Call for papers: Blackfriars Conference, 23-27 October 2013, Staunton, Virginia

full name / name of organization: 
The American Shakespeare Center

23 - 27 October 2013, Seventh Blackfriars Conference

On odd numbered years since the first October the Blackfriars Playhouse opened, scholars from around the world have gathered in Staunton, during the height of the Shenandoah Valley's famed Fall colors, to hear lectures, see plays, and learn about early modern theatre. In 2013, the American Shakespeare Center's Education and Research Department will once again host Shakespeareans, scholars and practitioners alike, to explore Shakespeare in the study and Shakespeare on the stage and to find ways that these two worlds – sometime in collision – can collaborate. Past conferences have included such notable scholars as Andrew Gurr, the "godfather" of the Blackfriars Playhouse, Tiffany Stern, Russ McDonald, Gary Taylor, Stephen Greenblatt, Roz Knutson, Tina Packer, Scott Kaiser, Stephen Booth, George T. Wright, and many more in five days full of activities.

Except for banquets, all events – papers, plays, workshops, – take place in the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse. This conference distinguishes itself from saner conferences in a variety of other ways. First, to model the kind of collaboration we think possible we encourage presenters to feature actors as partners in the demonstration of their theses. For instance, in 2009, Gary Taylor's keynote presentation "Lyrical Middleton" featured ASC actors singing and dancing to the songs in Middleton's plays. Second, we limit each paper session to six short papers (10 minutes for solo presentations, 13 minutes for presentations with actors). Third, we enforce this rule by ursine fiat – a bear chases from the stage those speakers who go over their allotted time.

Delegates also attend all of the plays in the ASC 2013 Fall Season – Romeo and Juliet, All's Well that Ends Well, Troilus and Cressida, Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, and Bob Carlton's Return to the Forbidden Planet, – and, for the past several conferences, bonus plays written by their colleagues and performed by actors in the Mary Baldwin College MFA in Shakespeare in Performance program. The spirit of fun that imbues the conference manifests itself in the annual Truancy Award, for the sensible conferee who – visiting the Shenandoah Valley at the height of Fall – has the good sense to miss the most sessions.

The 2013 gathering will honor George Walton Williams IV and will include keynote addresses from Russ McDonald, Ann Thompson, Peter Holland, and Abigail Rokison.

ASC Education and Research extends this call for papers on any matters to do with the performance of early modern drama (historical, architectural, political, dramatical, sartorial, medical, linguistical, comical, pastoral) to all interested parties for our biennial conference to be held at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia, 23-27 October 2013. The deadline to submit your abstract is 31 May 2013.

Submit an Abstract for consideration(; Deadline: May 31st, 2013.
or, for more information, please email Sarah Enloe, Director of Education, at