Elizabethan staging in the twentieth century : theatrical practice and cultural context

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joe Falocco, PhD (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Russ McDonald

Abstract: "This study examines some of the major figures involved in the rediscovery of early modern staging conventions. Despite the wide variety of approaches employed by William Poel, Nugent Monck, Tyrone Guthrie, and the founders of the new Globe, I perceive a common philosophical underpinning to their endeavors. Rather than indulging in archaism for its own sake, they looked backward in a progressive attempt to address the challenges of the twentieth century. My history begins with an introduction in which I establish the ideological position of the Elizabethan revival as the twentieth-century heir to Pre-Raphaelitism. The first chapter is on William Poel and urges a reexamination of the conventional view of Poel as an antiquarian crank. I then devote chapters to Harley Granville Barker and Nugent Monck, both of whom began their careers with Poel. Barker's critical writing, I argue, has been largely responsible for the Elizabethan revival's reputation as an academic and literary phenomenon. Monck, on the other hand, took the first tentative steps toward an architectural reimagining of twentieth-century performance spaces, an advance which led to Tyrone Guthrie's triumphs in Elizabethan staging. Guthrie learned from Monck and Barker as these men had learned from Poel. This lineage of influence, however, did not directly extend to the new Globe. The Globe also differs from the subjects of my other chapters because it doesn't represent the effort of a single practitioner but instead incorporates the contributions of a group of scholars and architects. While this approach yielded greater historical authenticity, it also tended to minimize theatrical considerations in the process of playhouse design. This neglect caused unnecessary difficulties for the actors and directors who would eventually work at the new Globe. I conclude with a Coda that discusses the attempts of contemporary Elizabethanists, like those of the American Shakespeare Center, to offer participatory theatrical engagement as an alternative to the soporific alienation of electronic media. My hope throughout this study is that, by illustrating the imperfect but significant achievements of the Elizabethan revival in the twentieth century, I might urge scholars and practitioners toward continued exploration of early modern staging practices in the new millennium."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
rediscovery, staging conventions, William Poel, Nugent Monck, Tyrone Guthrie, Globe, archaism, Elizabethan revival, twentieth-century, Pre-Raphaelitism
Theaters--Stage-setting and scenery--England
English drama--Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600.
Theatrical producers and directors--England

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