Synopses & Reviews
Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London explores the intimate and dynamic relationship between acting companies and playwrights in this seminal era in English theatre history.
Siobhan Keenans analysis includes chapters on the traditions and workings of contemporary acting companies, playwriting practices, stages and staging, audiences and patrons, each illustrated with detailed case studies of individual acting companies and their plays, including troupes such as Lady Elizabeths players, ‘Beestons Boys and the Kings Men and works by Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Brome and Heywood.
We are accustomed to focusing on individual playwrights: Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London makes the case that we also need to think about the companies for which dramatists wrote and with whose members they collaborated, if we wish to better understand the dramas of the English Renaissance stage.
Lasting plays are often looked at solely as the product of innovativeplaywrights. This work makes the point that they also arise within the context of acting companies, staging possibilities, playhouses,patrons, and expected audiences. And this was also true in the time of Shakespeare's London. This book looks first at the then influenceof 26 acting companies, including Chamberlain's Men, King and Queen's Men, Children of the Queen's Revels, and the Red BullCompany. It then goes on to include chapters on staging, audiences, and patronage. The works of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Brome andHeywood receive the most attention, with particularly detailed looks at Shakespeare's King Lear, Jonson's The Alchemist, Middleton's TheSecond Maiden's Tragedy, and the anonymously authored The Valiant Scot.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
Siobhan Keenan's comprehensive survey of the key acting companies of the early modern period offers undergraduates and scholars a new perspective on how their demands effected the sort of plays being written and the multiple factors which fostered and formed the theatre of renaissance England.
About the Author
Siobhan Keenan is a Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Acting Companies
Chapter 3: Playwrights and Playwriting
Chapter 4: Stages and Staging
Chapter 5: Audiences
Chapter 6: Patrons and Patronage