Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London

Siobhan Keenan

DOI: 10.5040/9781472575692

ISBN: 9781408146637

Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London explores the intimate and dynamic relationship between acting companies and playwrights in this seminal era in English theatre history.

Siobhan Keenan's analysis includes chapters on the traditions and workings of contemporary acting companies, playwriting practices, stages and staging, audiences and patrons, each illustrated with detailed case studies of individual acting companies and their plays, including troupes such as Lady Elizabeth's players, 'Beeston's Boys' and the King's Men and works by Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Brome and Heywood.

We are accustomed to focusing on individual playwrights: Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London makes the case that we also need to think about the companies for which dramatists wrote and with whose members they collaborated, if we wish to better understand the dramas of the English Renaissance stage.

It's hard to imagine a better modern introduction to the commercial and artistic business of theatre in the early modern period than Siobhan Keenan's Acting Companies and their Plays in Shakespeare's London. [...] The book is well structured to combine survey and analysis, and a case study in each chapter develops its key findings in more depth. Around the Globe

Contemporary scholarship on Shakespeare, Elizabethan theater, and early modern culture can seem overwhelming in scope, esoteric in content, and impenetrable in presentation. Keenan's accessible, concise volume is not in that mold … Each chapter also offers a specific case study in which Keenan meticulously applies the concepts of the chapter to a specific play. Keenan impresses on readers the vitality and significance of acting companies in relation to this celebrated period of theater. This book will be indispensable for those exploring Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Summing Up: Essential. Academic readers at all levels, professionals, general readers. CHOICE