Taking as notional parameters the upheaval of the French Revolution and the events leading up to the Unification of Italy, this volume charts a period of political and social turbulence in Europe and its reflection in theatrical life. Apart from considering external factors like censorship and legal sanctions on theatrical activity, the volume examines the effects of prevailing operational conditions on the internal organization of companies, their repertoire, acting, stage presentation, playhouse architecture and the relationship with audiences. Also covered are technical advances in stage machinery, scenography and lighting, the changing position of the playwright and the continuing importance of various street entertainments, particularly in Italy, where dramatic theatre remained the poor relation of the operatic, and itinerant acting troupes still constituted the norm. The 460 documents, many of them illustrated, have been drawn from sources in Britain, France and Italy and have been annotated, and translated where appropriate.
• Explores theatrical developments in three countries during a pivotal period of European history • Contains previously unpublished documents • Contains many documents hitherto unavailable in English translation
List of documents; General editor's preface; Editor's preface; Acknowledgements; Britain Edited by Victor Emeljanow: Introduction; Part I. Theatre, the Law and Management Practices: A. Theatres and the law; B. Management and company practices; Part II. Playhouses; Part III. Repertoire, Taste and Audiences: A. Repertoire; B. Plays and playwriting; C. Audiences: conditions of viewing; D. Composition and behaviour; E. The attendance of royalty: its effect on audiences and repertoire; Part IV. Actors and Acting: A. Getting on stage; B. The theatre as industry; C. The art of the actor; D. 'Natural' acting; E. The actors; F. The advent of Edmund Kean and Romantic acting; G. Macready and the move towards realistic acting; H. Melodrama acting; I. The faces of comic acting; Part V. Stage Presentation: A. Stage machinery, lighting and effects; B. Stage settings; C. Stage business; D. Costuming; France Edited by Donald Roy: Introduction; Part I. Documents of Control: A. Licensing of theatres; B. Censorship and propaganda; Part II. Managerial and Contractual Documents; Part III. Actors and Acting; Part IV. Stage Presentation: A. Decors and machinery; B. Lighting; C. Costume; Part V. Audiences and Auditoria: Italy Edited by Kenneth Richards and Laura Richards: Introduction; Part I. After Goldoni; Part II. Carnival, feste and Street Theatre; Part III. Theatres, Scenic Design and Audiences; Part IV. Early Nineteenth-Century Acting Companies and Theatre Conditions; Part V. Players and Playing; Bibliography by country; Index.