Pre•Amble Scholars

Pre·Amble scholars present free pre-performance lectures as part of the John W. and Jean Rowe Inquiry and Exploration Series 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 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 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 Elizabeth I changed at her menopause and at her death. During a nearly 20-year career teaching literature and writing at the college level, he became increasingly fascinated with how a K-12 education prepares students for college, and he is now a special education teacher at Pickard Elementary in Chicago. He has also taught at Roosevelt University, New York University, and the University of Utah.


Regina Buccola is Professor and Chair of Literature and Languages 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 Early Theatre Journal, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, and Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation. She is the author of Fairies, Fractious Women and the Old Faith: Fairy Lore in Early Modern British Drama and Culture. She is the editor of A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Critical Guide, and co-editor with Peter Kanelos of Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Suiting the Action to the Word.


Casey Caldwell

Casey Caldwell is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Northwestern University. His dissertation, The Utterance of Money: Monetary Properties in Early Modern Drama, focuses on the ontology or nature of money from an early modern theatre history perspective. Casey will be an inaugural Franke Graduate Fellow in residence at the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University for the 2016-2017 school year. He holds an MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Partnership with the American Shakespeare Center; an MA in Philosophy from the University of Auckland; and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. 


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.


Rebecca L. Fall is a doctoral candidate in English at Northwestern University. She is presently completing a dissertation focused on nonsensical speech and foolish jokes in English Renaissance literature, though she teaches and publishes on a wider range of topics, including the history of popular media, gender and sexuality studies, and the “digital humanities.” Her article on Shakespearean editorial history and the manuscript poetry of Lady Mary Wroth appears in Re-reading Mary Wroth (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Rebecca is the recipient of a 2015-16 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship and an honorary 2015-16 Mellon-CES Fellowship.


Ira S. Murfin is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre & Drama at Northwestern University completing his dissertation Talk Performance: Artistic Discipline, Extemporaneous Speech, and Media in the Post-1960s American Avant-garde. Criticism and scholarship has appeared in Theatre Topics, Theatre Journal, Theatre Research International, and Review of Contemporary Fiction. His performance work has been seen at MCA Chicago, Links Hall, Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, and Sector 2337. He is currently the Graduate Assistant in Public Humanities with the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern.  This is his fourth season as a Chicago Shakespeare Theater PreAmble Scholar.


Raashi Rastogi is a doctoral candidate in English at Northwestern University. She studies and teaches Shakespeare and the literature of the English Renaissance with an emphasis on classical reception, gender and sexualities studies, and history of the book and media theory. Her research investigates how Renaissance reading practices and writing technologies affected ideas about memory and identity between 1550 and 1700. She is currently a Graduate Scholar-in-Residence at the Newberry Library and a Graduate Student Affiliate with the Medical Humanities and Bioethics program at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine. Her article on grammar and hierarchy is forthcoming in the journal English Literary Renaissance.






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