Synopses & Reviews
***Listed in THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION's Weekly Book List, March 28, 2011***
The role of the audience takes on new importance when performance is reconceived as a dialectical activity. The essays in this collection examine the relationship between dramatic performance and audience in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.That relationship is complicated by multiple conceptions of the audience: playwrights imagine their audiences; actors address them; the audience actually attending the play is yet another entity. The authors combine theatre history and cultural analysis with examinations of plays and productions to explore how those involved in early modern productions conceived of their audience, how audiences shaped the dramas they watched, and even how the roles of actor and audience member sometimes merged.
About the Author
Jennifer A. Low is an Associate Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University and the author of Manhood and the Duel: Masculinity in Early Modern Drama and Culture (Palgrave, 2003). She has published articles in Philological Quarterly, Comparative Drama, and The Centennial Review. Her current book project involves scenography, considering the shaping force of props and stage design on audience experience.
Nova Myhill is an Associate Professor of English at New College of Florida, where she teaches British literature before 1700 and drama from all periods. She has published essays on audience and reception in Foxes Acts and Monuments, Massinger and Dekkers The Virgin Martyr, and the work of Shakespeare. She is currently working on projects on female spectatorship in city comedy and the relation between theatrical spectatorship and early modern public punishment.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Audience and Audiences--Nova Myhill and Jennifer A. Low * Crowd Control--Paul Menzer * Taking the Stage: Spectators as Spectacle in the Caroline Private Theaters--Nova Myhill * The Curious Case of the Two Audiences: Thomas Dekkers Match Me in London--Mark Bayer * Door Number Three? Time, Space, and Audience in The Menaechmi and The Comedy of Errors--Jennifer A. Low * Audience as Witness in Edward II--Meg F. Pearson * “Lord of thy presence”: Bodies, Performance, and Audience Interpretation in Shakespeares King John--Erika T. Lin * Charismatic Audience: A 1559 Pageant--David M. Bergeron * Audience, Actors, and “Taking Part” in the Revels--Emma Rhatigan * Bleared Vision in The Taming of the Shrew--James Wells * Fitzgraves Jewel: Audience and Anticlimax in Middleton and Shakespeare--Jeremy Lopez