Lobby Talk: Making Race

Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 1:00pm to 1:30pm
Sonnet Retman
Dr. Sonnet Retman

Join us for a brief but rich pre-show talk in the Meany Studio Theatre lobby before the first matinee performance of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.

Our guest for this lobby talk is Dr. Sonnet Retman, Associate Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Dr. Retman is a literary scholar who works on African American literature and culture. Her work explores how narrative produces race as it intersects with constructions of gender, sexuality and class. She is particularly interested in analyzing the meanings of racial representations as they bear on social relations of power. Her research and teaching examine a variety of cultural texts—including literary, cinematic and musical works—drawing upon an interdisciplinary methodology that culls from critical race studies, legal studies, feminist theory, cultural history, anthropology and literary criticism and theory.

For this lobby talk, Dr. Retman will provide context for the play's themes and multiple time periods, looking at different forms of media and celebrity as avenues of race making. She will pose some key questions for the audience to consider as they watch the show. Dr. Retman is an expert on this particular play, having taught it in both her African American Satire and Black Women in Drama classes. 

This pre-show talk is free and open to the public. To purchase tickets for the 2:00 PM matinee performance of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, visit ArtsUW.

Please note that the on-site box office will open at 1:30 PM on Sunday 10/29 in order to avoid disruption during the lobby talk.


LOBBY TALKS is a new initiative of the UW School of Drama. Their goal is to offer audiences a deeper look into the questions posed by the work on our stages, and to provide audiences access to the incredible scholarship here at the University of Washington. If you have feedback about LOBBY TALKS, please contact School of Drama Director of Engagement Holly Arsenault at hollypla@uw.edu.