Shakespeare Behind The Bar

Report By Shilpa Rao and Amrita Shree Gupta

401 years after Shakespeare: Shifting Paradigms from the Shakespearean Human to the Post-human” was the topic of discussion of the two day conference which witnessed the galaxy of film stalwarts from around the world and India.

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Alokananda Roy and Curt Tofteland

The two days conference was organised in the line of Panel discussions and film viewing. The screening of the award-winning documentary Shakespeare Behind Bars on performing Shakespeare in US prisons was also organised. Curt L. Tofteland, Founder and Producing Director of Shakespeare Behind Bars also was present in a Conversation on “Performance and Rehabilitation” between Alokananda Roy, the danseuse and social worker and Curt Tofteland. All these events explored the themes of Shakespeare’s performance, theatre, and rehabilitation.

Prof. (Dr.) Sonali Chakrabarti Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor, University of Calcutta, who was the Chief Guest of the event, said “Shakespeare might have been introduced into our education by the imperial forces to strengthen British hegemony but we had imbibed Shakespeare as part of or tradition”.

Shakespeare Behind Bars is the award winning documentary film, where a theatre troupe consisting convicts and jail inmates are seen performing the plays of William Shakespeare for a captive audience at ease and has adapted the way of life in new way.

Shakespeare-1-300x169 Shakespeare Behind The BarThe event also had a panel discussion on “Shakespeare and Films”. Panellists include Prof. Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, Jadavpur University; Prof. Abhijit Sen, Viswa- Bharati University; Prof. Sandip Mondal University of Calcutta, Shri Jayanth Kripalani, Film, television and stage actor, Mr Ashok Vishwanathan, national and international award winning film director. Prof. Tapati Gupta of the University of Calcutta will moderate the panel discussion.

The two day conference,organised by Department of English of The Heritage College in collaboration with Shakespeare Society of Eastern India on 24 and 25 November 2017 at Swami Vivekananda Auditorium, The Heritage Campus, mainly focused on topics like adaptations of Shakespeare into English, Hindi and Bengali films, graphic novels, video games, Manga; Bengali translations of Shakespeare; Post-humanist philosophy, and new readings of the novels of Achebe and Arundhati Roy among others.

Shakespeare Society of Eastern India (estd.1984) is a Govt.-approved, Registered educational and cultural Society with international affiliations. As the oldest running Shakespeare Society in Asia, its activities include organizing and hosting national and international conferences and seminars on Shakespeare and other Masters, on Comparative Literatures and Culture and publishing books and journals.