From March 15 through 19, NYU Abu Dhabi will be hosting troupes of students from NYU, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, Cairo University, American University of Sharjah, and UAE University in Al Ain for its first Global Shakespeare Student Festival. Part of the NYUAD Global Shakespeare Project (co-directors Cyrus Patell and Rubén Polendo), this year’s festival focuses on the contributions that undergraduate performer-scholars can make to the construction of a field of study and performance known as “Global Shakespeare.”

The festival includes master classes in performance and scholarship for the student-participants, as well as two evenings of performance, in which the students will perform their works-in-progress for one another. We will be featuring glimpses of the festival and interviews with participants here on Electra Street.


SUNDAY, March 17

7:30 p.m.

7:40 p.m.
NYU Gallatin

Rough, Raw and Playful: Twelfth Night, 2.3

An exploration of the wide range of possibilities and variety within a scene through dynamic play instead of resorting to fixed choices (such as blocking, etc). The primary mode of exploration is physicality and how it might inform or be led by thought and language. How can play help us find out what’s possible within a scene? How can it help us locate shifts in mode?

Students: Annie Attanasio, Charlie Kennedy IV, C.J. Leede, Beth Pollack, Mike Walsh
Team Leader: Kristin Horton

8:10 p.m.
Cairo University

Macbeth: Turning Points

The short scenes presented are creating a microcosm of Shakespeare’s Macbeth showing scenes that move the play forward. Whether they are through fate or personal choice, this performance focuses on those turning points in the arcs of the characters that are most interesting to see on stage. The interactions with the text, space and the characters themselves are based on the importance of the turning point – on the levels of both text and character – in any dramatic text/performance.

Students:   Aya el Shafel, Julie Khiry, Zainab Magdy, Abdelrahman Nasser, Adham Sayed
Team Leader: Dina Amin

8:40 p.m.
Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore Ensemble

dream caliban

A deep sleep. A multilingual unraveling of a life full noises, sounds and sweet airs that delight and hurt. Not just from the dreams of Shakespeare, but of Caliban dreamed again in each of us.

Students: Monique Alfonso, Madeline Brady, Linnae Bullard-Werner, Camilla Dely, Amelia Dombush, Cory Downing, Jacqueline Handy, Katherine Littrell, Joseph Ramirez, Maria Russo
Team Leaders: Katherine Rowe, Catharine Slusar

9:10 p.m.
UAE University

The Enchanted Island of Love and Tempest

A 20-minute adaptation of the 75-minute January 21, 2013, production at UAEU which incorporated original material and scenes from Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Davenant & Dryden’s The Tempest; or, The Enchanted Isle. The musical motif of the play featured a range of musical selections from The Beach Boys, Fontella Bass, and Meatloaf, as well as other past and contemporary artists.

Students: Maryam Abdulla, Asma Abdullah, Bshsayer Ahmed, Nouf Ahmed, Noora Ahmed, Fatima Husain Ali, Fatma Ali, Ohood Ali, Alya Haidar, Asma Ibrahem, Fatma Ibrahim, Marwa Khaled, Mahra G. Khalfan, Shamma Khalfan, Fatmah Kindi, Sarah Mohammed, Maryam Rabeea, Nouf Saeed, Hajar Salem, Maha Salem
Other Performers: Zena Al Nazer, Zarina Cabailo, Prabhath Dhevindra, Rosanna May Fajardo, Rhomina Natividad, Rommel Perico, Kristine Quintos, Assyl Yacine
Team Leader: Jim Mirrione

9:30 p.m.
Talkback, Rubén Polendo (moderator)


MONDAY, March 18

7:30 p.m.

7:40 p.m.
American University of Sharjah

Macbeth Arabia Deconstructed

In fall 2011, AUS Theatre presented Macbeth in a 9th-century Arabian context, exploring cultural traditions through the text. This presentation is a deconstruction of that piece, a nightmare of Macbeth. Primary emphasis has been given to the rich cultural traditions of the Arabian Peninsula. With explorations of movement, dance and ceremony, it explores a union between Shakespeare and the Bedouins of Arabia.

Students: Hala Albassar, Meera Al Midfa, Sami Ismat,Razmig Bedirian, Helmi Chehab, Mona Eldahshoury, Farah Morra, Abishek Nair, Raiaan Yafi
Team Leaders: Anthony Tassa,  Ken East, Cate Moran

8:10 p.m.
NYU Tisch

Macbeth/”The Wanderer”

This workshop is an attempt to dramatize Macbeth’s witches as something closer to how they are described in the histories Shakespeare appropriated, rather than as the wart-nosed hags that Shakespeare crafted to appeal to his contemporary audience.  Using text from Act I scene 3 and Act IV scene 1, we applied the fundamental techniques of Butoh in our approach to the witches, striving for an ethereal, spectral aesthetic. This excerpt also incorporates a fragment of the epic Norse poem “The Wanderer” in our exploration of Macbeth’s friendship with and betrayal of Banquo.

Students: Jenna Dioguardi, Luke Eisemann, Alexandra Laird, Michael Norton, Victoria Sumrall
Team Leaders: Victoria Flores, Tomi Tsunoda

8:40 p.m.
NYU Abu Dhabi


A combination of visual arts and sound and projection technology explores the intricacies of character and relationship by juxtaposing the texts of Othello and King Lear. This theatrical condensation explores concepts of love, gender, violence, and family units in two of Shakespeare’s major plays. This collaboration of international artist and students finds a common ground in timeless and global topics within Shakespeare’s work

Students: Nikolai Kozak, Alexandra Lenihan, Oscar Lozano, Bhavna Menon, Valentina Vela, Nia Wilson
Team Leaders: Nikolai Kozak, Valentina Vela

9:00 p.m.
Talkback, Rubén Polendo (moderator)

For more information about the Global Shakespeare Student Festival, contact Electra Street at

[Updated 16 March 2013]