English Major Attends World Shakespeare Congress in England
Back in spring 2015, Mark Larubio dreamed an impossible dream -- to attend the 10th World Shakespeare Congress in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England, 31 July-6 Aug. 2016. WSC is one of many academic and theatre commemorations of the of 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death that are being held around the globe throughout the 2016 calendar year (including the First Folio exhibit at Lied Library in Sept.).
Now, after a year and a half of planning and hard work, Mark, a senior English major and a McNair Scholar, has achieved his goal, has returned home, and is reflecting on his academic and theatre experience at his first professional conference. “Visiting the cities that ‘made’ Shakespeare was a humbling experience,” he notes. “It was delightful to see and hear the Bard live on in the hearts and minds of Shakespeareans and between the pages of the papers they presented.”
What is it like for a minority student from UNLV to mix it up with renowned Shakespeare scholars and theatre professionals from all over the globe? “To be around the movers and shakers of the Shakespearean world was by far the best part of WSC,” Mark observes. “I was able to attend a session on Shakespeare in the ex-British Empire in the morning and a session on Shakespeare in Anime and Manga in the afternoon. I could see different aspects of the Bard and his work from every perspective imaginable. That’s what made attending WSC such an important way to commune with Shakespeare’s work and understand his impact on our world today.”
Mark was also able to attend several theatre productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford (Hamlet, Cymbeline, Jonson’s The Alchemist) and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London (Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew). “To see and hear so many new and exciting performances of 400-year-old plays was truly educational,” he notes.
Mark is currently devoting his McNair Scholar project to an analysis of Hamlet that incorporates his experience as an audience member in a nearly all-black RSC production set in sub-Saharan Africa. Soon, he plans to apply to graduate programs in Shakespeare studies.