Shakespeare Symposium

400 Years Later: Shakespeare and “What He Hath Left Us”

March 18 & 19, 2016

To commemorate the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the CUNY Graduate Center and Theatre for a New Audience present a two-day symposium on Shakespeare’s legacy on the stage and the page.

Ben Jonson’s dedicatory poem “To the memory of my beloved . . . William Shakespeare” poses an implicit question in its title, asking “What he hath left us.” Jonson answers his own question by writing that he left us work that would last “not of an age, but for all time!” We will explore questions and answers about this enduring legacy in two separate presentations. The program will conclude with a performance and a discussion of one of Shakespeare’s late romances, Pericles, a play that brings another dead poet back to life “To sing a song that old was sung,” while enacting dramatic resurrections and reunions.

This symposium is part of Brooklyn Shakespeare, Theatre for a New Audience’s series of Humanities events commemorating of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Additional support for “400 Years Later” is provided by the Renaissance Society of America and CUNY Graduate Center’s Renaissance Studies Program.

To learn about other events in this series, visit


Friday, March 18, 2016


Shakespeare Dead or Alive: What’s Trending in Shakespeare Studies?

CUNY Grad Center, Room 4406

365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Richard McCoy (author of Faith in Shakespeare) will moderate a roundtable discussion featuring Mario Di Gangi (current president of the Shakespeare Association of America), Gail Kern Paster (Director Emeritus of the Folger Shakespeare Library, past president of SAA, and current editor of Shakespeare Quarterly), Tanya Pollard (author of Drugs and Theater in Early Modern England), and Ayanna Thompson (author of Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centred Approach).

Free event,  reception to follow.


Saturday March 19, 2016

Shakespeare in Performance
Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA) has been producing Shakespeare’s plays for more than three decades. Jeffrey Horowitz, TFANA’s founding artistic director, will join a panel discussion of Shakespeare’s plays in contemporary performance with members of TFANA’s Council of Scholars: Gail Kern Paster, Tanya Pollard, and Ayanna Thompson. The chair of the Council of Scholars, Richard McCoy, will moderate.

Free event.

Lunch break
Lunch can be purchased at Food & Drink in the lobby of the Polonsky Shakespeare Center. Food & Drink is brought to you by Union Square Events, the catering and venue hospitality business from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. The menu features an array of local and seasonal fare, wine, beer and specialty cocktails.

The neighborhood of Fort Greene also has a variety of food options; here are a few of our favorite spots, offering perks and discounts with your ticket to the afternoon’s performance.

Performance of Shakespeare’s Pericles
Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Pericles tells a surging adventure story – a hero wanders Odysseus-like through the word of the Mediterranean – and climaxes with events that are seemingly miraculous. Christian Camargo (Hamlet, Coriolanus) returns to TFANA to play the title role, and Trevor Nunn, former Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre, stages this late Shakespeare play for the first time in in his career.

Tickets available at

TFANA Talk with Gail Kern Paster and Members of the Cast
Theatre for a New Audience, Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Following the performance, Gail Kern Paster will lead an onstage conversation with members of the cast of Pericles, discussing the play and the production before taking questions from the audience.

Free event.


Theatre for a New Audience’s Humanities programs are supported in part by a permanent endowment established at the Theatre by a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, with leading matching gifts provided by Robert H. Arnow, Perry and Marty Granoff, John J. Kerr and Nora Wren Kerr, and Theodore C. Rogers. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Endowment funds for the Theatre’s Humanities, Education, and Outreach programs also come from The Elayne P. Bernstein Education Fund.

Leadership support for the production of Pericles is provided by The Polonsky Foundation and The Thompson Family Foundation. Additional major support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, as well as the Rosalind P. Walter Foundation. Endowment funds for the production are provided by The Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama.