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Simon Godwin. (Photo by Johan Persson.)

Simon Godwin Named Aspen Institute’s Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence

The artistic director of Shakespeare Theatre Company will serve in a one-year residency to explore and deepen the social and civic impact of his work.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Aspen Institute Arts Program has named Simon Godwin to be the 2023-24 Harman/Eisner artist in residence. Godwin, the artistic director of Shakespeare Theatre Company, will work throughout Washington, D.C., New York, and Aspen in his residency.

“Simon Godwin is a master storyteller onstage and screen,” said Michael D. Eisner, Aspen Institute trustee and chair of its arts committee, in a statement. “His work builds on some of the world’s greatest literature to illuminate our understanding of humankind. I am excited to work with such talent and share his great perspective.”

Godwin joined Shakespeare Theatre Company as artistic director in 2019 and has directed three shows there, including Timon of Athens, a co-production with Theatre for a New Audience. He has served as associate director of the National Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, the Royal & Derngate Northampton Theatre, and the Royal Court Theatre, where he directed seven world premieres. He directed the filmed production of Romeo & Juliet at the National Theatre and has directed productions at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon in Tokyo. In 2012, Godwin was awarded the inaugural Evening Standard/Burberry Award for emerging directors.

The Harman/Eisner residency is a year-long appointment where an artist or cultural leader can explore how their artistry and unique perspectives can help address major social and civic issues. Artists in residence engage in discussions rooted in the arts and lend their visions to various policy programs, events, and leadership activities. Information about events featuring Godwin, including his participation the annual Aspen Ideas Festival, will be announced throughout the year.

“The Aspen Institute examines issues of vital importance and audaciously challenges our communal beliefs to help build a better society,” Godwin said in a statement. “I cannot think of a better partner to explore how social tensions in Shakespeare contend with contemporary issues of inequality, identity, and community.”

The Aspen Institute Arts Program champions the role of artists as critical thought leaders, futurists, and changemakers. The Institute brings artists and cultural influencers to audiences to celebrate and learn from their work and connect them with other leaders across all fields. The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute had a budget of approximately $171 million as of 2021.

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