Yale Bulletin and Calendar

February 9, 2001Volume 29, Number 18

Pictured is a scene from "The Beggar's Opera" painted by British artist William Hogarth in 1729. Conference participants will have the opportunity to view two campus exhibitions devoted to 18th-century theater.

Theater in the 18th century will be the focus
of international, interdisciplinary conference

"Theatricality and Anti-Theatricality in the 18th Century," an international conference that will explore aspects of the theater and the prejudice against it in that era, will take place on campus Friday-Sunday, Feb. 16-18.

The conference, part of a series of events marking Yale's 300th birthday, is being hosted by the Yale Center for British Art, the Lewis Walpole Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in cooperation with the Department of English, the Program in Theater Studies and the School of Drama. According to conference organizers, the event marks the first time the combined resources of these Yale departments have come together to provide a major intellectual, academic and artistic event demonstrating the University's longstanding commitment to the study of 18th-century British art and literature.

"Theatricality and Anti-Theatricality in the 18th Century" will feature panel discussions, dramatic performances, a concert and exhibitions. The event will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday with the eighth annual Lewis Walpole Lecture on the topic "Et in Arcadia ego: The 18th Century of the 1920s" by Terry Castle, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University. His talk will take place in the lecture hall of the Yale University Art Gallery (enter on High Street).

A performance of selected scenes from Restoration plays, grouped under the title "A Short, Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage," will follow Castle's lecture. Joseph Roach, the Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Theater and professor of English and African American studies, will direct the performance, which will take place at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St.

Fourteen scholars from diverse disciplines will share their perspectives on a wide-ranging paradox of 18th-century life in four panel discussions being offered on Saturday and Sunday in the lecture hall of the Yale Center for British Art, 1080 Chapel St. These will explore the topics "Policing the Repertoire," "Staging the Actress," "Sexual Spectacles" and "Global Stages." Each will be moderated by a member of the Yale faculty. Moderators are Ruth B. Yeazell, the Chace Family Professor and chair of English; Jill Campbell, associate professor of English; Ala A. Alryyes, associate professor of comparative literature and English; and Roach. Saturday panel discussions will be offered 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday's panel discussion takes place 10:30 a.m.-noon.

Conference attendees may reserve complimentary tickets for the Saturday evening performance of William Congreve's 1700 play "The Way of the World," which has been called the greatest comedy of manners ever written. Directed by Stan Wojewodski Jr., dean of the School of Drama and artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, the performance begins at 8 p.m. at the Yale Rep, corner of York and Chapel streets. To reserve tickets, call (860) 677-2140.

On Sunday at 2:30 p.m., the Yale Center for British Art will host a concert of 18th-century theater music directed by Margaret van Dijk and featuring distinguished artists.

Conference participants will also have the opportunity to view two related campus exhibitions. These are "The Spectacle of Painting: Theater and the Painted Image in 18th-Century English Art" at the Yale Center for British Art, and "Theater and Anti-Theater in the 18th Century" at the Beinecke Library.

All events are free and open to the public. For further information, call (860) 677-2140 or send e-mail to walpole@yale.edu.


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Campus Notes

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