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Program

2018 Program

‘Shakespeare, race, and America... not necessarily in that order’
Keith Hamilton Cobb on American Moor

Directed by Kim Weild

The Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies is proud to feature Keith Hamilton Cobb’s widely-acclaimed and award-winning production, American Moor, as the centerpiece of our 2018 program. Throughout the fall, our interdisciplinary program will include live performances, an Actors Studio, academic lectures, pedagogical roundtables, an on-campus residency with Keith Hamilton Cobb, and a keynote address delivered by Professor Kim F. Hall entitled, ‘Othello was my Grandfather’: Shakespeare and Race in the African Diaspora.’

We launch our program with the 2018 Berlin Lecture delivered by Professor Mazen Naous, Department of English (UMass): 'The Lure of the Moor: Othello in an Arab American Setting.’ The lecture will be held at the Kinney Center on October 16th at 4:30 PM.

All events and details can be found by visiting the Calendar link on the Center’s website.

American Moor is 90-minute solo play written and performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb and directed by Kim Weild. It examines the experience and perspective of black men in America through the metaphor of William Shakespeare’s character, Othello. It is not an adaptation of Othello but an echoing of it in our lives today. It is a play about race in America, but it is also a play about who gets to make art, who gets to play Shakespeare, about the qualitative decline of the American theatre, about actors and acting, and about the nature of unadulterated love. It is not an “angry black man play.” Rather the widely diverse audiences that have experienced it echo the piece’s awareness that we see only what we want to see of one another, and that we all long to be wholly noticed and wholly embraced. It is an often funny, often heartbreaking examination of the pall of privileged perspective that is ultimately so injurious to us all. It is a gripping, challenging, timely drama that leaves its audiences reflecting on Shakespeare, race, and America... not necessarily in that order.

"All This Life Made This Play": An Interview with Keith Hamilton Cobb for the Los Angeles Review of Books, by John Yargo, PhD Candidate, UMass Amherst, English.

For an interview with Keith Hamilton Cobb, see the story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: https://www.gazettenet.com/American-Moor-21221674