A special issue of the international journal Shakespeare Bulletin, co-edited by Prof Sandra Young (UCT) and Prof David Sterling Brown of Trinity College in the US, has just appeared in print. In their opening essay, the editors argue that a new kind of justice-focused Shakespeare scholarship has become conceivable and urgent in the wake of unprecedented protest movements that have highlighted long-standing histories of violence around the world. Performance histories reveal that the space of the theatre is implicated in these histories, too. But for creative practice to be an instrument of social transformation, some major shifts are needed within the industry. The special issue considers whether the field of Shakespeare studies contains the necessary tools and commitment to support the work of innovative theater practice. Is it doing everything it can to address persistent legacies of injustice and violence, and the pervasiveness of racism, sexism, misogyny, and other toxic issues permeating its own structures? The articles in this special issue attend to some of the most important social justice matters demanding critical attention at this time. Reflecting on specific works and contexts, the essays in this special issue consider the impact of varied performance spaces in making visible embedded structures of physical and non-physical violence, and in helping audiences to imagine pathways to justice.