Announcements

Announcement: Digital Acting Parts

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.391  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Laura Estill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 4, 2014 at 10:51:59 AM EDT

Subject:    Announcement: Digital Acting Parts

 

Announcement: Digital Acting Parts

 

Are your students performing Shakespeare? Is your theatre doing a Shakespeare show? We built a tool to help! Check it out: http://digitalactingparts.tamu.edu/

 

In the early modern period, rather than having access to a full-text play, actors learned their lines using “Actors’ parts,” hastily handwritten documents that provided them with only their cues and lines. Traditionally, today’s actors learn their lines from full-text plays, without any computer assistance. Digital Acting Parts (DAP) is an online environment that both mimics and enhances the early modern acting experience in order to facilitate actors learning their lines. DAP is the first project to give users an interactive experience with an early-modern-inspired “actor’s part,” which encourages both active reading and memorization, in turn leading to a better understanding of the texts themselves.

 

Digital Acting Parts was created by Laura Estill (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Luis Meneses (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) in the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture at Texas A&M.  We welcome your feedback.

 

Laura Estill

Assistant Professor of English

Texas A&M University

Editor, World Shakespeare Bibliography

www.worldshakesbib.org

 

Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabéthains

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.390  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Jean-Christophe MAYER <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 7, 2014 at 1:52:31 PM EDT

Subject:    Latest Issue of Cahiers Elisabéthains

 

Dear List Members,

 

The latest issue of Cahiers Elisabethains is now available: Cahiers Elisabethains 85 (2014), Manchester University Press.

 

  • Please note that article submissions are now open for the next issues of the journal. To submit an article, please write to either of Cahiers's assistant editors: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> or <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
  • For more details about subscriptions and information about the journal please got to:

http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/journals/ce

 

Best wishes,

Jean-Christophe Mayer and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin

Co-General Editors

 

CONTENTS

 

ARTICLES

Judicious, sharp spectators? Form, Pattern and Audience in Early Modern Theatre: Some Problems

C. W. R. D. Moseley

 

Shakespeare at Work: Four Kings and Two Shrews

Warren Chernaik

 

Within / This ruined cottage’: Witchcraft, Domesticity and Inwardness in The Witch of Edmonton

Muriel Cunin

 

NOTES

Carducci Reads Marlowe: Dante and Doctor Faustus (B-Text)

Roy Eriksen

 

The 1574 Mirour for Magistrates as a possible source of ‘Feath’red King’ in Shakespeare’s ‘The Phoenix and the Turtle’

Richard M. Waugaman

 

PERFORMANCE IN CONTEXT ARTICLE

The reflective part of man: Javor Gardev’s Bulgarian Shakespeares

Boika Sokolova

 

PLAY REVIEWS

The 2013 Stratford, Ontario, Shakespeare Festival Plays: Measure for Measure, The Tom Patterson Theatre, 26 June 2013; Romeo and Juliet, directed by Tim Carroll, The Festival Theatre, 27 June 2013; Othello, directed by Chris Abraham, The Avon Theatre, 13 August 2013; The Merchant of Venice, directed by Antoni Cimolino, The Festival Theatre, 31 August 2013

Dana E. Aspinall

 

Henry V, directed by Paul Mullins, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen, Santa Cruz, California, 9 August, 2013.

Marina Favila

 

Romeo and Juliet, directed by Bobbie Steinbach & Allyn Burrows for the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, The Strand Theatre, Dorchester, Massachusetts, 12 October 2013; Romeo and Juliet, directed by David Leveaux, Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 West 46th Street, New York City, 7 November 2013

Richard J. Larschan

 

The Massacre at Paris, by Christopher Marlowe, directed by Jeremy L. West, Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton, Virginia, 24 June 2013, rear stalls centre.

Helen Osborne

 

Macbeth, directed by Jacquelyn Bessell for the Performance Research Group, salle Dugès, Faculté de Médecine, Montpellier, 29 June 2013

Alban Déléris

 

Richard II, directed by Claus Peymann for the Berliner Ensemble and the Vienna Burgtheater, Printemps des Comédiens, Amphithéâtre d’O, Montpellier, 26 June 2013

Maggie Domon

 

Macbeth, directed by Laurent Pelly and translated by Jean-Michel Déprats, Théâtre des Amandiers, Nanterre, 5 and 12 October 2013

Stéphane Huet

 

Le Conte d’hiver (The Winter’s Tale), translated by Daniel Loayza, directed by Patrick Pineau, La Coursive, Scène nationale, La Rochelle, 13 November 2013

Stéphanie Mercier

 

Othello, directed by Jack Nieborg for Shakespeare Theater Diever, Diever, The Netherlands, 21 August 2013.

Coen Heijes

 

Dido, Queen of Carthage, directed by Perry Mills for Edward’s Boys, Levi Fox Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon, 20 September 2013

Peter J. Smith

 

Richard II, directed by Gregory Doran, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, 21 October 2013

Peter J. Smith

 

Antony and Cleopatra, edited and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney, The Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 14 November 2013

Peter J. Smith

 

Macbeth (The Notes), adapted and directed by Dan Jemmett, Sortie Ouest, Béziers, France, 15 January 2014

Florence March and Janice Valls-Russell

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Ruth Morse, Helen Cooper, and Peter Holland, eds, Medieval Shakespeare: Past and Presents (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013)

David Salter

 

Shakespeare’s Erotic Mythology and Ovidian Renaissance Culture, edited by Agnès Lafont (Farnham, Surrey, Ashgate, 2013)

Goran Stanivukovic

 

Farah Karim-Cooper and Tiffany Stern (eds), Shakespeare’s Theatres and the Effects of Performance (London & New York, Bloomsbury, 2013)

 

Kevin A. Quarmby, Oxford College of Emory University

Paul Edmundson, Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan, eds., A Year of Shakespeare: Reliving the World Shakespeare Festival, The Arden Shakespeare (London & New York, Bloomsbury, 2013)

Nathalie Rivère de Carles

 

Alexa C. Y. Huang, Weltliteratur und Welttheater: Ästhetischer Humanismus in der kulturellen Globalisierung (Bielefeld, Transcript Verlag, 2012)

Géraldine Fiss

 

2014 Shakespeare Colloquium at FDU

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.389  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Harry Keyishian <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 7, 2014 at 12:13:04 PM EDT

Subject:    2014 Shakespeare Colloquium at FDU

 

2014 Shakespeare Colloquium at Fairleigh Dickinson University

 

October 18 is the date of the 2014 annual Shakespeare Colloquium at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham campus in Madison, NJ.  This marks the 22nd year of these day-long events. The Colloquium runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

 

This year’s provocative topic is “Shakespeare Bad and Shakespeare Wrong: Rethinking the Shakespearean.” Four scholars will discuss what can be learned by “bad” and “wrong” Shakespeare—in performance and in scholarship—and what the differences are.  

 

Dr. Zoltán Márkus (Vassar College) asks what kind of ethical assumptions, implications, or judgments are involved in distinguishing “bad” Shakespeare” from “wrong” Shakespeare. Dr. Iska Alter (Hofstra University) will discuss how and why Shakespeare was produced in Nazi Germany. Dr. Donovan Sherman (Seton Hall University) shows how the “wrongness” of Roland Emmerich’s 2011 film Anonymous reflects on our practices as readers and audiences of Shakespeare. Finally, Dr. Emily Weissbourd (Bryn Mawr College), through a discussion of Othello and the Spanish drama of its time, shows the difference between modern and Renaissance ideas of race, servitude and interracial marriage

 

Harry Keyishian 

Director, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

Professor Emeritus

Department of Literature, Language, Writing, and Philosophy 

Fairleigh Dickinson University

 

The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.388  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Evelyn Gajowski <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 5, 2014 at 3:38:39 PM EDT

Subject:    The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays

 

 

 

Dear Fellow SHAKSPER members,

 

I’m pleased to announce that Routledge in London will publish The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays, edited by Phyllis Rackin and myself, on 18 Sept. 2014.  Please see the attached publicity flyer and the following link for details --  

 

http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415845045/

 

If you would ask your institutional librarian to order a copy and consider ordering a copy yourself, we would be grateful. 

 

All the best,

Lynn

 

Evelyn Gajowski

Professor of English

Department of English

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://english.unlv.edu/faculty/gajowski.html

 

Co-Editor (with Phyllis Rackin), The Merry Wives of Windsor: New Critical Essays, Routledge

http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415845045/
Series Editor, Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series

http://davidhawkes.net/?p=227

 

Flyer:  pdf  MMW Flyer (958.34 kB)

 

SAA Seminar Registration Deadline: 15 September

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.387  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 4, 2014 at 11:42:50 AM EDT

Subject:    SAA Seminar Registration Deadline: 15 September

 

To all SAA members,

 

If you plan to take part in a seminar or workshop at the upcoming year’s SAA meeting in Vancouver but have not yet registered, please note that the registration deadline is fast approaching: 15 September. For descriptions of the year’s programs, visit the seminar description page.  

You may register online on the seminar and workshop page, where you will be required to submit four choices. SAA enrollments are processed on a first-registered, first-received basis. Although we make every effort to place you in your first-choice seminar or workshop, registration imbalances can render this impossible. In early October, you will receive notification of your seminar placement and an invitation to take part in the SAA’s Forty-Third Annual Meeting.

The conference will be held 1 - 4 April 2015. The meeting will open with a first group of seminars and workshops at 10:30 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, 2 April and will close with the annual dance late Saturday, 4 April. Our host hotel is the historic Fairmont Vancouver. Rooms are discounted to $135.00 USD per night for single and double occupancy; mandatory state and local taxes will be added at the current rate of 15 percent. The SAA has negotiated complimentary guestroom internet access at the Fairmont. The meeting registration fee, payable starting 1 January 2015, is $125 for faculty and postdoctoral scholars and $90 for graduate students. 

 

For those members interested in presenting new projects at the 2015 Digital Salon the deadline for proposals is 1 November.  Proposals may be submitted on the SAA digital salon page.

 

Many of you will be interested in attending the Tenth World Shakespeare Congress in the summer of 2016. The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death will be marked with a conference that opens in Stratford-upon-Avon and travels to London. If you have not yet submitted a proposal for a seminar, workshop, or panel—but would like to—you will be glad to know that the deadline has been extended to 31 October 2014. For further information about the submission of proposals, please visit http://wsc2016.wordpress.com/call-for-papers/. Those wishing to find co-chairs for seminar sessions are invited to use the noticeboard facility on the website at http://wsc2016.wordpress.com/noticeboard/

I send greetings on behalf of Executive Director Lena Orlin who is currently on leave and Assistant Director Joseph J. Navitsky. We all hope to see you in Vancouver.
 

 

With best regards,

Bailey Yeager


Senior Programs Manager

 

ISA Call for Submissions – Extended Deadline

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.386  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         September 3, 2014 at 6:08:17 PM EDT

Subject:    Call for Submissions – Extended Deadline 

 

http://wsc2016.wordpress.com/call-for-papers/

 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – EXTENDED DEADLINE

 

International Shakespeare Association

10th World Shakespeare Congress 2016:

‘Creating and Re-creating Shakespeare’

 

31 July to 6 August, 2016
London and Stratford-upon-Avon

 

The year 2016 marks four hundred years of popular, artistic, and scholarly enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s life and works. We justly celebrate Shakespeare as a creator of plays and poems, characters and ideas, words and worlds. But so too, in the centuries since the playwright’s death in 1616, have scholars and thinkers, writers, artists, and performers—of all kinds and from around the globe—re-created him. In such perpetual reinventions of Shakespeare we seem to have confirmation of Ben Jonson’s words: Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time”.

 

The tenth World Shakespeare Congress of the International Shakespeare Association will honour Shakespeare’s 400-year legacy and celebrate the continuing global resonance of his work. The Congress’s rich programme of plenary lectures, seminars, panels, workshops, events, and performances will take place across two successive locations: first in Stratford-upon-Avon, among the key sites of Shakespeare’s personal life; and subsequently in London, close to the site of his most famous workplace, the Globe theatre. WSC 2016 will offer unparalleled opportunities to engage with current Shakespeare performance, criticism, and pedagogy, and to connect with fellow Shakespeareans from around the world.

 

The Congress organisers welcome proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and other events (including performances and other creative responses) relating to any aspect of Shakespeare’s work, life, and continuing legacy.

 

Proposals of 500 words for seminars, panels, and workshops may be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Workshops and seminars should be co-hosted with at least one other delegate. The Congress is an international event, and, as such, potential co-hosts are strongly encouraged to collaborate with delegates from other countries or geographical regions. Proposers will understand that there will be more space for seminars than panels on the conference programme.

 

Deadline for submissions: 31 October 2014

 

Those submitting proposals should ensure that their membership of the ISA is current.

 

Financial donations to the World Shakespeare Congress are greatly appreciated. All such donations will be used to provide grant subsidies for early-career scholars and delegates from countries with less competitive economies. For further information please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

We look forward to welcoming delegates and their families and friends in the summer of 2016.

 

Hosts

 

Globe Education, Shakespeare’s Globe
Royal Shakespeare Company
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
London Shakespeare Centre, King’s College London

 

Affiliated Hosts

 

Holy Trinity Church
King Edward VI Grammar School
Misfit, inc.

 

Problem Sending Newsletters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.385  Tuesday, 9 September 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Subject:    Problem Sending Newsletters

 

Dear SHAKSPER subscribers,

 

SHAKSPER was located to a new server while I was in the UK. Since then there have been problems with the send mail function that are still to be worked out.

 

I hope that I have found a way around the problem until it is fixed.

 

Accept my apologies and bear with me.

 

Hardy

 

IMPORTANT SHAKSPER Appointments

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.381  Thursday, 28 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Thursday, August 28, 2014

Subject:    IMPORTANT SHAKSPER Announcements

 

During the summer, I have been seeking volunteers to assist me with some of the SHAKSPER operations.

 

Since I was away for most of the summer, I have not had a sustained period to work through those who have volunteered and how I might use those persons.

 

Tonight, I am announcing my first two appointments of SHAKSPER Contributing Editors.

 

Assistant Professor of English, Louise Geddes of Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, will be Contributing Editor in change of the Festivals and Plays section of the SHAKSPER web site.

 

Louise Geddes is an Assistant Professor of English at Adelphi University.  She has just completed her first manuscript, Pyramus and Thisbe: The Stage Histories of Shakespeare’s Unruly Play, which reflects her interests in Shakespeare’s role as a maker of theatrical manners. One article from this monograph has been published in Shakespeare Bulletin and another is forthcoming in MaRDiE. Her current research centers on the death of political theatre in contemporary British drama.  Her article “The Bite of the Right in Thatcher’s England: Jacobean Presentism and Howard Barker’s Women Beware Women” was recently published in Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, and “A Mad Art, My Masters: Theatre and Usable Culture in Late Twentieth-Century Britain” is forthcoming in ILS. Beginning this year, Louise is also a contributor at YWES.

 

All suggestions, additions, or changes should be sent to Professor Geddes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Associate Professor of English Annalisa Castaldo from Widener University in Chester, PA, will be SHAKSPER Contributing Editor in charge of coordinating the SHAKSPER Book Review Panel for the SBReviews.

 

Annalisa Castaldo received her PhD from Temple University. She is an associate professor of English at Widener University in Chester, PA where she teaches Shakespeare and other early modern works. She has worked closely with the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater in Philadelphia in numerous roles and has edited Henry V, Henry VI: 1-3 and Macbeth (Focus editions). Her scholarly interests include performance history, Shakespeare in pop culture, and gender representations on the early modern stage.

 

Any suggestions for possible books to review should be sent to Professor Castaldo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copied to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Please join in welcoming Louise and Annalisa to what I hope will be the ever expanding family of SHAKSPER Contributing Editors.

 

Hardy

 

Upcoming GW MEMSI Events for 2014-2015

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.376  Thursday, 28 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 28, 2014 at 9:28:04 AM EDT

Subject:    Upcoming GW MEMSI Events for 2014-2015

 

Another year means more exciting events from the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute. 

 

Please join us on Friday, September 5, at 3:00 PM, for Professor Rebecca Bushnell's Dean's Scholars' in Shakespeare Annual Lecture.   The Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Program is directed by Professor Holly Dugan. This lecture will take place in the Academic Building (Post Hall) of GW's Mount Vernon Campus. 

 

Professor Rebecca Bushnell is the President of the Shakespeare Association of America and professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of numerous books, including Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens (Cornell University Press, 2003) and Tragedy: A Short Introduction (Blackwell, 2005) and the editor of Companion to Tragedy (Blackwell, 2005). 

 

Her talk is entitled  “What ist’ o’clock?”: Comic and Tragic Temporality in Shakespeare.

 

How do characters and audience experience time in Shakespeare's plays and why does it matter? This lecture will pursue a general theory of comic and tragic time in performance, in The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. The Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare Annual Lecture is designed for a broad audience.  It is free and open to the public, and it will be followed by a reception.

 

Information on the free shuttle between Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campus can be accessed here.Part of the purpose of this event is to welcome the Dean's Scholars in Shakespeare to GW.  Students in this two-year, 16-credit program will be residing in Cole Hall and taking courses on Mount Vernon. The Shakespeare Annual Lecture series features distinguished Shakespearean scholars each year and brings cutting-edge work to GW's campus.

 

 

Other MEMSI events to look forward to this year:

 

Nov 14: Symposium on Monsters, with Kathleen Long Perry (Cornell), Surekha Davies (Western Connecticut State) and Asa Simon Mittman (Chico State) 

 

Dec 5: Bruce Holsinger reads from his celebrated historical fiction A Burnable Book

 

March 20: Symposium on "Transition, Scale and Catastrophe" with Stacy Alaimo, Stephanie LeMenager, Steve Mentz and more

 

April 9-10: "Entangled Trajectories: Integrating European and Native American Histories" at GW and the Library of Congress.

 

We will also have a few more events along the way, including a works in progress breakfast series. 

 

Lastly, I would like to take the time to briefly introduce myself. My name is Casey Bieda and I am the MEMSI assistant this year. I look forward to working with MEMSI this upcoming year, as well corresponding with all of you. 

 

-- 

GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute

www.gwmemsi.com

 

New Article on the Blackfriars Theatre

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.375  Thursday, 28 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         August 28, 2014 at 8:02:26 AM EDT

Subject:    New Article on the Blackfriars Theatre

 

http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/news.htm

 

27 August 2014New Article on the Blackfriars Theatre by Peter C. Herman & his SDSU Class!

 

Conjectural reconstruction. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

MoEML’s Pedagogical Partnership Project comes to fruition! This month, we published our first encyclopedia article prepared by a group of students at another institution working under the guest editorship of their onsite instructor.

 

Professor Peter C. Herman ably guided fourteen upper-level undergraduate students (Ryan Brothers, Shaun Deilke, Amber Dodson, Elaine Flores, Alexandra Gardella, Roy Gillespie, Ashley Gumienny, Mark Jacobo, Karen Kluchonic, Alyssa Lammers, Cassady Lynch, Douglas Payne, Andres Villota, Andrea Wilkum) at San Diego State University through the ins and outs of early modern research in order collectively to produce a nearly 6,000-word scholarly article on the Blackfriars Theatre.

 

Their excellent new contribution includes details of the repertory, theatrical practices, architecture, and audiences of both the first and second Blackfriars Theatres, as well as information on some of the key figures (including Richard Farrant, James Burbage, and his sons, Richard Burbage and Cuthbert Burbage) involved in both theatres’ history.

 

MoEML would like to thank Peter Herman and his class for being such intrepid and enthusiastic pilot participants in our pedagogical experiment. We think the results demonstrate just how successfully instructors can enagage their undergraduate students in scholarly research. Furthermore, their work has the wonderful potential to help students elsewhere learn more about early modern London. Indeed, MoEML has received positive feedback from another scholar who has already used this new article on the Blackfriars in her own teaching. Congratulations, Peter and SDSU students!

 

http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/BLAC6.htm

 

HERE is the article on The Blackfriars Theatre in The Map of Early Modern London:

 

Blackfriars Theatre

 

History of the Blackfriars Precinct

The history of the two Blackfriars theatres is long and fraught with legal and political struggles. The story begins in 1276, when King Edward I gave to the Dominican order five acres of land. To accommodate their buildings, they were allowed to tear down a small section of London’s city wall in order to provide their new precinct a north and north-west boundary (Chambers 475; Stow sig. B5r-B5v). Although the Dominicans first encountered significant opposition to their construction plans by the Dean and Canons of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was only two hundred yards away, in 1278 they started construction and eventually erected a very large church and what must have been a substantial group of surrounding structuress, no trace of which remains today.

 

Still, these buildings must have been impressive, as over the course of three hundred years they were often used for important government functions. As John Stow puts it:

 

This was a large church, and richly furniſhed with Ornaments: wherein diuers Parliaments and other great méetings hath béene holden: namely in the yeare one thouſand foure hundred and fiftie, the twentie eight of Henry the ſixt, a Parliament was begun at Weſtminſter, and adiourned to the Blacke-Fryers in London. In the yeare, 1527. the Emperor Charles the fifth, was lodged there. In the yeare 1524. the fiftéenth of Aprill, a Parliament was begun at the Black-Fryers, wherein was demaunded a ſubſidie of 800000. pound to bee rayſed of goodes and lands [...] In the yeare 1529. Cardinal Campenis the Legat with Cardinall Woolſey, ſate at yͤ ſaid Black Fryers, where before them as Legats and Iudges, was brought in queſtion the Kings marriage with Quéen Kathren as to be vnlawfull, before whom thè King and Quéen were cited and ſummoned to appeare [...] The ſame yeare in the moneth of October, begā a Parliament in the Blacke-Fryers, in the which Cardinall Woolſey was condemned in the priminerie [...] (Stow sig. T2r)

 

Less spectacularly but equally significantly for theatre history, in 1529 Henry VIII chose the Blackfriars site as the office for the King’s Revels and as a storehouse for props, properties, and costumes (Smith 14).

 

History of the Blackfriars Precinct

The history of the two Blackfriars theatres is long and fraught with legal and political struggles. The story begins in 1276, when King Edward I gave to the Dominican order five acres of land. To accommodate their buildings, they were allowed to tear down a small section of London’s city wall in order to provide their new precinct a north and north-west boundary (Chambers 475; Stow sig. B5r-B5v). Although the Dominicans first encountered significant opposition to their construction plans by the Dean and Canons of St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was only two hundred yards away, in 1278 they started construction and eventually erected a very large church and what must have been a substantial group of surrounding structuress, no trace of which remains today.

 

Still, these buildings must have been impressive, as over the course of three hundred years they were often used for important government functions. As John Stow puts it:

 

This was a large church, and richly furniſhed with Ornaments: wherein diuers Parliaments and other great méetings hath béene holden: namely in the yeare one thouſand foure hundred and fiftie, the twentie eight of Henry the ſixt, a Parliament was begun at Weſtminſter, and adiourned to the Blacke-Fryers in London. In the yeare, 1527. the Emperor Charles the fifth, was lodged there. In the yeare 1524. the fiftéenth of Aprill, a Parliament was begun at the Black-Fryers, wherein was demaunded a ſubſidie of 800000. pound to bee rayſed of goodes and lands [...] In the yeare 1529. Cardinal Campenis the Legat with Cardinall Woolſey, ſate at yͤ ſaid Black Fryers, where before them as Legats and Iudges, was brought in queſtion the Kings marriage with Quéen Kathren as to be vnlawfull, before whom thè King and Quéen were cited and ſummoned to appeare [...] The ſame yeare in the moneth of October, begā a Parliament in the Blacke-Fryers, in the which Cardinall Woolſey was condemned in the priminerie [...] (Stow sig. T2r)

 

Less spectacularly but equally significantly for theatre history, in 1529 Henry VIII chose the Blackfriars site as the office for the King’s Revels and as a storehouse for props, properties, and costumes (Smith 14).

 

Theatrical Practices

Lyly’s plays also give us some indication of the kinds of productions the Blackfriars space allowed. Each requires two doors cut through the back wall or prop, use an inner stage that is revealed to the audience by way of a curtain, and the stage had a trap door in the floor of the platform (Smith 138-41). Also the stage area was much smaller than the outdoor theatre, which meant the audience saw a different kind of play:

 

Smaller playing areas meant less reliance on fencing and acrobatics, stable features of plays by adult troupes. Better acoustics allowed dramatists to call for subtler and more varied musical effects, a distinct advantage for choirboy companies, trained in signing and the playing of instruments [...] The intimacy of a hall playhouse or a banqueting hall at court also encouraged dramatists to write for socially cohesive audiences capable of appreciating subtle allusions to specific individuals, issues and situations and to shared concerns about events the world of the play.(Shapiro 134-35)

 

The new space, in other words, resulted in new artistic strategies.

Sadly, however, property rights eventually triumphed over dramatic success. In 1584, Sir William More finally succeeded in retaking possession of his property, and he ejected the Children of the Chapel after eight years of playing.

 

The 12 Year Hiatus

The first Blackfriars theatre closed in 1584 and the second Blackfriars theatre would not open until early 1596. In the interim, the Blackfriars complex was turned to commercial uses. The original Parliament Chamber, the upper rooms that once hosted the Children of the Chapel, first became a pipe office (meaning, a records office) for England’s Exchequer (meaning, the national treasurer), and were later rented to William de Laune, Doctor of Physic (Smith 156, 471). The room located below the playhouse was leased to a William Joyner, who turned it into a fencing school. Rocco Bonetti, one of the best fencing masters of Elizabethan England, subsequently bought the school and operated it until early 1596.

 

During the period that the Blackfriars space was not used for putting on plays, English drama became a major economic and artistic industry. The theatre became an institution. New playhouses were built (Smith 158), such as the Rose in 1587. However, opposition to drama still continued, and actors were still classed as rogues or sturdy beggars unless they gained the patronage of a great person or peer or the realm. It is no accident that most of the theatres in this period were constructed outside of London’s city limits and so beyond the easy reach of London’s city fathers.7

 

The Second Blackfriars Theatre

Despite the hiatus in playing, the Blackfriars liberty remained an attractive place for a theatre, and James Burbage, who had built the Theatre (1576), had his eye on it. Burbage was no stranger to controversy, nor was he a man to back down. He was, in the words of a contemporary, a stubburne man (qtd. in Edmond). During the litigation over the Theatre, his once-partner and brother-in-law, John Brayne tried to show Burbage a copy of an old court order about contempt. Burbage dismissed this as A paper which he might wype his tale with (qtd. in Edmond). Despite the obvious obstacles, Burbage clearly sensed the commercial possibilities of another theatre at Blackfriars. As Smith argues, Burbage knew that a playhouse in the Blackfriars precinct would give the company unrivaled advantages and prestige. For the first time, a company of adult actors would have a playhouse within the City walls [...] It would be in one of the most fashionable districts of London (161). Somehow, Burbage convinced Sir William More to sell him the Blackfriars property without letting on what his purpose might be, and on 4 February 1596, the sale was completed (Smith 471-75).

 

However, things did not go smoothly. Once his wealthy neighbors heard about his project, they sent a petition to the Privy Council asking that the project be shut down:

 

That whereas one Burbage hath lately bought certain rooms in the same precinct, near adjoining unto the dwelling houses of the right honorable the Lord Chamberlain and the Lord of Hunsdon, which rooms the said Burbage is now altering and meaneth very shortly to convert and turn the same into a common playhouse, which will grow to be a very great annoyance and trouble, not only to all the noblemen and gentlemen thereabout inhabiting, but also a general inconvenience to all the inhabitants of the same precinct, both by reason for the great resort and gathering together of all manner of vagrant and lewd persons that, under color of resorting to the plays, will come thither and work all manner of mischief, and also to the great pestering and filling up of the same precinct, if it should please God to send any visitation of sickness as heretofore hath been, for that the same precinct is already grown very populous; and besides that the same playhouse is so near the church that the noise of the rums and trumpets will greatly disturb and hinder both the ministers and parishioners in time of divine service and sermons. (transcribed in Smith 480)

 

The petition also describes how actors, banished by the Lord Mayor from playing within the City (explaining why all the other theatres were situated outside London’s authority), now think to plant themselves in liberties (transcribed in Smith 480). The petitioners then asked the Council to take order that the same rooms may be converted to some other use, and that no playhouse may be used or kept there (Smith 480-81). The Privy Council agreed and promptly ordered that the property not be used for a common playhouse.

 

After the Privy Council’s order, it seemed certain that there would be no further theatrical performances in the Blackfriars liberty. Burbage, who went to his grave in 1597, died probably thinking that his project had entirely miscarried and that he bequeathed his son Richard, nothing but debt—Burbage gave his other son, Cuthbert, his lease on the Theatre, which had its own legal problems (Smith 173). Richard, however, had a brilliant idea. Seizing on the phrase common playhouse, he realized that the petitioners had in mind an adult company, such as those presently inhabiting The Theatre, The Swan, and The Red Bull. Richard therefore decided to turn the property into a private theatre: an indoor theatre featuring a company of children. So he turned to the same Henry Evans who had briefly managed Farrant’s company and in 1600, rented the hall to him for a period of twenty-one years (Smith 175).

 

Architecture and Audiences

While the second Blackfriars theatre may have had the same manager as the first, they would present a very different type of drama in a significantly reconfigured space. Burbage installed his theatre in what once was the Parliament chamber, otherwise known as the Upper Frater. While there are no primary source documents telling us what exactly the theatre looked like, we can safely assume that this space was beautiful. According to the lease and the various documents produced by subsequent litigation, the theatre was also very small: 66 feet long 46 feet wide, considerably less than the outdoor, public stages (Smith 165; Gurr 193). The theatre space itself was significantly altered from the first Blackfriars theatre. The stage had to be higher to accommodate the apparatus used in celestial flights (Smith 167). In addition, the floor had two trap doors (the original had only one). However, the most important change concerned the seating. Whereas the audience in the first theatre sat on benches, the audience for the second Blackfriars theatre had a variety of options. The theatre’s patrons could, if they chose and if they could afford it, sit on the stage itself: The tiring-house provided separate and privileged access for up to fifteen gallants, who pad an extra sixpence for a stool so that they could view the play from the stage itself (Gurr 194). Numerous plays, especially Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle (written 1607; published 1613) testify to how the audience and the players seemed to mingle on the stage, with the gallants as much the object of the audience’s appreciation as the play itself. In addition, Burbage created at least two, possibly three, ranges of galleries, which curbed around the auditorium. The audience was literally wrapped around the stage (Gurr 195).

 

Admission prices at Blackfriars started at sixpence for entry to the topmost gallery. One more shilling purchased a space on a bench in the pit, and a seat on the stage cost about two shillings (Gurr 195; Aaron 88). The prices at the Globe, on the other hand, started at a penny, making the least expensive ticket at Blackfriars six times the price. The higher prices at Blackfriars helped make up for the smaller audience—the smaller theatre accommodated approximately 500 patrons, as opposed to the Globe’s 2000 (Aaron 88)—and they helped keep out the groundlings, thus maintaining the Blackfriar’s elite reputation. Also, the prices reversed the convention for the public theatres, where the audience nearest the stage paid the least.

 

Playing Style

Just as with the first Blackfriars theatre, the intimacy of the space required a different style of playing and theatrical presentation. Whereas outdoor theatres, such as the Globe, could use loud instruments, such as drums and trumpets, the Blackfriars stage called for more subtle, quieter instruments, such as cornets or hautboys, the ancestor of the oboe (Gurr 192). At the Globe, plays were continuous, but at the Blackfriars, the Children and later the The King’s Men used intermissions to separate the acts (Smith 226-27). The more enclosed space also called for subtler acting requiring new delicacies of expression (Smith 249). But perhaps most importantly, the indoor theatre required candles for lighting, not sunshine (more on this below).

 

The Children of the Chapel

The theatre company that occupied the second Blackfriars theatre, the Children of the Chapel, was comprised, as the name says, of children, not adults, and the manner by which the company acquired its actors still shocks the conscience. In 1597, Queen Elizabeth issued a memorandum granting Nathaniel Giles the right to impress children, meaning, he was authorized to take such and so many children as he or his sufficient deputy shall think meet [any place] with this our realm of England, whatsoever they be (Smith 482). Giles had the right, in other words, to legally kidnap any child he wanted for his company.8

 

But on 13 December 1600, Giles and Henry Evans took the wrong child. Thomas Clifton, son of the influential gentleman, Henry Clifton (Smith 182) was snatched while on his way to school and the outraged father bitterly complained to the Privy Council:

 

they, the said confederates,9 devised, conspired, and concluded for their own corrupt gain and lucre, to erect, set up, furnish to maintain a playhouse or place in the Blackfriars; and to the end they might the better their furnish their said plays and interludes with children whom they thought most fittest to act and furnish the said plays, they, the said confederates [...] most wrongfully, unduly and unjustly taken divers and several children from divers and sundry schools of learning and other places, and apprentices to men of trade from their masters [...] against the wills of the said children, their parents, tutors, masters and governors, and to the no small grief and oppressions [of] your Majesty’s true and faithful subjects.(Smith 484-85)

 

Henry Clifton managed to free his son by getting a warrant from Sir John Fortescue, a very high-ranking member of the Privy Council. Clifton then sued the Children of the Chapel. While the record of the court’s decision has been lost, a subsequent deposition on an unrelated matter ten years later revealed that Evans was censured by the right honorable court of Star Chamber for his unorderly carriage and behavior in taking up gentlemen’s children against their wills (qtd. in Smith 184). But other than this slap on the wrist, clearly the practice continued, and the young Clifton’s return to his family was the exception rather than rule.

 

Satire

The plays presented at the second Blackfriars theatre were enormously popular. One reason might be that the Children employed some of the finest playwrights in the land, such as Ben Jonson, John Marston, Thomas Middleton, and George Chapman. Another reason might be the plays themselves. Almost every drama acted by the Children between 1600-1608 satirized or ridiculed the government, the Court, and the King himself (Smith 191). The fact that these audacious productions were acted by children only added to the Blackfriars’ popularity, even making them serious rivals of adult companies. The idea behind the controversial plays was that satire bred sensationalism, and sensationalism attracted crowds (Smith 191). Essentially, the farther they crossed the line, the more popular, and even notorious, they became, and the more money the boys made for their managers.

 

The Children’s management may have thought that the age of the actors protected them from retribution. Thomas Heywood, in his Apology for Actors (1608), condemns the inveighing against the state, the court, the law, the city, put into the mouths of child-actors, assuming that their juniority to be a privilege for any railing, be it never so violent (qtd. in Smith 192). While the actors may have enjoyed a certain immunity, the writers did not. For writing Philotas (1604), a play based on the career of Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, who lost his head for leading a failed rebellion against Elizabeth in 1601, Samuel Daniel was hauled before the Privy Council, where he had to disclaim any sympathy for the discredited Earl. Still, Philotas appeared in print the following year. In 1605, Eastward Ho!10, written by Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John Marston, ridiculed the Scottish countrymen that had followed King James to London, and, in consequence, Jonson and Chapman were jailed and at risk of having their noses slit and their ears cropped. Marston, who was said by his collaborators to have been the principal offender, managed to escape punishment by going into hiding (Smith 192). After this incident, the Children of the Queen’s Revels did not appear in court again. John Day’s The Isle of Gulls (1606), which jabbed at court scandals, led James to order the playhouse closed, and the Queen to withdraw her patronage. The Children were thereafter simply dubbed the Children of the Revels, or the Children of Blackfriars.

 

After the incident, the troupe found itself under the management of Robert Keysar, and managed to stay out of trouble until March 1608, when they offended for the final time with George Chapman’s The Conspiracy and the Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron. The play’s mockery of the French king’s domestic affairs made James so angry that he ordered the imprisonment of some of the players, as well as the disbanding of the troupe, and the closing of the playhouse (Smith 193). This action put an end to the tenure of child actors at Blackfriars. Henry Evans ceded the lease to Richard Burbage, who took over the playhouse and began plans to use the Blackfriars theatre for his company, now the The King’s Men.

 

The King’s Men

After Elizabeth’s death in 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the throne, becoming King James I of England. Two months later, he issued a commission stating these our servants, Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillips, John Heminges, Henry Condell, William Sly, Robert Armin, Richard Crowley, and the best of their associates’ to be known thereafter as the The King’s Men (Smith 244). Despite the earlier opposition, occasionally renewed but never successfully, Burbage decided to use the Blackfriars theatre as an indoor home for the The King’s Men. Burbage took over the playhouse in 1608, but did not open it for business until 1610. One reason for the delay might have been the condition of the theatre itself. The Children of the Revels might have been highly successful in producing political satires, but they did nothing to maintain the building. According to a deposition taken in one of the endless lawsuits over the property, the theatre and surrounding structures were then dilapidated in various parts and unrepaired (transcribed in Smith 517). Another reason might be an outbreak of the plague in 1608, which closed all the theatres as a means of containing the disease.

 

Starting in 1610, the The King’s Men began a pattern that would last until the company’s dissolution. They would use the Globe during the summer months, and move to Blackfriars from about the middle of October through to May. Even though Blackfriars was significantly smaller than the Globe, records show that playing for London’s elite—indeed, the audience was sufficiently elevated that Charles I’s wife, Queen Henrietta Maria, attended performances in 1632, 1634, 1636, and 1638—was much more profitable. According to gate receipts for the years 1628-1633, the earning capacity of Blackfriars was nearly two and a half times as great as that of the Globe (Smith 263; see also Aaron 164-69).

 

Traffic Problems

Success, however, brought its own difficulties. In 1619, the residents of the Blackfriars precinct lodged a complaint by divers honorable persons to the Lord Mayor of London over traffic problems:

We desire your Lordship and your brethren to help us to some remedy therein, that we may go to our houses in safety and enjoy the benefit of the streets without apparent danger, which now, we assure your Lordship, neither we that are inhabitants, nor any other of his Majesty’s subjects having occasion that way, either by land or water, can do; for such is the unruliness of some of the resorters to that house, and of coaches, horses and people of all sorts gathered together by that occasion in those narrow and crooked streets, that many hurts have heretofore been thereby done, and [we] fear it will at some time or other hereafter procure much more, if it be not by your wisdoms prevented.(transcribed in Smith 491)

 

London’s city fathers were sympathetic, and their order closing the theatre goes into even more detail than the original complaint:

There is daily so great resort of people, and so great multitude of coaches, whereof many are hackney coaches bringing people of all sorts, that sometimes all their streets cannot contain them, that they endanger one the other, break down stalls, throw down men’s goods from their shops, hinder the passage of the inhabitants there to and from their houses, let prevent] the bringing in of their necessary provisions , that the tradesmen and shopkeepers cannot utter their wares, nor the passengers go to the common water stairs without danger of their lives and limbs, whereby many times quarrels and effusion of blood hath followed, and the minister and people disturbed at the administration of the sacrament of baptism and public prayers in the afternoons.(transcribed in Smith 493)

 

Even so, the order to close the Blackfriars theatre was ignored. The same complaint would be registered in 1633, with the same result. Finally, the Privy Council issued an order on the matter, but, instead of shutting down the theatre, they decided to try to control traffic: as many coaches as may stand within the Blackfriars Gate may enter and stay there, or return thither at the end of the play (transcribed in Smith 499). On the success of this order, the archives are silent.

 

Playgoer Behaviour

Uproars and the potential for effusion of blood were not restricted to the streets outside the theatre. One notable skirmish occurred in 1632 between Lord Thurles, soon to become Earl of Ormond, who had spent a minimum of two shillings for a place on the stage, and Captain Charles Essex, accompanied by the wife of the Earl of Essex, who paid at least half-a-crown to sit in one of the boxes flanking the stage. The following episode occurred because Lord Thurles decided to stand, not sit on a stool, and thus blocked Essex’s view:

 

Captain Essex told his lord, they had payd for their places as well as hee, and therefore intreated him not to deprive them of the benefit of it. Whereupon the lord stood up yet higher and hindred more their sight. Then Capt. Essex with his hand putt him a little by. The lord then drewe his sword and ran full butt at him, though hee missed him, and might have slaine the Countesse as well as him.(qtd. in Berry 165)

 

The Captain complained to the Star Chamber. Remarkably, even though he was a professional soldier and Lord Thurles an aristocrat, the court found for the plaintiff, and Lord Thurles had to verbally apologize to Captain Essex (Berry 166).

 

Repertory

Despite the occasional quarrel within the theatre, traffic congestion without, and the ongoing hostility of London’s authorities, the The King’s Men remained the pre-eminent theatre company in England. The Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP) records over one hundred printed plays that advertized their performance at the Blackfriars theatre. The repertory included first performances of plays by the leading playwrights of the late Jacobean and Caroline era, such as Francis Beaumont, John Marston, John Fletcher, and William Davenant as well as revivals of Shakespeare’s Othello (1622, 1630), The Taming of the Shrew (1631), Love’s Labours Lost (1631), John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi (1623), and even the play that brought an end to the Children of the Revels, George Chapman’s The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Charles Duke of Byron (1625). Scholars today are divided on whether the The King’s Men created a separate repertory for the Globe and the Blackfriars based on the class and taste of each clientele, the assumption being that the Globe, attracting a lower class audience, would be better suited to older, cruder plays whereas the more sophisticated audience at the Blackfriars would require more complex plays (Knutson 54-55).

 

However, there is incontrovertible evidence that at least some plays were performed at both venues. The title page of the 1622 Othello states that the play hath beene diverse times acted at the Globe and at the Blackfriars, and the title page of the 1623 Duchess of Malfi says that the play was presented Privately at the Blackfriars and publiquely at the Globe. Yet while the The King’s Men did not seem to distinguish in terms of which plays they performed at which theatre, the style of acting must have been very different. One imagines that Iago’s statement I hate the Moor (Othello 1.3.717) would be delivered loudly at the Globe. At the Blackfriars, it could be delivered in almost a stage whisper, thus giving the line much more venom and force (Edelstein). Similarly, Ferdinand’s exclamation in The Duchess of Malfi, Damne her, that body of hers, / While that my blood ran pure in’t, was more worth / Then, that which thou wouldſt comfort, (call’d a ſoule) might be played as a rant at the Globe (sig. I3r). The intimate space at the Blackfriars allowed for the actor to express much more psychological depth.

 

Closure

For all their success, the The King’s Men could not avoid the political currents of the English Revolution, and on 2 September 1642, the Blackfriars theatre was closed and the company dispersed following the ordinance adopted by the House of Commons and the House of Lords:

 

Whereas the distressed Estate of Ireland, steeped in her own Blood, and the distracted Estate of England, threatned with a Cloud of Blood, by a Civil Warre, call for all possible means to appease and avert the Wrath of God appearing in these Judgements; amongst which, Fasting and Prayer having bin often tried to be very effectuall, have bin lately, and are still enjoyed; and whereas publike Sports doe not well agree with publike Calamities, nor publike Stage-plays with the Seasons of Humiliation, this being an Exercise of sad and pious solemnity, and the other being Spectacles of pleasure, too commonly expressing lacivious Mirth and Levitie; It is therefore thought fit, and Ordeined by the Lords and Commons in this Parliament Assembled, that while these sad Causes and set times of Humiliation doe continue, publike State-Playes shall cease, and bee forborne.(qtd. in Smith 283)

 

In 1650, the The King’s Men petitioned Parliament for their right to play, pleading that they had long suffered in extreme want, being prohibited the use of their qualitie of Acting, in which they were trained up from their childhood, whereby they are uncapable of any other way to get subsistence, and are now fallen into such lamentable povertie, that they know not how to provide food for themselves, their wives and children (qtd. in Smith 285-87). This appeal was denied. On 6 August 1655, the Blackfriars theatre was torn down (Smith 286), and the Great Fire of London in 1666 erased the very last traces of this once grand playhouse (Smith 286).

 

Contemporary Reconstructions

The recent interest in recovering the original conditions of playing in Shakespeare’s time has led to at least one re-creation of the Blackfriars stage in America and to the re-creation of an indoor Jacobean theatre, not unlike Blackfriars theatre, in the United Kingdom. In 2001, the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia opened up the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse. On odd-numbered years, the ASC sponsors a conference on the Blackfriars theatre that brings in scholars from around the world. In 2014, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, named after the film director whose vision led to the rebuilding of the Globe Theatre, opened on the Bankside in the same complex as the reconstructed Globe. According to Farah Karim-Cooper, it is a more of an archetype of an indoor early modern playhouse rather than an exact replica of the Blackfriars theatre (Gurr and Karim-Cooper). The Wanamaker Theatre uses candles instead of electric lights. One of the authors of this article attended a performance of The Duchess of Malfi, and she reports that candelabras are lowered as the start of the performance nears, and each individual candle is carefully lit. During the play, the candelabras are lowered and raised during and between scenes, acting as theatrical props. This action has to be done very carefully, otherwise the candles would be snuffed out. A review of this performance notes the role and risk of using candles:

 

In the event, the candles, in sconces on the pillars and in hanging candelabra as well as carried by individuals, are less consistently striking as illumination than for their effect on pace. Candles slow the production down, and candelabra lowered to waist height constrict the already small stage to some paths along the front and sides. (Smith)

 

The soft, muted light influenced the mood of a scene, building tension and drama as the shadows of flames danced against backdrops and the faces of actors and audience members alike.

 

Additional Information from MoEML

For another essay on the Blackfriars theatre, a modern map marking the site where the it once stood, and a walking tour that will take you to the site, visit the Shakespearean London Theatres (ShaLT) pages for the first Blackfriars Theatre and the second Blackfriars Theatre.

 

Notes

Windsor Chapel refers to St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Richard Farrant was Master of the Windsor Chapel choir from 1564 onwards. (KMF)

 

Conjectural dates of first performance from Corrigan 7. (PCH)

 

Publication dates from DEEP. (PCH)

 

Corrigan marks this entry in his list with an asterisk, which indicates an uncertain ascription of play to playhouse: Either the date of the play is in serious question or the company’s ownership is uncertain. The * means likely (but there is some doubt) (Corrigan 5). (JJ)

 

Corrigan marks this entry in his list with an asterisk, which indicates an uncertain ascription of play to playhouse: Either the date of the play is in serious question or the company’s ownership is uncertain. The * means likely (but there is some doubt) (Corrigan 5). (JJ)

 

Corrigan marks this entry in his list with an asterisk, which indicates an uncertain ascription of play to playhouse: Either the date of the play is in serious question or the company’s ownership is uncertain. The * means likely (but there is some doubt) (Corrigan 5). Gurr gives the date as 1576-1580 (Gurr 298). Part of the problem in dating this play and linking it to a specific playhouse is the theory that the extant play is a post-Tamburlaine revision or adaptation of an earlier play about Cyrus by Richard Farrant. Critics will date the play to the 1590s if they believe it to be later than Tamburlaine, to the 1580s if they believe it to predate Tamburlaine, and to ca. 1578 if they believe it to be by Farrant, who died in 1580. See Chambers 3.311-12 and subsequent editions and articles by James P. Brawner, Irving Ribner, and G.K. Hunter. (JJ)

 

It is not true that the theatres and the areas known as the liberties were completely lawless and beyond the reach of authority. For example, London’s mayor and the Privy Council could, and did, shut down the theatres due to outbreaks of plague. But at the same time, early modern documents regularly distinguish between the city and the liberties. See Kozusko for an exceptionally intelligent treatment of liberties and the early modern theatre. (PCH)

 

James Burbage is not mentioned in either Elizabeth’s commission allowing Nathaniel Giles to impress children or in Henry Clifton’s complaint. But as stealing talented children was evidently a common practice, it is hard to imagine that he either did not know or disapproved of the practice. (PCH)

 

The confederates are Giles, Evans, James Robinson “and others yet” (Smith 484). (PCH)

 

See MoEML’s TEI-encoded transcription of Eastward Ho! (JT)

References

 

Aaron, Melissa. Global Economics: A History of the Theatre Business, the Chamberlain’s / King’s Men, and Their Plays, 1599-1642. Newark, DE: U of Delaware P, 2005. Print.

 

Adams, Joseph Quincy. The Conventual Buildings of Blackfriars, London, and the Playhouses Constructed Therein. Studies in Philology 14.2 (1917): 64-87. Print.

 

Berry, Herbert. The Stage and Boxes at Blackfriars. Studies in Philology 63.2 (1966): 163-86. Print. Web. Subscr. JSTOR.

 

Chambers, E.K. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1923. Print.

 

Corrigan, Brian Jay. The Repertory of the London Playhouse Part II: The Children’s Houses St. Paul’s, First and Second Blackfriars, Whitefriars. Discoveries 20.1 (2003): 5-8. Web. Subscr. EBSCOhost.

 

DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks. Ed. Alan B. Farmer and Zachary Lesser. Web.

 

Edelstein, Barry. Interview. San Diego State University. 21 April 2014.

Edmond, Mary. Burbage, James (c.1531–1597). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004. Web. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3950.

 

Egan, Gabriel, ed. Shakespearean London Theatres. De Montfort University and Victoria & Albert Museum. Web. Open.

 

Gosson, Stephen. Plays Confuted in Five Actions. London, 1582. STC 12095. Web. Subscr. EEBO.

 

Gurr, Andrew, and Farah Karim-Cooper, eds. Moving Shakespeare Indoors: Performance and Repertoire in the Jacobean Playhouse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Print.

 

Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992. Print.

 

Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642. 4th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Print.

 

Knutson, Roslyn. What If There Wasn’t a ‘Blackfriars Repertory?’ Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage. Ed. Paul Menzer. Selinsgrove: Susquehanna UP, 2006. 54-60. Print.

 

Kozusko, Matt. Taking Liberties. Early Theatre 9.1 (2006): 37-60. Web. Open.

 

Lyly, John. Campase. London, 1584. STC 17048a. Web. Subscr. EEBO.

 

Lyly, John. Sapho and Phao. London, 1584. STC 17086. Web. Subscr. EEBO.

 

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Internet Shakespeare Editions. 30 November 2013. Web. Open.

 

Shapiro, Michael. Early (Pre-1590) Boy Companies and their Acting Venues. The Oxford Handbook to Early Modern Theatre. Ed. Richard Dutton. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 120-35. Print.

 

Smith, Emma. Review: Mirth that Fills the Veins with Blood. Times Literary Supplement. 5 March 2014. Web. Subscr. Times Literary Supplement.

 

Smith, Irwin. Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Playhouse: Its History and Its Design. New York: New York UP, 1964. Print.

 

Stow, John. A SVRVAY OF LONDON. Contayning the Originall, Antiquity, Increase, Moderne estate, and description of that Citie, written in the yeare 1598. by Iohn Stow Citizen of London. Also an Apologie (or defence) against the opinion of some men, concerning that Citie, the greatnesse thereof. With an Appendix, containing in Latine, Libellum de situ & nobilitate Londini: written by William Fitzstephen, in the raigne of Henry the second. Ed. Janelle Jenstad, Kim McLean-Fiander, and Nathan Phillips. MoEML. Transc. Web. Forthcoming. [Contact us if you would like to see our draft.]

 

Webster, John. The Tragedy of the Dutcheſſe of Malfy. London: Nicholas Okes, 1623. STC 25176. Web. Subscr. EEBO.

 

Haider Movie Trailer (Official)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.370  Tuesday, 26 August 2014

 

From:        Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:        August 26, 2014 at 7:38:34 AM EDT

Subject:    Haider Movie Trailer (Official) 

 

You can view the Official Trailer for Bhardwaj’s Haider, an adaptation of Hamlet:

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=xakmvJ0WPa4

 

Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, Haider - a young man returns home to Kashmir on receiving news of his father’s disappearance. Not only does he learn that security forces have detained his father for harboring militants, but that his mother is in a relationship with his very own uncle. Intense drama follows between mother and son as both struggle to come to terms with news of his father’s death. Soon Haider learns that his uncle is responsible for the gruesome murder, what follows is his journey to avenge his father’s death.

Haider key cast includes, Shahid Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Tabu, Irrfan and is directed by Vishal Bharadwaj. The film releases on Oct. 2, 2014.

 

Some of you may recall that I wrote about Vishal Bharadwaj other two Shakespearean adaptations, Maqbool (2003: Macbeth) and Omkara (2006: Othello) in 2011: http://shaksper.net/archive/2011/304-august/28064-bollywood-shakespeares

 

Last Friday (SHK 22.0189), I announced that I had just received two Bollywood adaptations of Shakespeare plays both directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, which had been recommended to me. I have since viewed them. I was thoroughly impressed by them both, finding them completely imbedded in their cultures and suggesting but not bending unnaturally the plots to evoke the originals.

 

Maqbool (2003) is set in contemporary Mumbai (Bombay). Maqbool (Irfan Khan) is loyal henchman to Jahangir Khan, “Abbaji” (Pankaj Kapoor), a prominent head of a criminal organization in Mumbai. Jahangir Khan’s mistress, Nimmi (Tabu), has an affair with Maqbool and encourages him to kill Jahangir Khan and take over the organization lest it come under the control of his best friend Kaka’s (Piyush Mishra) son, Guddu (Ajay Gehi), who plans to marry Jahangir Khan’s only daughter. Pandit (Om Puri) and Purohit (Naseeruddin Shah), two corrupt policemen, one of whom is an astrologer, represent the weird sisters and a metaphoric representation of the sea is the story’s Birnam Wood.

 

Omkara (2006): Omkara 'Omi' Shukla (Ajay Devgan), a so-called half-caste, illegitimate son of a high-cast man and a low-cast woman with whom he has an affair, is a baahubali, an enforcer (in subtitles General) for the politician Bhaisaab. Dolly (Kareena Kapoor), the daughter of the advocate Raghunath Mishra (Kamal Tiwari) runs off with Omi, abandoning her own wedding to Rajan, her father’s choice. Bhaisaab is elected to parliament and appoints Omi as a candidate for local election to his former position. Omi in turn selects Keshav 'Kesu Firangi' Upadhyay (Vivek Oberoi), a college-educated philander who is popular with the electorate, rather than his long-serving second in command and hit man Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) who is married to his sister Indu (Konkona Sen Sharma). At Omi’s and Dolly’s engagement, Langda shames Kesu into getting drunk and the enraged Omi strips Kesu of his position. Langda then insinuates to Omi that college friends Kesu and Dolly are having an affair producing a kamarbandh, a jeweled wedding belt that he had stolen and given to Kesu to give to his mistress Billo Chamanbahar (Bipasha Basu) as ocular proof. Havoc ensues.

 

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