Yesterday afternoon St. John’s doctoral candidate Tara Bradway treated her committee of Drs. Mentz, Hollander, and Sicari to a dazzling conversation about Shakespeare, performance, and the communicative possibilities of theater during a successful dissertation defense.
Her dissertation, “The Actor as Critic,” builds on her longstanding work as co-director of the Adirondack Shakespeare Company to make an argument that performance represents a distinctive form of critical knowledge. The actor’s body, in her analysis, provides insight into the hybridizing power of theater as a medium of artistic expression, poised uneasily but exhilaratingly between (to borrow Hamlet’s terms) “being” and “seeming.”
Speaking as the proud mentor of this dissertation, I’m quite sure that there will be no other project in Shakespeare studies this year in which the critical exploration of early modern theater also includes professional performances of the parts of King Richard II and Hamlet — not to mention, in previous productions, Gertrude, Ophelia, Portia, Hermione, and many other roles!
Please join the SJU English department in congratulating Dr. Bradway on her innovative and outstanding work.