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Waggonner Center continues lecture series

April 12, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG

News Editor | bjy001@ latech.edu

 

Students of Louisiana Tech were welcomed by the Waggonner Center on April 5 to join in the discussion of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” and its relation to the #MeToo movement.

 

The lecture took place in Wyly Auditorium as part of a series of lectures hosted by the Waggonner Center and the Tech theatre department in lead up to the department’s production of “King Lear.”  Paul Crook, dean of theatre, said the lectures are a way to help get students interested in the politics of the show and how they relate to modern times.

 

“We have made a conscious decision with this production to try and involve people all over the campus,” Crook said. “Partnering with Dr. Mhire and the Waggonner Center was a great opportunity for us, and it fits in so well with this particular play. While there’s an element of the political in all of Shakespeare’s plays, ‘King Lear’ may have the most political relevance to us right now. It is a picture of a country where the political class operates almost solely out of partisan interest, to the detriment of the country.”

 

Crook said the important takeaway is how Shakespeare’s work can be viewed today and how it compares to the politics of the time.

 

“Hopefully, students who attended the lectures were able to gain some insight into Shakespeare, his time and how his work connects to us today,” he said.

 

The speaker was Rick St.Peter, associate professor of theatre at Clemson University and an award-winning director who is currently directing his own production of “Measure for Measure” at Clemson. He said he finds it necessary to have discussions like this given that he is not directly affected by sexual violence.

 

“I have a hard time with it because I recognize I come from a place of monstrous privilege,” St.Peter said. “So, I want to be an ally and I worry that this becomes mansplaining. I don’t want to do that at all. I almost didn’t call it this for that reason because I do not want to be co opting something that does not belong to me.”

 

Freshman theatre major Nina Bergsdottir said she attended the lecture to hear a discussion on the #MeToo movement and its influence on her future field.

 

“I saw the poster and saw the hashtag Me Too,” Bergsdottir said. “I believe the #MeToo movement is very important, especially in the theatre and film industry. It’s very important that people know about it and something like this brings attention to it.”

 

Bergsdottir said it is hopeful to have talks like these, as they show how drastically the conversation around sexual assault and sexual violence have opened up.

 

“I took from it that the industry is changing, as in people are more open to talking about sexual violence within the community,” she said. “It’s great that we have someone like him that opens up conversation because it is such a delicate subject but it is such an important thing to talk about so we can change it.”

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