Conference: Strangers and Aliens in London and Toronto: Sex, Religion, and Xenophobia in Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan

When and Where

Friday, March 22, 2019 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday, March 23, 2019 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Robert Gill Theatre; 3rd floor (use St. George St. entrance)
214 College St., Toronto, ON M5S 2E5


The Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies and Poculi Ludique Societas at the University of Toronto are hosting a mini-conference with keynote speaker Martin Butler (University of Leeds) and panels focused on Marston, The Dutch Courtesan, and practice as research (PAR) methodology for theatre/drama.  

Register to attend the conference.
The conference includes one ticket to an evening performance of The Dutch Courtesan March 21-24, 2019 at the Luella Massey Studio Theatre, 4 Glen Morris Street. Register by March 16, 2019 to ensure we can provide you with light meals (lunches and reception) and accommodate your dietary needs.

Read the Conference Programme.

Order additional tickets to The Dutch Courtesan. RSA members, reserve a seat at our special preview on March 19, 2019.

The urban landscape of The Dutch Courtesan presents London as a city that prides itself on being multicultural and cosmopolitan while also feeling deeply anxious about the place of ‘strangers’ within its urban landscape. The main plot deals with the treatment of a foreign sex worker whose otherness is partly established through her accent; the sub-plot follows two members of a distrusted religious minority as they are tricked and abused, presumably for the audience’s entertainment. The play’s concerns with otherness, gender, sex, religion, and foreignness are all tied to the context of the early 17th century, but are also powerfully resonant in 21st century Toronto. This conference is part of a Performance-as-Research project that draws on rehearsal and performance work to unearth exciting discoveries about Marston’s play that will shape how we study, teach, and edit early modern drama. We are particularly interested in exploring the connections we can make between early modern drama and our modern world. The conference includes a performance workshop with members of the cast and the production director. Extended project outreach includes a special RSA preview of the production, an online archive of conference papers and production resources, and a new edition of the play by Erin Julian and Helen Ostovich as part of Oxford University Press’s The Complete Works of John Marston (gen. eds Martin Butler and Matthew Steggle).

Organizers: Helen Ostovich & Erin Julian (please contact Erin regarding accessibility). For PLS: Linda Phillips; for CDTPS: David Klausner & Noam Lior

Conference Hotel: Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre
30 Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2E9 Canada  
Please contact Erin regarding the conference rate (while availability lasts).

We wish to acknowledge that the land on which the University of Toronto operates has for thousands of years been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. 
We also gratefully acknowledge support for this research and production from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto, the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, Poculi Ludique Societas, McMaster University, and Edward’s Boys.

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214 College St., Toronto, ON M5S 2E5