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Welcome from the Nebraska Shakespeare staff and board to the...

Tradition of Inclusion

On this page we sharing local, national, and international connections disabled people and other people who have experienced discrimination have had with Shakespeare’s work. We are also inviting you to join in by sharing any connections you have found. This is an ever-growing page, and we hope you will join us in taking a look at and participating in the Tradition of Inclusion.
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What has drawn so many people to the work of a late 16th-mid 17th century playwright so different from ourselves? 

We recommend...

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Did you know that Ira Aldridge (1807-1867) was the first African American Shakespearean star triumphantly touring Europe from (1825-1862)?

Read more HERE


Did you know that in the United States, people of color have been involved with Shakespeare for 200 years since the founding of the African Grove Theater in New York City in 1821?

Read more HERE



Did you know the following artists have had Shakespearean careers?

-Artist Highlights-

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Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on December 28, 1954.When he was 14, his parents divorced and his mother sent him to the private preparatory school Oakland Military Academy in New Windsor, New York. Washington later said, "That decision changed my life, because I wouldn't have survived in the direction I was going. After Oakland, he attended Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida from 1970 to 1971. He earned a BA in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977. After a period of indecision on which major to study and taking a semester off, Washington worked as creative arts director of the overnight summer camp at Camp Sloane YMCA in Lakeville, Connecticut. He participated in a staff talent show for the campers and a colleague suggested he try acting. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1DWpbn3XaI)

Washington spent the summer of 1976 in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in summer stock theater performing Wings of the Morning. Shortly after graduating from Fordham, Washington made his screen acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television film Wilma. He shared a 1982 Distinguished Ensemble Performance Obie Award for playing Private First Class Melvin Peterson in the Off-Broadway Negro Ensemble Company production A Soldier's Play which premiered November 20, 1981. On June 25, 1983, Washington married Pauletta Pearson, whom he met on the set of his first screen work, the television film Wilma. They have four children.

In the summer of 1990, Washington appeared in the title role of the Public Theater's production of Shakespeare's Richard III. On May 18, 1991, Washington was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Fordham University, for having "impressively succeeded in exploring the edge of his multifaceted talent." He also received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Morehouse College on May 20, 2007 and an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania on May 16, 2011. Washington is a devout Christian and has considered becoming a preacher. He stated in 1999, "A part of me still says, 'Maybe, Denzel, you're supposed to preach. Maybe you're still compromising.' I've had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach. I take what talent I've been given seriously, and I want to use it for good." In the spring of 2010, Washington played Troy Maxson, opposite Viola Davis, in the Broadway revival of August Wilson's Fences, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play on June 13, 2010. The show received positive reviews and won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. From April to June 2014, Washington played the leading role in the Broadway production of Lorraine Hansberry's classic drama A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon.

He has received seventeen NAACP Image Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards from nine nominations: Best Supporting Actor for playing Union Army soldier Private Trip in the historical drama film Glory (1989), and Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001). In 2020, The New York Times named him as the greatest actor of the twenty-first century.

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“By 1600, 18 to 20,000 visits were made each week to London playhouses. The bulk of these visitors got their images of foreign people from the stage rather than from books or from real-life interactions. Thus the theater deeply shaped English imaginings of outsiders.”


from the book Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism

“Often, it is these plays which form a bridge between the past and us: even as we read in them stories of a bygone world, we also continuously reinterpret these stories to make sense of our own worlds.”


from the book Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism

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Do you need a sign language interpreter or transportation cart to accessible seating for a performance?

Call us, these services are available

through Nebraska Shakespeare!


Did you know the following actors have had Shakespearean careers?

-Full list of Artist Highlights-

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Andre Braugher.jpg


Blari Underwood.jpg


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Lupita Nyong'o.jpg


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Angela Bassett.jpg


Rege-Jean Page.jpg


Kunal Nayyar.jpg


Indira Anne Varma.jpg


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Phylicia Rashad.jpg


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In Fall 2021, Nebraska Shakespeare presents Tyrone Beasley's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet! Learn more about this adaptation, how to participate, and where to see it HERE!


Listen to an interview with the director, Tyrone Beasley, by Aaron Quinton-Thomas Butler right here! (& on our On Tour page)


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Share your Shakespearean connections
and resources with us here!

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