Performing Restoration Shakespeare
In most studies of Restoration Shakespeare, the overwhelming concentration on textual adaptation loses sight of the reality that it was multimedia theatre, featuring music, dance, and scenery. This workshop will redress the imbalance by asking some new questions: How can direct engagement with theatrical performance enrich an understanding of Restoration Shakespeare? How can theatre practice articulate meaningful research questions? Participants will tackle these questions through an innovative workshop that integrates hands-on practical work in the Folger Theatre—with actors, musicians, and singers—with scholarly readings and discussion. To focus this activity, participants and professionals will stage and analyze selected scenes from William Davenant’s operatic version of Macbeth (ca. 1663/4, with additional revivals in 1673, ca. 1695, and 1702) and Charles Gildon’s adaptation of Measure for Measure (1700). With the musical contributions of Folger Consort Co-Artistic Director Robert Eisenstein and other performing artists, the workshop promises to open up new areas for studying and teaching Restoration Shakespeare by combining primary sources from the Folger’s collections (including musical scores, promptbooks, and performance iconography), an interdisciplinary approach that unites musicology and theatre history, and a willingness to see performance theory and performance practice as mutually enriching.
Co-Directors: Amanda Eubanks Winkler is Associate Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University. She is author of O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic, and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage (2006) and Music for Macbeth (2004). Her current book project concerns music and dance in early modern English schools.
Richard Schoch is Professor of Drama at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Victorian Stage (1998) and Not Shakespeare (2002) and the editor of Great Shakespeareans: Macready, Booth, Terry, Irving (2011) and Victorian Theatrical Burlesques (2003). He is currently writing a book on British theatre historiography from the Restoration to the Twentieth Century.