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NYSX Freestyle Lab - Du Bois and Shakespeare

02/21/2018 7:00 pm
02/21/2018 9:00 pm
America/New York



"It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.”
– W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folks, 1903

Coined by African-American philosopher, social scientist, novelist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, the concept of double consciousness describes how Black Americans, in response to institutional racism, have been forced to understand themselves not as singular individuals, but as having an identity split between their views of themselves and the white world’s view of them. Join NYSX as we ask some probing questions about how Du Bois’s analysis of Black identity formation might be addressed in the performance of traditional Western white-centric classical literature, and in relation to other identities of race, disability, and gender.

Our very special guest is Dr. Robert Gooding-Williams, M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. One of the foremost scholars of the philosophy of race and author of three books, including In The Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America, Dr. Gooding-Williams will begin our evening with a short lecture on Du Bois’s use of Shakespeare and his concept of double consciousness. This will be followed by a rousing town hall discussion of the challenges of diversity and inclusion on our stages and in our literature.

The event is an extension of the NYSX Diversity Cohort new play initiative, through which we have engaged an ensemble of artists with varying points-of-view and artistic heritage to help us wrestle with how classical theater fits in today’s world. Using elements of Shakespeare's stories, characters, and language as their springboard, the members of the cohort are working to create a series of new heightened language plays that will resonate with contemporary American audiences. 

LOCATION TBA in Manhattan





  • January 17
O, Brave New World That Has Such People In It!
a FREE panel discussion about the place of diversity in
classical theatre 
  • January 27 &
    February 3
ShakesBEER with an Irish Twist 
Kick off the year with a Shakespearean pub crawl on
Historic Stone Street
  • January 29
Sonnet Project - Sonnet Salon
Our first monthly screening party featuring Sonnet Project films with 
a chance to meet the artists.




New York Shakespeare Exchange bridges cultural divides, starts conversations, promotes education, and brings communities together through diverse, classically-based programming that re-imagines how Shakespearean theater and poetry can impact our modern world.  

Brimming with an unwavering sense of adventure, our work honors the legacy of the Bard while intersecting his poetry with today’s ever-changing social, political, and technological landscapes. From star-crossed lovers wooing across a crowded bar, to sonnets interpreted as independent film, to live productions that highlight Shakespeare’s verse in a contemporary context, our projects challenge expectations and lead us forward to continued innovation. 



Our Annual Fundraising Drive

NY Shakespeare Exchange depends on our community to help create work like our one-of-a-kind The Sonnet Project, our stimulating mainstage productions, and our community-building INTERSECTIONS initiative. Now, as we head into our eighth thrilling season, we are reaching out to you so that we can continue to bridge cultural divides and inspire important conversations both in NYC and around the world.


We need to raise $50,000 to support our work.

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