A Dramaturge in Your Ear (video)

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How good is your own theatrical imagination as you read a play by Shakespeare or one of his contemporaries? Have you ever wondered how to communicate the possibilities of live theatre to other people, perhaps a group of students? Have you ever wondered where to look for guidance before directing or acting in a play?

Kevin Ewert (Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford) and I have been working closely with Palgrave to produce a brand new series of books about plays of Shakespeare’s period. Our work develops Palgrave’s popular Shakespeare Handbooks series, desvised by the great John Russell Brown.

Each handbook offers a detailed theatrical moment-by-moment analysis of the play, provides vital contextual material about the play in its own time, and case studies of landmark productions.

We like to think that each book is like having a dramaturge whispering advice in your ear as you read and approach the plays in performance.

So far three titles are available: The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore by John Ford, and The White Devil by John Webster. Handbooks on Doctor Faustus, Volpone, and The Duchess of Malfi are due to published later next year.

I was able to meet with Kevin during the International Shakespeare Conference, and film this conversation about the series.


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Author:Paul Edmondson

Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Follow Paul on Twitter @paul_edmondson

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