Early Theatre 15.1


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.188  Tuesday, 15 May 2012


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

Date:         May 14, 2012 2:19:10 PM EDT

Subject:     Early Theatre 15.1 (June 2012)


Early Theatre  15.1 (2012)

Special Issue: Access and Contestation:  Women’s Performance in Early Modern  England, Italy, France, and Spain

Guest Editor:  Peter Parolin



Access and Contestation: Women’s Performance in Early Modern England, Italy, France, and Spain

Peter Parolin 



Women and Performance in Medieval and Early Modern Suffolk

James Stokes 


‘If I had begun to dance’: Women’s Performance in Kemps Nine Daies Wonder

Peter Parolin 47


‘In the Sight of All’: Queen Elizabeth and the Dance of Diplomacy

Bella Mirabella 


Between Courts: Female Masquers and Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy, 1603–5

Mark Hutchings and Berta Cano-Echevarría 


Marie de Medici’s 1605 ballet de la reine: New Evidence and Analysis

Melinda J. Gough 


‘Cattle of this colour’: Boying the Diva in As You Like It

Pamela Allen Brown 


The Spanish Actress’s Art: Improvisation, Transvestism, and Disruption in Tirso’s El vergonzoso en palacio

Amy L. Tigner 


Conniving Women and Superannuated Coquettes: Travestis and Caractères in the Early Modern French Theatre

Virginia Scott 


Book Reviews:


Melissa Croteau and Carolyn Jess-Cooke (eds). Apocalyptic Shakespeare: Essays on Visions of Chaos and Revelation in Recent Film Adaptations. Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland, 2009.

Reviewed by Catherine Silverstone 


Jane Hwang Degenhardt and Elizabeth Williamson (eds).  Religion and Drama in Early Modern England: The Performance of Religion on the Renaissance Stage. Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2011.

Reviewed by Erin E. Kelly 


Eugene Giddens. How to Read a Shakespearean Play Text. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Brett D. Hirsch 


Max Harris. Sacred Folly: A New History of the Feast of Fools. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Abigail Ann Young 


Natasha Korda. Labors Lost: Women’s Work and the Early Modern English Stage. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Susan C. Frye 


Robert Mullally. The Carole: A Study of a Medieval Dance.  Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2011.

Reviewed by Emily F. Winerock 


Kristen Poole. Supernatural Environments in Shakespeare’s England: Spaces of Demonism, Divinity, and Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Ian McAdam


Federico Schneider. Pastoral Drama and Healing in Early Modern Italy. Aldershot and Burlington: Ashgate, 2010.

Reviewed by Alexandra Coller 244


Virginia Scott. Women on the Stage in Early Modern France, 1540–1750. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Reviewed by Claire Sponsler 247

Pedestrians Crossing Cairncross


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.187  Monday, 14 May 2012


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

Date:         May 10, 2012 12:36:53 PM EDT

Subject:     Re: Peds


I can help Gerald E. Downs on a few points of detail:


>> William Montgomery's 1985 Oxford D. Phil. thesis . . .

> Sounds like something I would have to pay for.


There’s a national state-funded project (EThOS) to make all UK doctoral theses available for free over the Internet to all readers, but it hasn’t got around to Montgomery’s yet. The 36-page section “II The Text” is all one needs for this debate, and I’ll happily send my scan of it to anyone who wants it.


>> "Foucault's epistemic shift and verbatim repetition in

>> Shakespeare" that appeared in Richard Meek, Jane Rickard,

>> and Richard Wilson's book /Shakespeare's Book/ (Manchester

>> UP, 2008): 123-39.


> I'll look that up if only to see what the title means.


The Wikipedia page on “Michel Foucault” is a good starting point, and it has a pointer to the Wikipedia page on “episteme” which itself has a most useful section on “The Concept of an ‘Episteme’ in Michel Foucault”. The idea is also explained in the essay itself, the full text of which can be had by putting its title (“Foucault’s epistemic shift and verbatim repetition in Shakespeare”) into a web search engine. The links returned should point to a copy on my website and another in the Institutional Repository of my employer.


The back-and-forth about Cairncross can be dispensed with quite simply. Taken to task by J. K. Walton for his faulty interpretation of variants between early editions, Cairncross confirmed his adherence to the principle that “identity of reading implies identity of origin” (“Dr Cairncross’s Answer” Review of English Studies new series 10 (1959): 139-40).  There’s no point continuing discussing variants with someone who thinks that’s true, and Walton didn’t.


> I seem to recall the word "blunder" and reference to a

> principle of some sort. I don't have the book at hand.

> Perhaps G. Egan can cite it for us.


The word “blunder” appears nowhere in my book, The Struggle for Shakespeare’s Text. The closest match is “blindness”, as in “Cairncross’s blindness to the principle that only agreements-in-error are strong evidence” (p. 253). That restates the principle too. Nothing contentious there, I think.


Gabriel Egan

Pedestrians Crossing Cairncross


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.186  Thursday, 10 May 2012


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

Date:         May 9, 2012 12:53:51 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: Pedestrians Crossing Cairncross


Continuing discussion of some issues I raised; perhaps some good will come of it. Michael Egan responded,


>Gerald Downs lightly and inaccurately dismissed my case

>against memorial reconstruction (along with Steve Urkowitz’s

>more substantial work on the subject), and referred . . . to

>my book Woodstock. It’s actually Richard II, Part One, the

>title Woodstock having been imposed by FS Boas and his

>friends in 1923 precisely to blur the play’s relationship to



I should have said “book on Woodstock.” Forgiving Boas’s imposition, I prefer Woodstock to any other insistent play-title because references are easier. Compromising, I’ll refer to the late edition as The Tragedy. A primary question is whether the play is a memorial report, given its heavy repetitions from other plays and its manifest corruptions. That’s my guess. M. Egan’s anti-MR case is insubstantial. I made this point by quoting his evaluation of Urkowitz’s article. He also agrees that s.d.’s & s.p.’s could not be reconstructed. Since that is no argument, I gather Egan has not thought the matters through either.


Steven Urkowitz replies:


>poor misrepresented Cairncross:


Part of my posting was to counter the “poor Cairncross” and “terminally embarrassing” images created by others’ mistakes on the issues.


>My essays try instead to get people to see how the early

>printed versions work differently on stage and are not

>compendiums of stupidity . . . I hoped my . . . insight might

>get others to look at those early texts as interesting products

>of exploratory minds at work.


Sort of stating the question: Urkowitz apparently assumes professional actors or their agents—if they weren’t Shakespeare—were unable to account for these texts. But “corrupt” and “playable” are not mutually exclusive. I believe players could (and did) redo familiar plays. Steven doesn’t mean “minds,” mind you; he speaks of only one.


>I encourage readers to look at my whole text. You may learn

>something nice. Like, for example, watch how the two texts

>deal with the ACTION surrounding York’s long listing of his

>ancestry. Both versions work elegantly, and you will see that

>the control through speech-commands over physical movement

>on the stage can be precise and elegantly manipulable.


Elegantly put. But York misstates his ancestry. That doesn’t work, as many commentators have shown. I suggest reading the article, but don’t stop there. Read Kenney, Hart, Doran, Cairncross. You will see that such statements as “Alexander . . . dismisses [Q] readings simply because its words don’t match those of the Folio” (246) simply do not apply to the many-faceted analyses of corruption in the early quarto.


Urkowitz’s positive case for Shakespeare’s authorship of both versions is simple enough: “Shakespeare’s first choices recorded in the Quarto were finely Shakespearean. So were his second as found in the Folio”  (243-44). Shakespeare’s choices are Shakespearean. OK, but how do we know they are His?


I’ve begun to reread Steven’s book on Lear, after many years, at his request. I’ll report back.  


>So were memorial reconstructors at work there?  I doubt

>it, but if they were we really have to develop the field of

>Shakespearean Piracy Studies, since they were darned

>good playwrights (and pretty good scholars too in they ways

>they managed to “correct” some of Shakespeare's blunders,

>pulling their texts back closer to the chronicle sources.)


Chronicle sources were not state secrets. The corruptions are key. I fully agree that piracy is in need of further study. Most haven’t thought about it at all, these days. I’ve been trying to interest list-members in my article on John of Bordeaux, with partial success: Steven Urkowitz has studied Ioppolo.


How about reading my article? I’m reading his book.


>There’s everything to be gained by looking at those scripts as lively

>dramatic documents rather than as risible instances of Bardic



Risibilitivity always maintains its value. And yet the possibility of real-time artifacts, 400 years after the fact, is not a laughing matter. That may be the way it was done. Shouldn't every Shakespearean want to find out?


Gabriel Egan remarks:


>Downs offers a defence of Andrew S. Cairncross’s

>bibliographical scholarship regarding Q and F 2 Henry 6

>that I am sorry to say I don’t fully understand. One bit I

>can respond to:


>>The bibliographical fact is, Q influenced F.


>[U]seful works on the problem are omitted in Downs’s

>account. William Montgomery’s 1985 Oxford D. Phil.

>thesis (which shaped his editing of the play in the 1986

>Oxford Complete Works) is important for how it handles

>the ‘spots’ of fairly clear Q contamination of F.


Sounds like something I would have to pay for. I did just pick up a copy of Montgomery’s Oxford Companion piece (with my new little scanner), but I haven’t yet read it. I’m not averse to other thinking, and I would never suggest that my citations are complete. I’m not finished looking into 2H6 and Contention. Hardly started.


>I’d also point Downs to my essay on the problem called

>“Foucault’s epistemic shift and verbatim repetition in

>Shakespeare” that appeared in Richard Meek, Jane Rickard,

>and Richard Wilson’s book Shakespeare’s Book (Manchester

>UP, 2008): 123-39.


I’ll look that up if only to see what the title means.


>>More important, Knowles notes that "much of Cairncross's

>>case for the contamination of F rested on the category of

>>agreement in error. Believing that a few demonstrable

>>instances of contamination indicated large-scale corruption,

>>Cairncross confounded inductive and deductive approaches

>>and duly discovered a large number of instances only a

>>few of which were discovered by other editors" (134).


>>As I recall, Gabriel Egan's new /Struggle/ also faults

>>Cairncross, not for relying on agreement in error (which

>>Egan OK's), but for taking general Q and F agreement as

>>evidence of Q influence, thereby violating some bibliographic



>Knowles is here misread/misrepresented by Downs. Read

>in context, Knowles is not condemning Cairncross for using

>agreement in error as evidence of Q contaminating F but

>just the opposite: he’s asserting that Cairncross was right

>to do so.


I didn’t intend to say that Knowles criticized Cairncross for “using agreement in error.” In fact, as Knowles observes, that’s important; it establishes Q’s printing-house influence. His criticism (following Monty) was that a “confounded” Cairncross duly (dully?) discovered what was not there (else earlier editors would have beaten poor Cairncross to the punch; but that isn’t really how discovery works.)


>The problem is, according to Knowles, that Cairncross also

>used agreements in correct readings as though they were

>evidence of Q contaminating F, which as Knowles rightly

>points out is illogical: two printings may agree on a correct

>reading simply because each got it from its good copy, no[t]

>because one got it from the other.


What Knowles says is that Montgomery “points out that to accept an F reading as correct, as Cairncross does, is in effect to affirm that the reading stood in the manuscript behind F. How, then, can it be claimed that this reading demonstrates a reliance on [Q]” (134).


But that’s not quite what Cairncross does. To accept “a reading” as correct, editorially speaking, is not the same as accepting large doses of agreement with otherwise very corrupt text. As I quoted Cairncross, “The result is that a F passage which looks ‘good’ on the surface, and has hitherto been accepted as good precisely because F and Q agree, is really ‘bad’” (xxxvii). It’s a matter of probability. The text of Contention is a mess. Can it be that all of a sudden, time and again, it gets long passages right? Much more likely F gets its agreement from Q, the printed predecessor. Is that so hard to grasp? No, but I do credit Cairncross. 


>Egan too is not faulting Cairncross for “relying on agreement

>in error” (of course not, that’s how you show dependence of

>one text upon another) but for mostly failing to confine himself

>to that kind of evidence


Agreed on the one point, but where does it say one must be confined to certain kinds of evidence? The knack is to see the other kind.


>and instead using agreement in good readings (which of

>course tell us nothing).


And what tells us the passages in question are “good readings”?


>What Downs vaguely calls “some bibliographic principle”

>is not a vagueness in my book: the principle is simple logic

>and I report that Cairncross was rightly criticized for not using it.


I seem to recall the word “blunder” and reference to a principle of some sort. I don’t have the book at hand. Perhaps G. Egan can cite it for us.


To take an analogous case, Robert K. Turner said of the influence of Q1 The Maid’s Tragedy on Q2: “The whole matter would be clearer if one knew how strong a compulsion was felt by the man who prepared the copy for Q2 to bring Q1 readings into agreement with those of the new authority with which he was comparing the first edition . . . .” And “yet because Q1 corruptions are often not detectable without recourse to the superior readings of Q2 and because there is no assurance that readings of the new witness were introduced into the Q2 copy with equal care, it may be that there are more incorrect readings in sheet H - L than one can recognize.”


If one is pondering influence from a quarto as demonstrably bad as Contention, then agreements of whole passages (when Q influence abounds elsewhere) cannot have come about by the bad text somehow getting them right, but by exclusive use of the quarto as copy—which the compositor would have done every chance he got anyhow. A wish to have “good readings” doesn’t alter the odds. Perhaps the logic isn’t easy to understand, but it seems good to me.


Gerald E. Downs




The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.185  Thursday, 10 May 2012


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

Date:         May 9, 2012 8:28:24 AM EDT

Subject:     CFP MAPACA


Call for Papers MAPACA 2012

November 3-5, 2012

Pittsburgh, PA

The wealth of material found in the Middle Ages and Renaissance continues to attract modern audiences in the form of with new creative works in areas such as fiction, film, and computer games, which make use of medieval and/or early modern themes, characters, or plots. This is a call for papers or panels dealing with any aspect of medieval or Renaissance representation in popular culture. Topics for this area include, but are not limited to the following:

-Modern portrayals of any aspect of Arthurian legends or Shakespeare

-Modern versions or adaptations of any other Medieval or Renaissance writer

-Modern investigations of historical figures such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Richards, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scotts

-Teaching medieval and renaissance texts to modern students

-Medieval or Renaissance links to fantasy fiction, gaming, comics, video games, etc.


Medieval or Renaissance Dramas

-The Middle Ages or Renaissance on the Internet

-Renaissance fairs


Panel and Workshop proposals are also welcome.

Submit a 250 word proposal including A/V requests along with a CV or brief bio by June 15, 2012 to:

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




Mary Behrman

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


Chesapeake Shakespeare Company News


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.184  Thursday, 10 May 2012


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

Date:         May 7, 2012 8:01:49 PM EDT

Subject:    Big News from Chesapeake Shakespeare



Classical theater acquires second home in historic Mercantile Building to host indoor performances


BALTIMORE (May 7, 2012) — Howard County–based Chesapeake Shakespeare Company today announces the acquisition of the historic Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building in downtown Baltimore, which will serve as its second home and establish a new cultural center for live performances of Shakespeare and other classics just two blocks from the city’s celebrated Inner Harbor. 


Located at 200 East Redwood Street, the Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building was constructed in 1885 and is one of Baltimore’s more notable architectural landmarks. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has plans to convert the building’s interior into an intimate 250-seat theater for indoor performances, educational programs, and community events.


“Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is in its 10th season serving almost 12,000 people every year,” says Ian Gallanar, founding artistic director. “We are thrilled about our expansion into the thriving Baltimore theater scene. While we will continue to serve our current patrons with outdoor performances at our home stage in Howard County, this second location will broaden our reach and help foster a new community of classical theater enthusiasts.”


The Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building was purchased for the sole use of Chesapeake Shakespeare Company by the Helm Foundation, an organization directed by Scott Helm, one of the trustees of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. The total cost of the project, including the building’s purchase and renovation, is estimated to be around $6 million. 


Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Inc.—the architecture firm responsible for the Everyman Theatre, the James Rouse Center in the Visionary Arts Museum and the Creative Alliance at The Patterson Theater—is working with Chesapeake Shakespeare Company on design plans that model the new indoor theater after Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre in London. The design combines the intimacy of a traditional Elizabethan playhouse with a contemporary sense of design and convenience. Renovations will begin in early 2013, with the expectation of opening in 2014. 


“The building’s substantial mezzanine, elaborate and colorful carved ceiling, and Corinthian columns all echo elements of Elizabethan theaters,” says Lesley Malin, managing director of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. “We are enthusiastic about working with Cho Benn Holback to incorporate these beautiful architectural features into a modern-day Globe in downtown Baltimore.” 


The acquisition of the Mercantile Building will be key in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s effort to create a downtown “theater triangle” that will connect the new Inner Harbor theater with the Hippodrome and the Everyman Theatre on the West Side, and Mount Vernon’s CenterStage.


“I am very excited that the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is choosing Baltimore for its indoor home,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says.  “This is a welcome cultural asset that strengthens downtown as a growing and vibrant neighborhood.  I look forward to seeing the first show.”


Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will add an eight-month season of shows at the downtown location and provide after-school and weekend programs for the students of Baltimore. The company has plans to run additional special events including an international theater festival that will bring classical theater companies from around the world to Baltimore.


“We couldn’t be more excited about Chesapeake Shakespeare’s arrival into Downtown Baltimore,” says Kirby Fowler, President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.  “Their plans for adaptive reuse are perfect for this building, one of Downtown’s greatest historic structures.  After 130 years, it’s as if this building is finally becoming what it was meant to be.  The new theater will be located in the heart of the City’s fastest growing neighborhood, where it will quickly become a cultural destination for our many residents, employees, and visitors.”  


Chesapeake Shakespeare Company:

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, the Baltimore area’s third largest theater company, was founded in 2002 with a mission to create innovative performance and education programs that bring the works of William Shakespeare and other classics to life.  It is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the organization for professional theaters in the United States and the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the international organization for professional Shakespeare theaters.  Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is committed to making the arts more accessible to the community by intensifying the connection between audiences and artists and some of the greatest works of theater ever written. 


The Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company Building:

The Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building is on the National Register of Historic Places; it was built in 1885, was one of only a few buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1904, and served as a bank until 1993. It is considered a major architectural landmark and Baltimore's paramount example of Romanesque Revival architecture featuring rust-colored brick walls, slate roof, and massive Roman arches constructed of locally quarried stone, much of which is finely carved. In 2001, it went through a $2.2 million renovation and since then has been occupied by a number of night clubs. The current tenant, Club Dubai, will remain until the end of its lease at the end of 2012.


[Editor’s Note: There was recently a story about the move in the Baltimore Sun: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bs-ae-chesapeake-shakespeare-20120507,0,3699959.story --Hardy]


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