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date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores meaning-making and reception in a range of Shakespeare adaptations within the black Atlantic context. Inspired by the authors’ own collaboration incorporating African Caribbean folkloric dance into Shakespeare’s Pericles: Prince of Tyre, the chapter examines historical and contemporary adaptations, revealing multiple ways in which African and African diaspora themes and cultural forms signify within Shakespeare’s colonial context. Orson Welles’s 1936 Negro Theatre Project’s production known as “Voodoo” Macbeth, Aimé Césaire’s 1969 adaptation, Une Tempête, and a more contemporary adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Classical Theatre of Harlem in 2013, directed by Justin Emeka, offer a range of diverse historical and cultural contexts in which African and African diaspora knowledges signify, including the United States’ neo-colonial occupation of Haiti, the postcolonial negritude and pan-Africanism movements, and contemporary Harlem. The results reveal modernist, postcolonial, and contemporary discourses through various significations of African and African diaspora embodied knowledges.

Keywords: Vodou, African Caribbean folkloric dance, “Voodoo”Macbeth, black Atlantic, Asadata Dafora, Orson Welles, Aimé Césaire, Pericles, The Tempest, Shakespeare

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