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Member pricing is $20Full pricing is $35
Through rich language, complex characters, and the unique power of live theater to make it all real, Shakespeare’s plays challenge audiences to confront and dismantle the mental barriers to understanding that too often divide us. Distinguished Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt, along with philosopher and Public Theater Board Member Kwame Anthony Appiah, will discuss the challenges of living in a multiethnic, multifaith society, in Shakespeare’s time and our own through the lens of two of his most controversial and exacting plays, Othello and The Merchant of Venice. What happens when an outsider attains a position of power and influence on the inside? When society must wrestle with what it means to take seriously the cosmopolitan and Christian values of equality and mercy? Their conversation will be moderated by Public Shakespeare Initiative Director Michael Sexton, with selected readings from the plays performed by Mark Nelson and Peter Francis James.
Click here to read a synopsis of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
Click here to read a synopsis of OTHELLO.
“Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia”
“Shakespeare’s Cure for Xenophobia,” Stephen Greenblatt, The New Yorker, 2017
In this essay in The New Yorker – which inspires our conversation on the 8th – Stephen Greenblatt shares his disturbing encounters with prejudice as a young man, and how they begat and influenced a lifetime of work on Shakespeare.
Talk of the Nation Interview
T of the N Interview & “Cosmopolitanism” Excerpt, Kwame Anthony Appiah, NPR, 2006
“Cultural and intellectual humility,” listening, an appreciation of and curiosity about our differences – these qualities and more are essential to a cosmopolitan society, according to Kwame Anthony Appiah, as he explains in this radio interview and excerpt from his penetrating book on the subject, “Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers.”
“Strangers in the City”
“Strangers in the City,” Farah Karim-Cooper, British Library, 2016
Multiculturalism earned 16th-century Venice a reputation for “opportunity, wealth, and glamour,” but – like Shakespeare’s England – it was far from immune to xenophobia. Farah Karim-Cooper uses paintings and manuscripts to evoke historical Venice while examining that of Shakespeare’s dramas in this article from the British Library.
“What it’s like to be Muslim in America”
“What it’s like to be Muslim in America,” Dalia Mogahed, TED, 2016
The experience of the “outsider within” is one countless Americans endure every day. In this TED Talk, scholar and activist Dalia Mogahed shares her personal journey of faith and courage in the face of stereotyping and misunderstanding in post-9/11 America.
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Public Shakespeare Presents: THE OUTSIDERS WITHIN: SHYLOCK, OTHELLO, AND SHAKESPEARE'S STRANGERSThursday, March 8 at 7pmWith Kwame Anthony Appiah, Stephen Greenblatt, Peter Francis James, Mark Nelson, and Michael Sexton.
The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust provides leadership support for The Public Theater’s year-round activities.