Notification of Domain Change

Early Theatre: A Journal Associated with the Records of Early English Drama, is migrating its website -- and journal management system -- from Digital Commons to a new Open Journal Systems (OJS) site. All past content has been transferred. Please visit https://earlytheatre.org to have a look around and update your Early Theatre bookmark.

Send all submissions through the new site https://earlytheatre.org/. The current site http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/earlytheatre/ will be offline as of 1 October 2014.

Early Theatre: Special Issue on Women and Performance: Summer 2012

From REED and the growing body of work by comparatists and theater historians, we now know that early modern women, including Englishwomen and foreign players, performed at all social levels and in all performance spaces except the all-male stage. More work needs to be done: First in collecting evidence of female performance in England and second in assessing how new research changes our reading of early modern theater and drama. We therefore solicit essays on early modern women and performance for a special topics issue of Early Theatre, to be published in Summer 2012.

The rubric of female performance includes all forms of performance and entertainment, not just scripted drama. Work exploring other theatrical traditions and innovations is also welcome, as are essays addressing methodological questions. For example, what do we mean when we speak of a "performance record," and how do we make sure to interpret all the levels of evidence within such records? How do the categories we use to discuss performance shape our reading of the evidence and our understanding of women’s roles?

Contributors should take account of relevant work by Sophie Tomlinson, 2005, Clare McManus, 2002 (and her overviews in LitCompass), Brown and Parolin 2005, and REED, especially essays by Jim Stokes.

Editors for this issue are Peter Parolin (University of Wyoming) and James Stokes (University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point); submissions will be peer reviewed.

Here are the basic guidelines for contributors:

  • Papers should be submitted to the website of Early Theatre. The link is: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/earlytheatre/submissions.html. It is important to follow the submission procedures and the house style outlined on this page.
  • On the webpage, contributors are asked to type author and abstract information. In the drop-down bar, please identify your submission as “Special Issue.”
  • Finally, contributors should submit file names that start with 15.1 and continue with a short title for the paper.

Consideration of manuscripts will begin on August 1; manuscripts will continue to be accepted after that date until the volume is filled. Questions are welcome to Peter Parolin at parolin@uwyo.edu.

We would also like to thank EarlyMusicNews.org for kindly posting a copy of this CFP on their website.

Chester 2010 Review Articles

A collaborative review article, entitled “Seduction and Salvation: Chester 2010 in Review” by Jessica Dell, Erin Julian, and Chantelle Thauvette, will be featured in the upcoming September 2010 issue of Research Opportunities in Medieval and Renaissance Drama.

Early Theatre will also be publishing a review article, entitled “Chester 2010: Creation and Judgment” by Mary Elizabeth Ellzey, Garrett P.J. Epp, Douglas W. Hayes, Erin E. Kelly, Heather Mitchell, and Dimitry Senyshyn, in our December 2010 issue.


May 22 1pm. May 23 1pm. May 24 8am

During the reign of Elizabeth I, the citizens of Chester performed their ancient Catholic cycle of Biblical plays each year at Whitsuntide. From the Fall of Lucifer before Creation to the Last Judgment, each episode - performed on a wagon - rolled through the city streets in a three-day celebration of the old religion. In 1572, fearing the plays would cause "peril and danger to her majesty" in the form of a Catholic rebellion, Protestant preacher Christopher Goodman demanded they be banned.

Experience a new version of the Chester Cycle based on Goodman’s description. Over three days, a cast of over 300 will perform all twenty-three plays on the legendary PLS wagons at three viewing stations around Victoria College, University of Toronto. To see all the plays, come all three days.


May 21-24, 2010 (Register by May 7)

The Chester 2010 Symposium explores the Chester Cycle in its original context, and in the context of the concurrent Chester 2010 research-based Performance. We welcome registrants from the general public as well as registrants affiliated with academic institutions.

The program, in brief, includes a keynote address by Professor Paul Whitfield White (Purdue) and introductory addresses by Professors JoAnna Dutka (Toronto) and Alexandra Johnston (Toronto). Panel presentations include sessions on the Audience, the City, Faith and Doubt, and Text and Dramaturgy, and a special presentation by the Mapping Medieval Chester project, sponsored by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. The concluding round-table discussion will consider the Chester 2010 Performance.

Visit the website for more information: http://chester.uwaterloo.ca

Richard Brome Online:

Researchers bring historical work into the digital age

Today, March 1st 2010, marks the launch of a unique online edition of the collected plays of dramatist, Richard Brome, which marks the culmination of a four-year project directed by researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London and the University of Sheffield. The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, was devised by Richard Cave, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway and completed under his General Editorship by an international team of nine editors.

The aim behind the project was to provide wide-spread access to Brome’s work for scholars, theatre practitioners, and members of the public alike. Brome’s plays, which have not appeared in a complete edition since 1873, are now made available through the fully-searchable website which was the creation of HRI Digital at the Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield.

Brome, one-time secretary and assistant to Ben Jonson, wrote numerous comedies in a range of styles that were popular from the late 1620s until the closing of the theatres in 1642. Sixteen of these (fifteen exclusively by him, and one written in collaboration with Thomas Heywood) saw print in the seventeenth century. Till now they have not been reissued in a scholarly collected edition, though several plays have been individually edited. Each play is offered in Richard Brome Online as a period text and in an annotated, modernised version and is accompanied by both a critical and a textual introduction; there is a full glossary, bibliography, stage history and search engine. Most of the material contained in the site is printable; and access is free.

Two highly innovatory features of the edition are a result of the online format. Both period and modernised texts can be viewed independently or summoned on screen side-by-side for comparative reading/viewing. Uniquely, the annotations to the plays give access to a wealth of extracts explored in workshop by 22 professional actors, drawn chiefly from the alumni lists of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe. More than 30 hours of such performance work is included on the site, divided into 640 episodes illustrating the theatricality and stageability of the plays.

Professor Cave observed: “Working with actors in the editing process was, for the editorial panel, one of the most exciting aspects of the collaboration. In our discussions together around meanings, tone, actor-audience relations or characterisation, the actors’ contributions were fresh, informed, exploratory, and full of the insights that come only from their particular kinds of experience.”

“Editors and actors developed a profound respect for Brome’s artistry as they examined the plays together in workshops that were designed to give the texts a theatrical life and dynamic. Repeatedly the actors questioned why Brome’s comedies are not seen more regularly on our stages. Richard Brome Online is designed to make Brome’s work better known in the hope of restoring the plays to our current repertory,” he added.

To view the online edition visit: http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/brome

Staging the Henrican Court

Following the August 2009 production of The Play of the Weather at Hampton Court, the Staging the Henrician Court website was launched at www.stagingthecourt.org. As a leading edge development in arts and humanities research, we are always looking to learn from and develop the use of the internet for collaborative research. To this end we have now upgraded the website in a number of key areas:

  • VIDEO: You can now watch the complete August 2009 production of The Play of the Weather through the website. Watch it scene by scene and join some of the key areas of debate.

  • COMMENTARY: Filmed interviews with both the theatrical director Gregory Thompson and the Musical Director Tamsin Lewis. Also a discussion between Professor Tom Betteridge and Dr Eleanor Rycroft about the production from an academic perspective.

  • FORUM: To help you navigate and join the discussion we have created a forum which includes all the discussions and questions to date. Find out just what the top topics are through our innovative tagging of discussions.

MISSED THE SHOW? or would welcome a REMINDER ABOUT THE PROJECT? - check out our YouTube video on the project homepage.

MAKE YOUR CONTRIBUTION COUNT - We're now looking forward towards the workshops in March. These workshops will build on comments made through the FORUM. Got an angle on the production, historical context or Heywood we haven't thought of? let us know!

SPREADING THE WORD - Finally, the new website is now open to view by anyone, not just contributors - so do let colleagues, students and your mum know about it - even it's just to get a peak inside Hampton Court's fabulous Great Hall!

If you have any questions, or problems using the new website please don't hesitate to get in touch with me at dan.goren@brookes.ac.uk.

Meanwhile, seasonal greetings to all our contributors - a fitting time to watch what's been dubbed the Tudor court's 1632/1633 staff panto! If you don't get round to having a look before Christmas, we look forward to crossing paths in the new year.