Globe Central Symposium

21st Century Acting: Race and Inclusive Practice – What Next?

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Shakespeare’s Globe and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama co-host a two-day symposium exploring one of the most crucial questions in theatre today.

The arts are positioned in a moment of great potential: industry and academic leaders are being held accountable to create more ‘inclusive’ training centres, programmes and venues. However, new questions have revealed a tremendous gap between desired outcomes and practical reality.

Over two days we’ll consider the use of institutional frameworks such as target setting, diversity policies and decolonisation practices, and consider how they might be contributing to – and intervening in – contemporary discourses in the conservatoire and in the professional theatre. How are the Globe and Central specifically working for and against notions of Shakespeare as a monument of white privilege? And how do we all engage meaningfully with professional and student actors in the mandates for inclusivity, diversity and equity in the academy and rehearsal room?

Symposium Programme



£25 Concession


We’re offering a bursary programme for students. It includes a complimentary ticket to the symposium and offers support for transport and food for both days of the event. We evaluate applications for the bursary programme on equitable standards of access.

Please contact Michael Norton to register your interest in a bursary.


Both days of the symposium will be BSL interpreted. If you have any other access requirements, please contact Michael Norton.

Symposium Coordinator
Michael Norton
 +44 7513 724431
To register interest in a bursary 
Access requirements 



Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
10am – 5pm

62-64 Eton Ave, London NW3 3HY

Where We Are Now: Race, Theatre and Inclusive Practice in 2019

Chaired by Kaleya Baxe (Student, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)


Harvey Young (Boston University)

Jatinder Verma (Tara Arts)

Dr Farah Karim Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe)

Unlimited Access: Decolonising Auditions and Admissions

Chaired by Jamie Wheeler (Student, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)


David Bond (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama)

David Mumeni (Open Door)


Meeting the Student: Cultural Identity and Sensitivity in Actor Training

Chaired by Dr. Jessica Hartley (Student, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)


Pamela Jikemi (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Dr Monica Mdounou (Dartmouth College)

Sophie Mensah (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts)

Siiri Scott (University of Notre Dame)


Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
10am – 4pm

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT

Seeing the Actor: Casting Consciously in the Professional Theatre

This panel discussion will examine the notion of ‘colourblind’ casting. What does it mean to be ‘colourblind’? How is this term now problematic? And how has casting practice developed over the last few years?

Chaired by Professor Sonia Massai (King’s College London)


Steven Kavuma (Writer, Theatre Director and Creative Producer)

Stella Kanu (Executive Director, LIFT)

Federay Holmes (Theatre Director)

Reading the Room: Caring for Actors on a Diversely Cast Production

This panel of actors will consider the ways theatres and production companies ‘care’ for their actors in a diversely cast production. They will discuss their experiences as actors working in an ever-evolving industry, and respond to questions about staging classical drama in the 21st theatre.

Chaired by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe)


Sarah Amankwah (Actor)

Nina Bowers (Actor)

Leaphia Darko (Actor)

Kobna Holdbrooke-Smith (Actor)

Destabilising the Monuments to White Privilege: Twenty-first Century Actor Training

Drawing on the “long table“ format developed by Professor Lois Weaver, this session will invite participants to a performative conversation that will allow them to have a dialogue about the challenges of white privilege and its impact on actor training.
As Professor Weaver says, ‘At a long table there may be silence, there may be disagreement, there may be discomfort and there may be laughter!’ Join us at the long table to listen and speak about the needs of actor training that is fit for the 21st-century.

Chaired by Dr. Sylvan Baker (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)


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