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The fourteen essays included in this collection offer a range of contributions from both new and well-established scholars to the topic of Shakespeare and performance. From traditional studies of theatrical history and adaptation to explorations of Shakespeare’s plays in the circus, musical extravaganzas, the cinema, and drama at large, the collection embraces a number of performance spaces, times, and media. Shakespeare in Performance includes essays looking not only at sixteenth- and seventeenth-century stagings of the plays in England, but at productions of Shakespeare across time in the United States, France, Italy, Hungary, and Africa, underscoring the multiple embodiments and voices of Shakespeare’s art and including a variety of cultural approaches. The work is ultimately occupied with a number of questions generated by these continual iterations of Shakespeare. How can we write and trace what is ephemeral? To what purpose do we maintain the memory of past performances? How does the transmediation of Shakespeare inform the most basic interpretive acts? What motivates Shakespearean theatre across political borders? What kinds of meaning are produced by décor, movement, the actor’s virtuosity, the producer’s choices, or the audience’s response? Each essay thus, to some degree, describes and voices the now unseen.
Eric C. Brown is Professor of English at the University of Maine at Farmington. His essays on Shakespeare and Shakespeare on film have appeared in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Survey, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Mississippi Review, Literature/Film Quarterly, Colby Quarterly, Almost Shakespeare: Reinventing His Works for Cinema and Television, and in his book Insect Poetics.Estelle Rivier is Associate Professor at the University of Maine, Le Mans, and Chair of the drama company Act’en scène, which produced Shakespeare’s sonnets in 2008. She is the author of L’espace scénographique dans les mises en scène des pièces de William Shakespeare en France et en Angleterre and Shakespeare dans la maison de Molière, as well as numerous articles on contemporary Shakespearean productions in France.
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