Losing the Plot: Audiences, Scraps of Performance, and Selective Participation

Further to Andy’s post on story, this post asks questions about the nature and necessity of coherent “story”—and of audiences following “plot”—in early modern commercial dramatic performance. It does so by putting literary and archival material into conversation with archaeological discoveries, and as such I'm thankful to Heather Knight of MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) … Continue reading Losing the Plot: Audiences, Scraps of Performance, and Selective Participation

Performing words #6: matter

what’s the matter? This post follows up some of the points raised by Andy in his discussion of “story” and early modern theatre as part of his Performing Words series. Here, I suggest that the term “matter” might afford a more historically nuanced—and appropriate—vocabulary for thinking about the intersection of “story,” words, and performance. the … Continue reading Performing words #6: matter

CONFERENCE RESPONSE: Reflections on the Before Shakespeare conference by Stephen Purcell

Theatre history is not so much about establishing fact as it is about embracing uncertainty, a dialogue between competing and sometimes complementary narratives. That seemed to be the guiding principle of this stimulating and exhilarating conference, and one of the central arguments of Bill Ingram’s generous and provocative opening keynote. Indeed, the conference had clearly … Continue reading CONFERENCE RESPONSE: Reflections on the Before Shakespeare conference by Stephen Purcell