Actors and Acting in Shakespeare's Time: The Art of Stage Playing

Actors and Acting in Shakespeare's Time: The Art of Stage Playing

By: John H. Astington (author)Paperback

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John Astington brings the acting style of the Shakespearean period to life, describing and analysing the art of the player in the English professional theatre between Richard Tarlton and Thomas Betterton. The book pays close attention to the cultural context of stage playing, the critical language used about it, and the kinds of training and professional practice employed in the theatre at various times over the course of roughly one hundred years - 1558-1660. Perfect for courses, this survey takes into account recent discoveries about actors and their social networks, about apprenticeship and company affiliations, and about playing outside the major centre of theatre, London. Astington considers the educational tradition of playing, in schools, universities, legal inns, and choral communities, in comparison to the work of the professional players. A comprehensive biographical dictionary of all major professional players of the Shakespearean period is included as a handy reference guide.

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About Author

John H. Astington is Professor in the Department of English and the Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama at the University of Toronto. He is the author of English Court Theatre, 1558-1642 (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and has published articles and chapters in many books and journals including The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare, The Cambridge Shakespeare Library, The Oxford Handbook to Early Modern Theatre and The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


Introduction: the purpose of playing; 1. Shadows, jests, and counterfeits; 2. Playing and education; 3. Apprentices; 4. Playing many parts; 5. Players at work; 6. Conclusion; Appendix. Principal actors 1558-1660; Bibliography.

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/09/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780521140775
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 260
  • ID: 9780521140775
  • weight: 420
  • ISBN10: 0521140773

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