Undiscovered Shakespeare is a public arts and humanities series co-produced by Santa Cruz Shakespeare, UCSC Shakespeare Workshop, and The Humanities Institute. It brings professional actors and scholars together with the public for a staged reading and discussion of works by Shakespeare that are rarely produced. In 2022, our reading was The Life and Death of King John. King John is one of only two plays by Shakespeare written entirely in verse (along with Richard II). In it, Shakespeare explores the use of political rhetoric to cloak self-serving ambitions during the reign of the king that saw the birth of the Magna Carta. Over the course of three Zoom sessions (February 10, 17, and 24), we immersed ourselves in another rarely performed play and reflected on it as a mirror for the times in which we live.
Session #1: Thursday, February 10th, 6:30pm PST
Session #2: Thursday, February 17th, 6:30pm PST
Session #3: Thursday, February 24th, 6:30pm PST
All sessions began with 50 minutes to 1 hour of reading by professional actors, followed by a presentation by renowned Shakespeare scholar and Associate Professor of English at Notre Dame, Jesse Lander, and conclude with an audience Q&A with Professor Lander, Professor Sean Keilen, director Charles Pasternak, dramaturg Amani Liggett, and the cast.