'Theatre People of Shakespeare's Time': A Special Issue of the Journal Shakespeare
2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Richard Burbage, a member of the family who gave us the first purpose-built theatre in Shakespeare's London. By exploring his life, and those around him, historians have been able to unearth much valuable information about the early modern theatre industry. Scholarship about other theatre people – prompted by their work, the archive, or both – has similarly added to our knowledge of the theatre in Shakespeare's time. We have learnt about the period's theatre from Philip Henslowe's diary, Anthony Munday's pageants, Richard Brome's contract, and George Wilkins' lawsuits. Though biography, according to George Eliot, is 'a disease of English literature', there is plenty to gain from considering some aspect of the lived experience of those involved in the theatre. With that in mind, this special issue of Shakespeare seeks submissions relating to theatre people of Shakespeare's time.
Papers might tackle (but are not limited to):
- A study of a theatre person's life
- Some aspect of a theatre person's life, be it an appearance in the documentary record, a life event, or a temporal slice of their biography (per James Shapiro in 1599 and 1606)
- The relationships of a given theatre person or theatre people to one another
- The relationship of theatre people to events, persons, or places beyond the theatre industry
- Ignored or overlooked figures in the period's theatre
- The relationships between theatre-connected institutions (such as playing companies, the court, the Stationers' Company) and how these affected particular theatre people
- How theatre people wielded and/or experienced the power of what E. K. Chambers called the 'Forces of Control'
- A study of the biographical intersections of two or more theatre persons' lives
- What theatre-biography tells us about play-authorship
- The during-life and/or posthumous reputations of particular early modern theatre people
Submissions (in the range of 5,000-9,000 words) are due by 1 March 2018. Fully anonymised typescripts should be sent to Paul Brown email@example.com. All contributions will be peer-reviewed by two independent readers prior to acceptance.
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