Ph.D. candidate Susannah Eig is a theater director, producer and actor who specializes in Shakespeare’s plays.
The PhD in Creativity at UArts is game-changing. In just two weeks, the program faculty facilitated a cornucopia of experiences that allowed us to stretch in ways we didn’t even know were available to use before. Rather than forcing us into prescribed areas of interest, they asked us to expand our sights and think across new disciplines, using methods we may have not encountered before, and always with the central through-line of: Why does this work matter to me and to the world? Not only have my eyes been thrown wide open to the places my research can go, but also the multitude of ways in which I can get there have been given to me.
I am researching the ways in which our society successfully uses Shakespeare as a method to teach empathy, achieve greater self-awareness and facilitate rehabilitation. Driven jointly by my long history with and passion for Shakespeare and a desire to understand why many of our classrooms seem to be failing students in this area, I plan to compose a series of essays, each highlighting a different instance of “positive-effect Shakespeare” that may help us reassess how we use Shakespeare in our society.