Emphasizing a performative and stage-centered approach, this book considers early modern European theater as an international phenomenon. Early modern theater was remarkable both in the ways that it represented material and symbolic exchanges across political, linguistic, and cultural borders (both "national" and "regional") but also in the ways that it enacted them. Contributors study various modalities of exchange, including the material and causal influence of one theater upon another, as in the case of actors traveling beyond their own regional boundaries; generalized and systemic influence, such as the diffused effect of Italian comedy on English drama; the transmission of theoretical and ethical ideas about the theater by humanist vehicles; the implicit dialogue and exchange generated by actors playing "foreign" roles; and polyglot linguistic resonances that evoke circum-Mediterranean "cultural geographies." In analyzing theater as a medium of dialogic communication, the volume emphasizes cultural relationships of exchange and reciprocity more than unilateral encounters of hegemony and domination.
'Henke's and Nicolson's volume is an indispensible exploration in early modern transnational studies, introducing approaches that will become as important as the familiar approaches we may increasingly find constrained by their national borders and boundaries.' Don Hedrick, Professor of English, Kansas State University, USA