The Before Shakespeare Guide to [The] Theatre Etiquette

[Come and behave (well?) with these tips in mind at our upcoming event on the Curtain playhouse at hackney House on 21 July.] Just as writers in twenty-first century New York have opinions on how other people should behave in theatre spaces, so early modern London has its fair share of advice to spectators.  Whether … Continue reading The Before Shakespeare Guide to [The] Theatre Etiquette

“Fly me to the moon!”

Edward's Boys' Director, Perry Mills, introduces their latest production, in collaboration with Before Shakespeare, John Lyly's The Woman in the Moon.  To read about Edward's Boys in rehearsal at our conference in August 2017, read Perry's companion piece on our site. Now that Autumn and even Winter have been and gone – although Back-Winter appears to … Continue reading “Fly me to the moon!”

Genre and the Elizabethan Troupe

We are very happy to present below a guest post from Elizabeth E. Tavares (Pacific University Oregon) on genre and the Elizabethan troupe. *** What I find most pressing about Andy Kesson’s post, “Generic excitement,” are his methodological queries: how does genre organize our scholarship? To what extent do we implicitly rely on this typology as an “interpretive precondition”? … Continue reading Genre and the Elizabethan Troupe

Early Thoughts on the Archives

…and now for something completely different. After last week’s performance workshops, this post moves us from the rehearsal space back to the library; I have been revisiting archival documents associated with the rise of the commercial playhouses and getting a clearer sense of the context that surrounds extant references, restrictions, and correspondence about playing. The … Continue reading Early Thoughts on the Archives

News from the North

This month, in the wake of the Brexit vote, Adrian Chiles travelled around the country to speak to those—particularly those at one remove from London—who voted Leave. Whatever one’s political leanings and whatever one made of the Panorama programme itself, Chiles sought to bring “News from the Midlands,” representing the views of those underrepresented, infuriated with … Continue reading News from the North

Galatea Workshops

We invite scholars to participate in exploring John Lyly’s Galatea at the Jerwood Space this August. The award-winning theatre maker Emma Frankland and Andy Kesson will be working with a company of performers, exploring the play’s representations of non-normative sexuality and its concluding investment in transgender identity. We are grateful to Shakespeare Bulletin, the University of Roehampton and the Before Shakespeare project … Continue reading Galatea Workshops

“What is a house?”

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the Before Shakespeare project’s first Advisory Board meeting. The above question, posed by Dr Andy Kesson, provides a good example of the project’s opening strategy. The board was keen to interrogate long-accepted terminology from the early modern studies toolbox, sometimes with disorientating effects (on this observer, at least) … Continue reading “What is a house?”

The Story So Far: First Advisory Board

The Before Shakespeare project held its first Advisory Board meeting earlier this month. These meetings offer the chance to hear thoughts on the project’s progress and to hear suggestions, comments, and advice (it’s in the name!) from the diverse and exciting array of people on the board—medievalists, an archaeologist, and a theatre practitioner and director, … Continue reading The Story So Far: First Advisory Board

Putting the Shh into Shakespeare

In our first blog post I raised the question of the defining characteristics of the sixteenth and seventeenth century playhouses: their sheer number, their architectural and performance function, their attempts to capitalise on the art of theatre, and most crucially the way they were the product of working people as financiers, artists and core audience. … Continue reading Putting the Shh into Shakespeare