From Stage to Page
Routledge – 2004 – 208 pages
Series: Accents on Shakespeare
Making Shakespeare is a lively introduction to the major issues of the stage and print history, whilst also raising questions about what a Shakespeare play actually is. Tiffany Stern reveals how London, the theatre, the actors and the way in which the plays were written and printed all affect the 'Shakespeare' that we now read. Concentrating on the instability and fluidity of Shakespeare's texts, her book discusses what happened to a manuscript between its first composition, its performance on stage and its printing, and identifies traces of the production system in the plays we read. She argues that the versions of Shakespeare that have come down to us have inevitably been formed by the contexts from which they emerged; being shaped by, for example, the way actors received and responded to their lines, the props and music used in the theatre, or the continual revision of plays by the playhouses and printers. Allowing a fuller understanding of the texts we read and perform, Making Shakespeare is the perfect introduction to issues of stage and page. A refreshingly clear, accessible read, this book will allow even those with no expert knowledge to begin to contextualize Shakespeare's plays for themselves, in ways both old and new.
'A fine synthesis of current wisdom relating to the workings of Shakespeare's theatre - an area which has not always (or rarely so engagingly) presented the artistic implications of historical context … Making Shakespeare is so sensible and clear that I hope teachers and others interested in the context of Shakespearean production will put it at the top of their reading lists.' - Times Literary Supplement
'Brings an alert critical intelligence to important questions, and draws on material which has rarely been reproduced elsewhere. There is plenty to engage the non-specialist and the specialist alike in this stimulating and occasionally contentious book.' - Around the Globe
List of Illustrations General Editor's Preface Acknowledgements Textual Note; 1. Prologue 2. Text, Playhouse and London 3. Additions, Emendations and Revisions 4. Rehearsal, Performance and Plays 5. Props, Music and Stage Directions 6. Prologues, Songs and Actors' Parts 7. From Stage to Printing House 8. Epilogue Notes Bibliography and Further Reading Index