ANZSA at the Shakespeare Association of America 2019
It’s two weeks until the start of the Shakespeare Association of America in Washington DC. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and the city is putting on a show. For ANZSA members who are going to be attending the conference, especially if this is your first time at SAA, keep in mind that there are a number of ways you can make the most of what can be a pretty hectic few days.
If there are specific delegates you want to meet, don’t just wait for the right moment to arrive – rare is the moment when the crowds will part and eyes will meet. Send emails now and set up a coffee or chat time. Rest assured, you won’t be the only person doing this.
Remember that most seminars are open to auditors – if there is a seminar in which you are interested but are not participating, you will probably be welcome to watch the discussion from the sidelines, and many seminar leaders even find time to invite input or questions from the auditors. Again, plan ahead – even email the seminar leader/s and ask if they will be open for auditors to attend.
You’ll be in DC, and not far at all from the Folger Shakespeare Library. This will be a great opportunity to do a little research on the side while you’re in town, and the Folger will be waiving the normal process of registering as a reader for SAA delegates so you can be set up as a reader very quickly this trip. Details are here: https://collation.folger.edu/2019/03/saa-fsl/
For social time, that can also be daunting if you don’t know m/any people. Remember for a start that there is usually a healthy ANZSA contingent at the conference – get in touch with other members and let them know you’ll be at the conference. Also, there are a number of grassroots/informal initiatives being promoted at this year’s conference, and you can make new friends easily by signing up for some of these:
Finally, there is a Friends of ANZSA (or FANZSA) informal gathering that we set up each SAA to provide a focal point for ANZSA folks to reconnect with friends old and new while away from home. This year, we will be meeting at Crimson DC (627 H St NW, two blocks from the conference hotel, opposite the Chinatown Garden — https://crimson-dc.com/), from 9pm on Friday 19 April. If you’d like to walk with FANZSA folks to the venue, we’ll meet in the Renaissance Hotel lobby beforehand, departing around 8:50 pm. Friends will be welcome to join us at any time during the evening, so please keep us in mind even if you have other events lined up on that date.
Professor Laurie Johnson
President, Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association