Riding out that wave of excitement, by the following week, Professor Karbiener had lined up the next virtual experience for her students. After New York City's world-renowned theater district went dark and a highly anticipated class trip to Sleep No More, Punchdrunk's immersive adaptation of Macbeth, was abruptly canceled, Professor Karbiener was determined to maintain that opportunity for expanded contemporary engagement with a classic text. She invited Isadora Wolfe, resident director and actor in Sleep No More to log onto Zoom for an hour-long class discussion and Q&A.
Describing the virtual discourse that ensued, Professor Karbiener writes, "Intellectually generous, gracious, and welcoming, Isadora provided us with a behind-the-scenes understanding of how Macbeth inspired this wordless performance, and how Shakespeare's plot and characters are interpreted through dance, music, and even lighting. She confirmed for us that 'a classic is never finished saying what it has to say' (as Italo Calvino wrote) and modeled a vibrant, flexible creativity that we all found inspiring. I've taught Shakespeare's play and seen this show many times, but came away from her discussion with a new appreciation of both Macbeth and Sleep No More."
So often at NYU and in Liberal Studies, we speak of using the "city as our classroom," and being "in and of the city." Now, as our students continue their studies remotely from within the same four walls each day, Professor Karen Karbiener has managed to, in her own words, "bring the city into [our] students' own spaces."