Following a successful launch event in mid-January, A Bit Lit is pleased to announce its first follow-on course. How To Make An Elizabethan Theater will offer a more-in depth look at the world of theater in Shakespeare’s time.
While launch event A Day Out at Shakespeare’s Theater took place over two hours, How To Make An Elizabethan Theater will take place over four weeks, with a private film posted weekly to YouTube for audiences to watch in their own time, accompanied by a weekly live Q&A session and a reading list themed to that week’s topic. Animation and images will bring the topics discussed to life.
Open to both attendees of the launch event and those new to A Bit Lit, How To Make An Elizabethan Theater will be led by teacher, theater historian and co-founder of A Bit Lit, Andy Kesson. Andy led the first research project on the earliest years of the playhouses, has written extensively on early plays and worked with major mainstream and fringe and experimental theater companies to stage these plays now. Andy has been repeatedly nominated for teaching awards by his students di lui at Roehampton and Kent Universities and is currently part of the Box Office Bears research project, looking at the lives of performing bears in Tudor England.
The course is suitable for anyone from ages 14 and up with an interest in theater or broader cultural history including those studying the period at school, college or university. Each week’s film will focus on Elizabethan theater from a different perspective, taking in the people making the theater, the people writing plays for it, the people acting and watching it and the characters brought to life onstage.
Speaking about the course, Andy Kesson said “I’m so excited to take a period of literary and theatrical history we think we know well and see it through the eyes of the people who worked, ran and spent leisure time in the theaters. We ‘ve been taught to think of Shakespeare’s theater as the preserve of the powerful, as all-male, as all-white and able-bodied, and this course will show that ordinary people, including women, the global majority and the disabled, were key to inventing theater in Shakespeare’s time “.
A Bit Lit’s mission is to make the latest academic research available to anyone, anywhere, in a fun and interactive format. As part of A Bit Lit’s commitment to bringing performance and research to communities often underserved by theater and universities, the course (and all future events) will be translated into British Sign Language, live captioned and audio described and transcripts will be available on request. A program of further interactive events and follow-on courses will soon be announced soon, including topics such as Black Romance Fiction, The History of Dragons and Queer Urban Histories.
A Bit Lit was born on the first day of the UK lockdown, the brainchild of theater historian Andy Kesson. During the past year and a half, A Bit Lit has posted almost 150 open-access, free videos celebrating research and creative work from Ghostbusters to coconuts, professional wrestling to reading in outer space. Andy is now joined by the Royal Shakespeare Company associate artist and performer Jimmy Tucker to make A Bit Lit a digital platform bringing research and creativity to new audiences.
For more information and to book visit https://abitlit.co/events/how-to-make-an-elizabethan-theatre/