Pre·Amble scholars present free pre-performance lectures that bridge the worlds of scholarship and performance, examining a play in its historical context as well as the interpretive choices made by the director, design team and acting ensemble. Pre·Ambles are held at the Theater an hour before curtain on select Friday evenings, and at many Saturday and Sunday matinees throughout a production’s run. Listen to past recordings, available online in the week following their presentation here at CST.
Stephen Bennett is an adjunct faculty member in the English Department at Roosevelt University, where he teaches courses in writing, the English Renaissance, and literature surveys. He has taught at New York University, Dixie College and the University of Utah. Bennett earned his PhD in English and American Literature at New York University, where he was a Dean's Dissertation Fellow. His dissertation, Reading Elizabeth: Menopause and the Cult of the Virgin Queen, explores how and why representations of Queen Elizabeth I changed at her menopause and at her death. His bachelor's and master's degrees are from the University of Utah.
Regina Buccola is an Associate Professor of English at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she specializes in Shakespeare, non-Shakespearean early modern drama, and Women's and Gender Studies. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Sixteenth-Century Studies and Early Theatre Journal. She is the author of Fairies, Fractious Women and the Old Faith: Fairy Lore in Early Modern British Drama and Culture.She is the co-editor with Peter Kanelos of Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Suiting the Action to the Word, and with Lisa Hopkins co-editor of Marian Moments in Early Modern Drama.
Beth Charlebois is Associate Professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland, the designated public honors college of the State of Maryland, where she teaches Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. Her work, both in the classroom and in print, focuses on performance and interpretation. Professor Charlebois began her work with Chicago Shakespeare's Education Department in 1995 while a graduate student at Northwestern University, where she earned her PhD in English literature in 2000. Her Pre•Amble talk on Antony and Cleopatra in 1999 was the first one of its kind offered by CST, and she has continued to help develop and expand the program since she relocated to Maryland.
Brett Foster teaches Renaissance literature and creative writing at Wheaton College. He recently completed his PhD in English at Yale University and previously was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. He is finishing a book called The Metropolis of Popery: English Encounters with Renaissance Rome. His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in genre, Journal of British Studies, Modern Philology, Prose Studies, Sixteenth Century Journal, and Shakespeare Bulletin, and his literary writing in Boston Review, Common Review, Hudson Review, Image, Kenyon Review, Partisan Review, Poetry International, Raritan, and Southwest Review.
Ira S. Murfin is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre & Drama at Northwestern University, where his research investigates talk as a performance strategy in the new American avant-garde. He also holds degrees in writing from New York University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His critical and scholarly writing has appeared in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, and the Review of Contemporary Fiction, among other places. Ira is a founding member of the devised theatre collective the Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials, and performance editor for the journal Requited.
Elizabeth M. Rodriguez is a doctoral candidate in the English department at Northwestern University, where she earned her master's degree. She specializes in Renaissance literature and culture and the history of gender and sexuality. Her dissertation, Consensual Relations: Sexual and Political Subjectivity in England, 1550-1700, reads literature alongside legal records to explore overlapping representations of sexual and political consent.