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Title:Acts of imagination: curating the early Elizabethan repertories, 1582–1594
Author(s):Tavares, Elizabeth E.
Director of Research:Perry, Curtis; Stevens, Andrea R
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Perry, Curtis; Stevens, Andrea R
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Newcomb, Lori H.; Barrett, Robert W.
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):English literature
sixteenth century
Renaissance theatre
Repertory Studies
Original Practices
playing companies
house style
Admiral’s Men
Pembroke’s Men
Queen’s Men
Strange’s Men
Sussex’s Men
Abstract:"Acts of Imagination" examines playing companies as the locus for the production of Renaissance drama. To date, narratives of Elizabethan theatre history tend to be playwright- and Shakespeare-centered; in response, I explore the companies operating during the under-examined dozen years of theatre before William Shakespeare entered the marketplace. The project thus takes as its organizing principle that of the period—the companies—rather than those categories privileged thereafter—authors and directors. Using the pioneering work of Scott McMillin and Sally-Beth MacLean as a point of departure, I expose how the repertory system galvanized innovation in playing techniques, playhouse design, and playtext production. Each chapter focuses on one season and one of four companies to expose the interconnections between thematic concerns and staging techniques that set a given company apart, as well as underscore the fact that it was repetition, revision, and collaboration as much as novelty that produced financial success in this theatrical marketplace. Attending to the collective process that was the Elizabethan theatre industry, I show the ways in which dramaturgical innovation and literary production were mutually constitutive drivers, as well as how this industry became the engine from which an oeuvre like Shakespeare's and the cult of authorship evolved. By sketching the contours of the Elizabethan theatre's evolution, I widen our vantage of this dramatic landscape by providing unexamined, anonymous, and even "lost" plays cultural specificity and repertorial context.
Issue Date:2016-07-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Elizabeth E. Tavares
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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