These studies take stage history as a means of knowing the play. Half of the studies deal with casting - doubling, chorus and the crowd, the star of Hamlet and Measure for Measure. Then the transformations of dramatis personae are analyzed and The Tempest is viewed through the changing relationships of Prospero, Ariel and Caliban. Some of Shakespeare’s most original strategies for audience control are studied, such as Cordelia's asides in King Lear, Richard II’s subversive laughter and the scenic alternation of pleasure and duty in Henry IV. Performance is the realization of identity. The book draws on major productions up to 1992, just before the book was originally published.
Preface 1. Hamlet's Doubles 2. Doubling: Theory and Practice 3. Casting the Chorus 4. Casting the Crowd: Coriolanus in Performance 5. Casting Hamlet: Two Traditions 6. Lear's System and Cordelia's Aside: Leading the Audience 7. Laughter in King Richard II: The Subplot of Mood 8. Metamorphoses of the Audience 9. Dramatis Personae 10. Measure for Measure: Casting the Star 11. Within the Bermuda Triangle: Reflections on Recent Tempests 12. Falstaff's Space: The Tavern as Pastoral
Reissuing works originally published between 1933 and 1993, Routledge Library Editions: Shakespeare in Performance offers a selection of scholarship on the Bard's work on stage. Classic previously out-of-print works are brought back into print here in this small set of performance history and criticism.