Pub Date2006
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Acts of Criticism: Performance Matters in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

June Schlueter, Paul Nelsen (eds.)
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

This book assembles a cast of sixteen distinguished theater historians and performance critics, each of whom has contributed significantly to our understanding of issues associated with performing works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Their essays, all appearing in print for the first time, are presented in two groupings: a theater history and practice section, in which contributors examine matters related to performance in Shakespeare’s time and our own, and a performance criticism section, in which contributors treat modern productions on stage and screen.

In the theater history and practice section, Roslyn L. Kutson explores the 1599-1600 repertory of the Admiral’s Men and the Chamberlain’s Men, who performed in rival playhouses. Jay L. Halio studies playbooks to see how successive generations of actor, managers and directors modified the Shakespearean ‘original’ and how productions reflected such change. Alan C. Dessen investigates how scripted allusion and stage direction figure into patterns of production in the plays of Thomas Heywood.