“My charms crack not, my spirits obey”: The promise of original practices at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 2003–2005
With the opening of London’s Bankside Globe, “original practices” (OP) quickly became the buzzword for all theatrical efforts seeking to reconstruct an “authentic” Shakespearean environ for today’s audiences. Scholarly discourse surrounding OP’s potential influence on contemporary Shakespeare studies and current performance dynamics has certainly increased over the past decade, with a good portion of the commentary focusing on the new Globe’s first few seasons of experimental development. And yet, despite several thorough analyses of their early attempts at recreating early modern playing spaces and staging conditions (architectural considerations aside), little has materialized from the Globe along the lines of an OP manifesto. By examining aesthetic antecedents and contemporary case studies (Globe OP productions, 2003-05), my dissertation will attempt to remedy this particular (if not peculiar, given OP’s emphasis on praxis over gnosis) omission by grounding the present shift toward “reconstructive Shakespeare” squarely within the realm of a newly emergent neoformalism and its reassessment of Renaissance playtexts.
British and Irish literature
0593: British and Irish literature