Humanities DC And IN Series

Scholar in Residence Lecture Series

October 23-November 16

Join the discussions and talks hosted by the festival’s inaugural Scholar in Residence, distinguished Shakespeare critic and scholar Marjorie Garber, William R. Kenan, Jr. Research Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. These events are free, open to the public, and will be held at locations all across the city.

Shakespeare’s Timeliness

Monday, October 23, 7:30pm - THEATRE J

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Shakespeare’s plays are often described as “timeless”-- enduring, lasting, and suspended from time or fashion. But it is also the case that they are “timely”—intersecting, often with uncanny relevance, with the times in which they are produced, cited, or read. In a keynote address, Shakespeare scholar and critic, Marjorie Garber, the Festival’s Scholar in Residence will discuss the significance of Shakespeare’s timeliness for the arts, politics, and contemporary culture.

Keeping Time: Music, Mood and Shakespeare’s Duke of Jazz

Tuesday, October 24 7:30 - TRUE REFORMER BUILDING

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Duke Ellington’s Shakespearean Suite, Such Sweet Thunder, uses jazz instruments, rhythms, and the superb artistry of individual musicians to evoke characters in Shakespeare’s plays, from “Lady Mac” to “Hank Cinq” (otherwise known as Henry V). In his program notes Ellington suggested that there were strong similarities between a jazz performance and the production of a Shakespeare play. 

Marjorie Garber will discuss Ellington, Shakespeare, and the varied roles of music in Shakespeare’s plays in conjunction with the Festival’s production of two modern works based upon them: the world premiere of Such Sweet Thunder by the Washington Ballet and STC’s presentation of Bard on the Beach’s Beatlemania imagining of As You Like It.

Time to Talk: About Shakespeare a discussion with….

Wednesday,  October 25 - ASPEN INSTITUTE 5:00pm

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Whether we are looking at the arts pages or the headlines, there is no better time than now to talk about Shakespeare. In this special panel, Marjorie Garber will moderate a discussion between and Shakespeare scholars from the Washington area. How can Shakespeare’s plays generate empathy and understanding, when speaking across the divide of centuries? How do some of his most profound plays resonate when translated into a 21st century context in which differences of gender, race and class challenge early modern categories?


Drew Lichtenerg

Associate Director and former Resident Dramaturg at Shakespeare Theater Company.

Carla Della Gatta

Visiting Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Maryland. Author of Latinx Shakespeares: Staging US Intracultural Theater.

Alexa Alice Joubin

Professor of English, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Theatre, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures, George Washington University (GWU) Inaugural recipient of the bell hooks Legacy Award.

Untimeliness: The Brief Lives—and Long Afterlives—of Romeo and Juliet

Wednesday,  November 15 - STC FORUM - 7:30pm

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Premature, belated, ill-timed, too late at night or too early in the morning---untimeliness in all its variations marks the plot of Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps it is in part for that reason that these “star-crossed lovers” have figured in so many after-stories, and fired the imagination not only of playwrights and filmmakers, but also of composers and musicians.

Marjorie Garber will examine the timely untimeliness of Shakespeare’s play to coincide with  STC Artistic Director Simon Godwin’s  production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet with the Washington National Opera. 

End Times: Closure and Disclosure in King Lear

Thursday, November 16 6:00pm - Library of Congress 

Pop up display open in the space at 5pm

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The IN Series production of The Promised End brings together Giuseppe Verdi and William Shakespeare in a unique reimagining of King Lear alongside the composer’s towering Requiem. Heart-stopping melodies and breathtaking choruses reveal Verdi at the moment of his death, weighing fragments of his life, telling the story of the opera Lear that he never finished, and experiencing the dual anxiety and freedom of death and hope for something more. 

Marjorie Garber will discuss Shakespeare’s play, its themes of resurrection and transfiguration, and her own view of the play in Shakespeare After All, which came to provide the text for this IN Series’ world-premiere investigation into two giants of the early modern and Romantic Stage. Some thoughts about the ways the plays end will reflect further upon Lear’s vision–and Shakespeare’s.

This event is a part of Live! at the Library. In addition to lecture reservations, timed-entry passes are required for entry to all Live! At The Library programming. Reserve your timed entry pass at

Theater J

The True Reformer Building

The Aspen Institute

Shakespeare Theater Company Forum

The Library of Congress