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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.
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.
Passing Strange offers a trenchant look at the diverse ways Shakespeare relates to race in a variety of cultural producitons in the United States.
Offers interviews with American, Canadian, and British actors who speak about the challenges and rewards of performing Shakespeare's works.
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.
The original Blackfriars closed its doors in the 1640s, ending over half-a-century of performances by men and boys. In 2001, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, it opened once again. The reconstructed Blackfriars, home to the American Shakespeare Center, represents an old playhouse for the new millennium and therefore symbolically registers the permanent revolution in the performance of Shakespeare. Time and again, the industry refreshes its practices by rediscovering its own history. This book assesses how one American company has capitalised on history and in so doing has forged one of its own to become a major influence in contemporary Shakespearean theatre.

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