2023 Plenary Speakers
Dr Will Tosh
Will Tosh is Head of Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, London. He teaches, writes about, and researches the literature and culture of Shakespeare’s England, and he leads the Globe’s scholarly research mission. Will’s work at the Globe includes dramaturgy, new writing development and public engagement in person, in the media and online. He is the author of Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and Male Friendship and Testimonies of Love in Shakespeare’s England, which revealed the intimate social circle of the Elizabethan spy Anthony Bacon. Will is currently working on a book called Straight Acting: The Many Queer Lives of William Shakespeare, to be published with Sceptre in 2024.
Carla Della Gatta
Carla Della Gatta is Assistant Professor of English at Florida State University. She is a theatre historian and performance theorist who examines ethnic and bilingual theatre through dramaturgy and aurality. She built and maintains the only archive of Latinx theatrical adaptation, LatinxShakespeares.Org. She is author of Latinx Shakespeares: Staging U.S. Intracultural Theater (2023) and co-editor of Shakespeare and Latinidad (2021). She received the J Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize from the Shakespeare Association of America, and she has received fellowships and awards from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Woodrow Wilson Foundation (now Citizens and Scholars), the New York Public Library, and more. She is on the Advisory Board for the Latinx Theatre Commons, and she is the Digital Humanities Editor for The Fornés Institute. She serves on the editorial boards of journals Shakespeare Survey and for the Arden series on Shakespeare and Social Justice.
Dr Rowan Mackenzie
Rowan Mackenzie is both practitioner and academic, working with specialised communities. Her doctoral research used spatial theory as a framework to examine global theatre practices with incarcerated people and people with mental health issues, learning disabilities and experience of homelessness. She is founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare UnBard, which facilitates collaborative theatre companies in a number of UK prisons, and Co-Chair of the Shakespeare Beyond Borders Alliance. She is the recipient of many national and international awards for her work, including the prestigious Butler Trust award. She has published numerous chapters and essays on Shakespeare within prisons, Shakespeare with learning-disabled actors and the heterotopic potential of applied theatre. Her monograph Creating Space for Shakespeare was published by Bloomsbury Arden in March 2023.
Lauren is Community Engagement and Volunteer Officer for ‘Everything to Everybody”, a
NHLF funded collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City
Council which aims to raise awareness of, restore and celebrated the Birmingham
Shakespeare Collection. She holds an MA in Staging Shakespeare from the University of
Exeter, and regularly runs workshops for schools and educational groups exploring Early
Modern theatre practice. She has worked as a script editor and dramaturg, and her feminist
reworking of the history plays Margaret of Anjou was produced by California based theatre
company, ‘Those Women’, in 2016. When not working in community libraries, she has
worked as a facilitator and researcher with arts and community organisations in Birmingham and across the UK, focusing on history, spirituality, and of course, Shakespeare!
Dr Chris Laoutaris
Dr Chris Laoutaris is a biographer, historian, poet, Shakespeare scholar and Associate Professor at The Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham). He is the author of Shakespeare's Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio. In addition to academic publications, he has published Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle that Gave Birth to the Globe. He is a co-editor of Anne-thology: Poems Re-Presenting Anne Shakespeare. Laoutaris has written for the Financial Times Sunday Express, among others. His media work includes BBC1's The One Show, BBC3's Front Row, among others. He is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Shakespeare Beyond Borders Alliance and Co-Founder of the EQUALityShakespeare initiative.
Michelle Lynch (she/her/hers) is a DC-based dramaturg and playwright. While completing her BA in Paris and her Master of Letters in Playwriting and Dramaturgy at the University of Glasgow, she balanced her studies with work on international theatre festivals. Since moving to Washington, DC she has worked as a dramaturg with Adventure Theatre, 4615 Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and District Dramatists. Two of Michelle’s original plays, From Cinders To Ella and Willow’s Bend, were commissioned in recent years by Adventure Theatre. Michelle is driven by a passion for collaborative and inclusive new works creation, and the DMV area has been the dream environment for that process. Michelle currently works as the Artistic Associate to Karen Ann Daniels at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where she supports all production and programming processes.