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Performing Early Modern Drama Today

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Pascale Aebischer, Kathryn Prince, Lucy Munro, Jeremy Lopez, Farah Karim-Cooper, Coen Heijes, Jacquelyn Bessell, Rebecca McCutcheon, Sarah Thom, Roberta Barker, Jonathan Heron, Nicholas Monk, Paul Prescott, Karin Brown
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  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107559554

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About the Authors
  • While much attention has been devoted to performances of Shakespeare's plays today, little has been focused on modern productions of the plays of his contemporaries, such as Marlowe, Webster and Jonson. Performing Early Modern Drama Today offers an overview of early modern performance, featuring chapters by academics, teachers and practitioners, incorporating a variety of approaches. The book examines modern performances in both Britain and America and includes interviews with influential directors, close analysis of particular stage and screen adaptations and detailed appendices of professional and amateur productions. Chapters examine intellectual and practical opportunities to analyse what is at stake when the plays of Shakespeare's contemporaries are performed by ours. Whether experimenting with original performance practices or contemporary theatrical and cinematic ones, productions of early modern drama offer an inspiring, sometimes unusual, always interesting perspective on the plays they interpret for modern audiences.

    • Readers will be introduced to a wide variety of present-day performance practices and critical approaches, making this the perfect introduction to the field
    • Combines theoretical, descriptive and practical approaches to the performance of early modern drama today
    • Includes three extensive appendices listing amateur and professional performances in the UK and North America
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    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is an important and long-overdue book. As the contributors make clear, performance of non-Shakespearean early modern drama has been going on steadily for more than a century, yet every production is considered new and every work 'rediscovered.' This is due in large measure to the lack of consistent archiving and scholarly response....This collection goes a long way toward addressing these problems, not only with uniformly excellent essays, which cover a wide range of approaches, but also amazingly robust appendixes listing performances.....Summing up: Essential."

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107559554
    • length: 262 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Pascale Aebischer and Kathryn Prince
    2. The early modern repertory and the performance of Shakespeare's contemporaries Lucy Munro
    3. The seeds of time: student theatre and the drama of Shakespeare's contemporaries Jeremy Lopez
    4. The performance of early modern drama at Shakespeare's Globe Farah Karim-Cooper
    5. Shakespeare's contemporaries at the Royal Shakespeare Company Coen Heijes
    6. The actors' renaissance season at the Blackfriars Playhouse Jacquelyn Bessell
    7. Dido, Queen of Carthage: site-specific Marlowe Rebecca McCutcheon and Sarah Thom
    8. 'A freshly creepy reality': Jacobean tragedy and realist acting on the contemporary stage Roberta Barker
    9. Early modern drama on screen Pascale Aebischer
    10. Letting the dead come out to dance: an embodied and spatial approach to teaching early modern drama Jonathan Heron, Nicholas Monk and Paul Prescott
    11. Professional productions of early modern drama, 1960–2010 Karin Brown
    12. Performances of early modern drama at academic institutions since 1909 Jeremy Lopez
    13. Performances of early modern plays by amateur and student groups since 1887 Jeremy Lopez.

  • Editors

    Pascale Aebischer, University of Exeter
    Pascale Aebischer is Associate Professor of Early Modern Performance Studies at the University of Exeter. After a combined honours degree (English and French) at the University of Bern and a postgraduate diploma at the London Academy of Performing Arts, she moved to Lincoln College, Oxford, where she was the recipient of a Berrow Scholarship and where she completed her DPhil. From 1999 to 2002, Aebischer held a Research Fellowship, funded by the National Science Foundation (CH), at Darwin College, Cambridge. During those years, she taught in Cambridge, Oxford and for the British American Drama Academy in London. She took up a Lectureship in Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester in 2002 and moved to the University of Exeter in 2004. She is the author of Shakespeare's Violated Bodies: Stage and Screen Performance (Cambridge, 2004), Jacobean Drama (2010) and Screening Early Modern Drama: Beyond Shakespeare (Cambridge, 2013). In spring 2013, Pascale Aebischer became General Editor of Shakespeare Bulletin, the leading journal of early modern performance studies.

    Kathryn Prince, University of Ottawa
    Kathryn Prince is a theatre historian at the University of Ottawa. Her project 'Shakespeare and Theatrical Space', funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, will be published as a book and has generated the practice-based creative project 'Measured Space', which experiments with Measure for Measure in light of the contemporary theories and practices in disciplines ranging from architecture to zoo-keeping. Early modern plays performed out of their own period were also the focus of her first book, Shakespeare in the Victorian Periodicals (2008) as well as her second, a forthcoming performance history of Much Ado About Nothing, along with book chapters in Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century (2012) and Shakespeare in the Nineteenth Century (2012), The Working-Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain (2009) and two volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography.


    Pascale Aebischer, Kathryn Prince, Lucy Munro, Jeremy Lopez, Farah Karim-Cooper, Coen Heijes, Jacquelyn Bessell, Rebecca McCutcheon, Sarah Thom, Roberta Barker, Jonathan Heron, Nicholas Monk, Paul Prescott, Karin Brown


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013

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