Shakespeare, Race, and Performance: A Conversation with Dr. Erika T. Lin and Keith Hamilton Cobb

Join CUNY Professor Erika T. Lin (CUNY Graduate Center, Theatre) and actor and playwright, Keith Hamilton Cobb (Actor/Playwright, American Moor), to discuss Shakespeare and the significance of producing and adapting his plays in our current moment. Shakespeare was crucial in making British and American theatre what they are today. Can the plays also support justice for people of color? What do we bring to these works, and how do we make them our own? And who counts as the “we” in industries whose gatekeepers have been (and remain) predominantly white?   Our featured speakers, an award-winning scholar and the author of an award-winning play that sits at the intersection of Race, American Theater and Shakespeare,  will engage the audience in tackling difficult subjects, including the limitations of academic and performance traditions that are underpinned by structural racism but also the power of the dramatic arts to shape our personal and political lives.


Facilitated by
Dr. Vimala C. Pasupathi
Associate Dean, Honors College
Associate Professor, Department of English
Hofstra University

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020

Time: 4:30-6 p.m.

Location: Virtual; Registration required

Register for the event and receive a link for limited access to streaming video of a very unique and rarely seen performance of American Moor (available October 10-15).  The text of American Moor is now available from Bloomsbury’s Methuen Drama Series and can be ordered here and at booksellers of your choice.

Sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center, Hofstra University Honors College and the Joseph G. Astman Family.



Professor Erika T. Lin                  Keith Hamilton Cobb


In August of 2018, an archival video of a performance of American Moor was shot at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, London, UK. The performance was directed by Kim Weild, and features Josh Tyson.

The Playhouse is a replica of an early 17th century Jacobean theater. While the spectacle of performing this play on that stage is extraordinary and striking in its own right, it is not the definitive version of the text in performance. That would come two years later in the off-Broadway production at Cherry Lane Theater, NYC. There is, however, no digital capture of that performance that can be shared at this time. Intended solely as an archival video, the Wanamaker capture does not reflect the final two years of the play’s textual and directorial evolution. Irrespective of all of this, we are desirous to accommodate the needs of educators and others who are noticing this work, and are eager to engage classes and conversations around the addressing of issues that the play seeks to expose in this pivotal cultural moment.

The Wanamaker video reflects a place in the evolution of the American Moor text that is somewhat removed from what is to be read in the edition of the script published by Methuen Drama in 2020. Because the Methuen edition is the definitive text, it is urged that high school and college classes who seek to view the video also read the most current version of the text as part of the curriculum. Some of the performed text from the Wanamaker production now only exists in the appendices of the Methuen edition… This allows for students to have a stronger sense of the work as it is ultimately intended to be experienced as well as some sense of the piece in performance. The script can be purchased through or

In addition to all of this, there is access to excerpted video from the off-Broadway production, as well as reviews, commentary and scholarship that can all be had at It is further encourage that everyone interested in this play explore the website and peruse the wealth of information regarding its development and rich performance life.


In case you missed the live event, please see recording:

Shakespeare, Race, and Performance: A Conversation with Dr. Erika T. Lin and Keith Hamilton Cobb

Thursday, October 15, 2020



Hofstra University Virtual Event
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549-1000


Hofstra Cultural Center

Phone: 516-463-5669
Website: Click to Visit

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Hofstra University is pleased to have the public join us for some of our on-campus events, which are held for the benefit of our students. Please be aware, when attending events during the school year, when classes are in session, parking is often limited on South Campus to faculty and students. There is additional parking available on North Campus, approximately a 10-minute walk from Adams Playhouse, through the Student Center and over the unispan. Thank you for your cooperation.