Carnegie Mellon University
June 08, 2012

Kristina Straub Receives Folger Fellowship

By Madelyn Glymour

Kristina Straub Receives Folger Fellowship Carnegie Mellon English professor Kristina Straub has received a Folger Fellowship to study for two months next spring at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Straub will use the time to study adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays on the 18th-century London stage. In particular, Straub will focus on adaptations which took extreme liberties with Shakespeare’s work.

“I became interested in this topic because I was working with a director in the School of Drama on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream a couple of years ago,” Straub said. “He allows my students to come into rehearsals and lets them see the whole creative process behind the play. I was doing some historical research, and I discovered that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was only performed twice under its own title from 1860 to 1910…. It made me think about our tendency to think about Shakespeare as sacred, and our desire to perform Shakespeare as close to the text as we can. That wasn’t always around.”

Straub’s project, “Shakespearean Performance and the Sexual Imaginary of 18th-Century London Theatre,” will explore the ways in which Shakespearian adaptations of the time allowed for the demonstration of taboo forms of sexual behavior and desire.