In 2016 it will have been difficult, likely impossible, in England to avoid Shakespeare. The 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death has prompted a wealth of programming to ensure that his cultural legacy, entertainment value and economic impact are recognized nationwide. The Shakespeare 400 “consortium of leading creative, cultural and educational organisations”1 advertise “a year of celebrations”; Shakespeare’s Globe will return to its London stage a touring production of Hamlet that will, by then, have visited “all nations on earth”2; and the British Council has announced its own roster of arts events, teaching materials and education projects. In the words of the council’s chief executive, Sir Martin Davidson: “Shakespeare provides an important connection to the UK for millions of people around the world, and the world will be looking to celebrate this anniversary with the UK. We hope that the UK’s cultural organisations will come together to meet these expectations and ensure that 2016 is our next Olympic moment.”3 As both Davidson’s aspiration and the Globe’s tour recognize, 2016 will be, not just England’s year of commemoration and revels, but also a recognition of this anniversary that will extend across the world. The essays I have assembled for this 2016 volume of the Shakespeare International Yearbook form, certainly, another testament to the scope of attention Shakespeare and his plays now garner in both national and international contexts. Across the sites that these essays explore, I hope to illustrate the complexity and diversity of this globally relevant and recognized Shakespeare – to understand the reproduction of his plays in the twenty-first century in those places well-known and often recognized for their contributions to contemporary knowledge of the works, but also in geographic and historical contexts less often acknowledged or explored. The idea of “site” invoked by this collection of essays is informed by Mike Pearson’s expansive sense of the term to include “the role of human agency in place-making

in a transitory moment of absorption of actors and things and an intensification of affect,” instructive, he suggests, “for both the critical apprehension of and creative initiatives in performance.”4