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Shakespeare's four-hundred-year performance history is full of anecdotes ? ribald, trivial, frequently funny, sometimes disturbing, and always but loosely allegiant to fact. Such anecdotes are nevertheless a vital index to the ways that Shakespeare's plays have generated meaning across varied times and in varied places. Furthermore, particular plays have produced particular anecdotes ? stories of a real skull in Hamlet, superstitions about the name Macbeth, toga troubles in Julius Caesar ? and therefore express something embedded in the plays they attend. Anecdotes constitute then not just a vital component of a play's performance history but a form of vernacular criticism by the personnel most intimately involved in their production: actors. These anecdotes are therefore every bit as responsive to and expressive of a play's meanings across time as the equally rich history of Shakespearean criticism or indeed the very performances these anecdotes treat. Anecdotal Shakespeare provides a history of post-Renaissance Shakespeare and performance, one not based in fact but no less full of truth.
Shakespeare's four-hundred-year performance history is full of anecdotes ? ribald, trivial, frequently funny, sometimes disturbing, and always but loosely allegiant to fact. Such anecdotes are nevertheless a vital index to the ways that Shakespeare's plays have generated meaning across varied times and in varied places. Furthermore, particular plays have produced particular anecdotes ? stories of a real skull in Hamlet, superstitions about the name Macbeth, toga troubles in Julius Caesar ? and therefore express something embedded in the plays they attend. Anecdotes constitute then not just a vital component of a play's performance history but a form of vernacular criticism by the personnel most intimately involved in their production: actors. These anecdotes are therefore every bit as responsive to and expressive of a play's meanings across time as the equally rich history of Shakespearean criticism or indeed the very performances these anecdotes treat. Anecdotal Shakespeare provides a history of post-Renaissance Shakespeare and performance, one not based in fact but no less full of truth.
How did Elizabethan and Jacobean acting companies create their visual and aural effects? What materials were available to them and how did they influence staging and writing? What impact did the sensations of theatre have on early modern audiences? How did the construction of the playhouses contribute to technological innovations in the theatre? What effect might these innovations have had on the writing of plays? Shakespeare's Theatres and The Effects of Performance is a landmark collection of essays by leading international scholars addressing these and other questions to create a unique and comprehensive overview of the practicalities and realities of the theatre in the early modern period.
Passing Strange offers a trenchant look at the diverse ways Shakespeare relates to race in a variety of cultural producitons in the United States.
Shakespeare, Performance and the Archive is a ground-breaking and movingly written exploration of what remains when actors evacuate the space and time of performance. An analysis of ‘leftovers’, it moves between tracking the politics of what is consciously archived and the politics of visible and invisible theatrical labour to trace the persistence of performance. In this fascinating volume, Hodgdon considers how documents, material objects, sketches, drawings and photographs explore scenarios of action and behaviour – and embodied practices. Rather than viewing these leftovers as indexical signs of a theatrical past, Hodgdon argues that the work they do is neither strictly archival nor documentary but performative – that is, they serve as sites of re-performance. Shakespeare, Performance and the Archive creates a deeply materialized historiography of performance and attempts to make that history do something entirely new. Barbara Hodgdon is Professor of English at the University of Michigan, now retired. Her major interest is in theatrical performances, especially performed Shakespeare. She is the author of: The End Crowns All, The Shakespeare Trade, and most recently the Arden edition of The Taming of the Shrew.
Offers interviews with American, Canadian, and British actors who speak about the challenges and rewards of performing Shakespeare's works.
In this first substantive study of directing Shakespeare in the USA, Charles Ney compares and contrasts directors working at major companies across the country. Because of the complexities of directing Shakespeare for audiences today, a director's methods, values and biases are more readily perceptible in their work on Shakespeare than in more contemporary work. Directors disclose their interpretation of the text, their management of the various stages of production, how they go about supervising rehearsals and share tactics. This book will be useful to students wanting to develop skills, practitioners who want to learn from what other directors are doing, and scholars and students studying production practice and performance.

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