Amy Lidster (KCL) - 2015-16 Students

Producing the ‘history’ play: The agency of repertory companies, stationers and patronage networks

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, my research focuses on early modern history plays and argues for the significant influence of theatrical companies, patrons and stationers on the development and transmission of historical drama through a variety of political, aesthetic and economic strategies.  Issues of politics, ideology and historiography will be considered alongside the material conditions of theatrical and textual production in the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline periods, revealing the ways in which history plays have been appropriated and shaped by a plurality of ‘producers,’ aside from the dramatists and their historiographical materials.  In pursuing an approach that combines performance criticism with textual and bibliographic studies, this project draws attention to the multiplicity of alternative producers reflected in the extant texts, offers new readings of a range of history plays in light of their producers’ varying agendas, and shows how these agendas have influenced the transmission and survival of the plays.

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