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Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan - Tiffany Stern

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Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan
Tiffany Stern
Paperback / softback
Oxford University Press
UK Publication Date

Attention is often given to the performance of a text, but not to the shaping process behind that performance. The question of rehearsal is seldom confronted directly, though important textual moments - like revision - are often attributed to it. Whatismore, up until now, facts about theatrical rehearsal have been considered irrecoverable. In this groundbreaking new study, Tiffany Stern gathers together two centuries' worth of historical material which shows how actors received and responded to their parts, and how rehearsal affected the creation and revision of plays. This is the first history of the subject, from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth. It examines the nature and changing content of rehearsal, drawing on a mass of autobiographical, textual, and journalistic sources, and in so doing throws new light on textualrevision and transforms accepted notions of Renaissance, Restoration, and eighteenth-century theatrical practice. Plotting theatrical change over time, this book will revolutionize the fields of textual and theatre history alike.

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As Tiffany Stern demonstrates in her remarkable Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan, it may be possible to know more about the preparations for an early modern performance than about the performance itself. Assembling a truly daunting number of instances from archives and from references embedded in playtexts themselves, Stern offers a wonderful three-dimensional look into the process of preparing and performing plays between 1567 and 1780. This
encyclopaedic study is indispensable for those interested in the conditions of Englands early modern theatre.

Seventeenth-Century News

One of the outstanding features of Tiffany Stern's highly original monograph is the amount of research that has gone into its preparation...The persuasive and intelligently constructed argument is its second outstanding feature.

Notes and Queries

The book goes well beyond the limitations of its title, providing a comprehensive survey of the whole process of theatre work, form the first consideration of a text to the first night and beyond...Provides a rich repository of newly assembled information for theatre historians. At the same time it offers an unsentimental account of the life in the theatre during 200 formative years, from which actors and directors in "the business" can draw both fun and profit.

Essays in Criticism

It deserves to become a long-lived reference work.... This is a mature book, one based on a reassuringly large and diverse body of evidence, moving from Shakespeare's to Garrick's theatre with no sense of strain, and elegantly written throughout, with several good new stories for connoisseurs of theatrical anecdote.... Its wide range makes it of especial use for Restoration and eighteenth-century material.

Times Literary Supplement

Keyword Index
Theater rehearsals - England - History.|English drama - Early modern and Elizabethan, 1500-1600 - History and criticism.|English drama - 18th century - History and criticism.|English drama - 17th century - History and criticism.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
x, 337

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