Research News

Beyond Disguises: The Hidden Heart of "Twelfth Night"

"Twelfth Night" poster graphic.

"Twelfth Night" is live on stage at UB Center for the Arts from April 21 - 24, 2022.  Get tickets at: Graphic by TJ Wildow.

Published March 9, 2022

Theatre and Dance is pleased to announce a full slate of events as supplements to enhance and illuminate the department's upcoming production of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, directed by Danielle Rosvally, Clinical Assistant Professor, from April 21 - 24, 2022, at the UB Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre.

Activities throughout the month of April include a Zoom panel featuring prominent scholars in the field to discuss Twelfth Night in the context of work currently happening in Shakespeare studies, particularly at the intersections of race and Queer studies.

In addition, an in-person round table co-sponsored by the Performance Research Workgroup and the Queer Studies Research Workshop featuring faculty from Theatre and Dance, Global Gender studies, graduate students from theatre and dance, and undergraduate students from English is also scheduled. The round table will discuss its work on the live production and how it intersects with overall research being done in the realm of Shakespeare studies at UB.

Full schedule of events

  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at noon: Roundtable conversation on Twelfth Night
  • Friday April 8, 2022 from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: The Mirror and the Veil, Zoom Panel
  • Performances of Twelfth Night: April 21 - 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.; April 23 - 24, 2022 at 2 p.m.

The schedule of events is organized by Dr. Meredith Conti, Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair; Dr. Lindsay Brandon Hunter, Associate Professor; and Dr. Danielle Rosvally, Clinical Assistant Professor.

The Queer Studies and Performance Research Workshops Present: A Roundtable Conversation on "Twelfth Night"

Tuesday, April 5 at noon: Roundtable conversation on Twelfth Night  (EST)
Honors College Colloquium Room (Capen 107, inside Silverman Library)

With Speakers Dr. Christine Varnado (Global Gender and Sexuality Studies) and members of the creative team from UB's Department of Theatre and Dance: Dr. Danielle Rosvally (Director), Kaylie Horowitz (Assistant Director), Natasha McCandless (Choreographer), and Dahlia Frier (Dramaturg)

Moderated by Dr. Lindsay Brandon Hunter

Sponsored by the Humanities Institute Performance and Queer Studies Research Workshops

Please join us for a discussion of queerness, gender, desire, and identity in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night! Our conversation will draw from UB's upcoming mainstage production of the play and the scholarly work of UB professors Danielle Rosvally (Early Modern Liveness: Immediacy and Presence in Text, Stage, and Screen, forthcoming, Bloomsbury: Arden Shakespeare) and Christine Varnado (The Shapes of Fancy:  Reading For Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature, U of Minnesota Press). This open conversation will be moderated by Performance Research Workshop co-organizer Lindsay Brandon Hunter and feature student members of the production team. 

Please bring questions; attendees are welcome to join the discussion!

The Mirror and the Veil Zoom Panel

Friday, April 8, 2022, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. (EST)

With Speakers: Trevor Boffone, David Sterling Brown, Carla Della Gatta, Melissa E. Sanchez

In anticipation of UB THD’s mainstage production of Twelfth Night, this panel will engage with the transformative work on gender, queerness, and race currently being done in the field of Shakespeare studies. Using one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies as a springboard, the scholars of this panel will engage with questions of representation, relevance, and identity in the playwright’s canon. The panel will be a ninety minute moderated conversation with space for audience questions.

Update: The panel was recorded and is now available on the THD website (below) from April 8 - May 3, 2022 for those who could not attend synchronously.

Note: Dr. Rosvally's internet was apparently a bit unstable during the recording. As a result, and with apologies to Dr. Brown, whose talk this interrupted, there are two small blips of about 20-30 seconds each, during which time some of the participants in the video are frozen.

Trevor Boffone.

Trevor Boffone

Trevor Boffone is Lecturer in the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Houston and a high school teacher at Bellaire High School. His work using TikTok with his students has been featured on Good Morning AmericaABC NewsInside Edition, and Access Hollywood, among numerous national media platforms. He is the author of Renegades: Digital Dance Cultures from Dubsmash to TikTok and the co-author of Latinx Teens: US Popular Culture on the Page, Stage, and Screen. He has co-edited five collections on Latinx cultural studies, including Shakespeare & Latinidad.

David Sterling Brown.

David Sterling Brown

David Sterling Brown—a Shakespeare and premodern critical race studies scholar—is Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University. He is co-editor of Shakespeare Bulletin’s 2022 special issue on social justice in contemporary performance (39.4); and he is senior editor of the forthcoming 2022 Shakespeare Studies Forum (vol. 50). His antiracist research, which centers on pedagogy and on how racial ideologies circulate in and beyond the early modern period, is published or forthcoming in several peer-reviewed and public venues such as Shakespeare and Digital PedagogyLiterature CompassRadical TeacherThe HareHamlet: The State of PlayLockdown ShakespearePublic Books and Los Angeles Review of Books. His forthcoming book projects, one of which is under contract with Cambridge University Press, examine the color-line and Shakespearean drama. Through his 2021-2023 Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship, Dr. Brown currently has a residency with The Racial Imaginary Institute, founded by Claudia Rankine.

Carla Della Gatta.

Carla Della Gatta

Carla Della Gatta is Assistant Professor of English at Florida State University. She is a theatre historian and performance theorist who examines ethnic and bilingual theatre through dramaturgy and aurality. She is author of Latinx Shakespeares: Staging U.S. Intracultural Theater (Michigan 2022) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Latinidad (Edinburgh 2021). She received the J Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize from the Shakespeare Association of America for her work on Shakespeare and Latinidad. She has received awards and fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, NYPL, Folger Shakespeare Library, and ASTR. Dr. Della Gatta is on the Advisory Board for the Latinx Theatre Commons. She has worked as a scholar for Shakespeare Center Los Angeles, The Public Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Victory Gardens Theater. She is on the editorial boards of journals Shakespeare SurveyTeatro: Revista de Estudios Culturales, and for the Arden series on Shakespeare and Social Justice.

Melissa E. Sanchez.

Melissa E. Sanchez

Melissa E. Sanchez is the Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Queer Faith: Reading Promiscuity and Race in the Secular Love Tradition, which reassesses key texts of the pre-history of modern monogamy—from Paul to Luther, Petrarch to Shakespeare—to show that writing assumed to promote fidelity in fact articulates the perversity of desire and the elusiveness of self-knowledge; Shakespeare and Queer Theory which introduces students and scholars to the fields of queer theory, Shakespeare studies, and the interchanges between them; and Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature which examines how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers used scenarios of erotic violence and cross-gender identification to explore the origins and limits of political allegiance. She is the Director of the center for research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.