Department of English, University of Hyderabad, hosts “Stratford UpOn-Line”, a virtual evening of Shakespeare performances in collaboration with “Shakespeare to You: Bringing Bard to your Yard, or Your Classroom”, an initiative by Vermont Shakespeare Festival (VSF). Prof Anna Kurian, Head of the Department of English, presided over the event which was attended by students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the department. The event was hosted on Google Meet at 6:30 pm on 11 September 2020. Dr Saradindu Bhattacharya from the department delivered the welcome note.
“Shakespeare to You” was developed by VSF in response to the crisis of isolation and social distancing around the world brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sarah Mell, Paul Ugalde and John Nagle, from the VSF, performed select soliloquies and sonnets of Shakespeare from their homes and workspaces in what incidentally was their first international performance. The performers were excited and surprised in being invited to a university from the other side of the world. The virtual space comfortably staged some of Shakespeare’s iconic characters for a good thirty minutes. In the interaction that ensued, the audience was most eager to learn about the adaptations that the performers had to make for an online theatrical performance. The interaction saw connections made between Covid 19 and the plague that raged during Shakespeare’s time. Many also showed interest for a follow-up gig. The event ended at 7:50 pm with vote of thanks from the Head.