‘Staging Shakespeare’ by Theatre Program Chair Brian Kulick Released by Bloomsbury

BY Emma Schillage, September 14, 2021

Staging Shakespeare: A Director’s Guide to Preparing a Production by Professor and Theatre Program Chair Brian Kulick was recently released by Bloomsbury.


The book begins with a supposed scenario in which the reader is given the job of staging a Shakespeare production. The initial question stems from how one prepares for an ultimately exciting and terrifying project involving a work one might know little to nothing about. Drawing from his own experience directing Shakespeare and watching others do the same, Kulick lays out the process from beginning to end.


The book covers a wide range of detail and advice including patterns to look for in the text, techniques of understanding Shakespeare’s work, how to search for hidden meanings within the text, and how to access sources that aid in research.


Published by Bloomsbury this past July, the book has already received the attention of several editorial reviews, including one from Professor and Concentration Head of Directing Anne Bogart.


Bogart writes, “Brian Kulick's book is illuminated by his deep love for the plays of William Shakespeare. He writes from the perspective of an accomplished theater director who is also able to lucidly share his discoveries, his palpable curiosity and the vast pleasure in artistic engagement with the plays. His insights are assembled from a lifetime of scholarship and practice and are informed by his personal relationships with the cognoscenti of the contemporary theater world.”

Brian Kulick is a director, writer, educator, producer, and current Chair of the Graduate Theatre Program at Columbia University. From 2003-2017 he was the Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company where he directed Galileo with F. Murray Abraham, The Tempest with Mandy Patinkin, and The Forest with Dianne Weist. He commissioned and co-directed poet Anne Carson's award-winning An Oresteia, collaborated with composer Duncan Sheik on productions of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, Man’s A Man, and Mother Courage, and produced CSC's much lauded Chekhov Cycle with Alan Cumming, Maggie Gyllenhaal ’99 (CC), Ethan Hawke, Joley Richardson, Peter Sarsgaard, John Turturro and Dianne Weist. He also made CSC the home for playwright David Ives whose Venus in Fur transferred to Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award for best play. Prior to this, he was an Artistic Associate and then Associate Producer for the Public Theatre (1996-2001) where he directed Tony Kushner’s adaptation of A Dybbuk, as well as acclaimed productions of Twelfth Night, Winter’s Tale, and Timon of Athens at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He is the author of The Secret Life of Theatre, The Elements of Theatrical Expression, and How Greek Tragedy Works all of which are published by Routledge Press.