This collection of essays explores the economic and dramatic implications of stage properties in early modern English drama. Written by a team of distinguished scholars, the essays explore the forms of production, circulation and exchange that brought sacred garments, household furnishings, pawned objects and even false beards onto the stage.
List of illustrations; Notes on contributors; 1. Introduction: towards a materialist account of stage properties Jonathan Gil Harris and Natasha Korda; Part I. Histories: 2. Properties of skill: product placement in early English artisanal drama Jonathan Gil Harris; 3. The dramatic life of objects in the early modern theatre Douglas Bruster; Part II. Furniture: 4. Things with little social life (Henslowe's theatrical properties and Elizabethan household fittings) Lena Cowen Orlin; 5. Properties of domestic life: the table in Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness Catherine Richardson; 6. 'Let me the curtains draw': the dramatic and symbolic properties of the bed in Shakespearean tragedy Sasha Roberts; Part III. Costumes: 7. Properties in clothes: the materials of the Renaissance theatre Peter Stallybrass; 8. Women's theatrical properties Natasha Korda; 9. Staging the beard: masculinity in early modern English culture Will Fisher; Part IV. Hand Properties: 10. Properties of marriage: proprietary conflict and the calculus of gender in Epicoene Juana Green; 11. The woman's parts of Cymbeline Valerie Wayne; 12. Wonder-effects: Othello's handkerchief Paul Yachnin; Appendix; Index.
"[T]he collection makes a valuable contribution to the study of early modern drama and to an understanding of the uses and variety of materialist methodologies. Not only are the methodologies set out clearly, but their use in specific instances provides helpful models for those who are pursuing similar lines of research." M.G. Aune, North Dakota State University, Sixteenth Century Journal
"An outstanding anthology which achieves a newly energized convergence between cultural materialism and theater/performance history. [...] The book's rich essays develop a range of possible materialist engagements with the materiality of stage properties." Studies in English Literature
"Staged Properties in Early Modern English is a truly excellent anthology, one that delivers on its promised aims, and I can guarantee that its readers will learn a great deal from the essays."
Peter C. Herman, Comparative Drama