Festive Performance, Theatrical Surrogates: Early Modern Holidays and Commercial Playing
In sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, holidays were often celebrated with dancing, music, athletic combat, unscripted roleplaying, and crossdressing. In the London playhouses, however, these same communal rituals functioned as commodified entertainments. This talk examines several ways in which theatre mobilized the logic of substitution that lay at the heart of seasonal festivity. In surrogating for older popular forms, not by representing holidays but by embodying them, commercial playing transformed performance from a ubiquitous mode of sociality into the institutionalized, aesthetic mode that we think of today as “theatre.”
Erika T. Lin is an Associate Professor in the Ph.D. Program in Theatre at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Materiality of Performance, which won the 2013 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies. Her research on seasonal festivities and early modern commercial theatre has been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Long-Term Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library. In addition, with Gina Bloom and Tom Bishop, she is editing a volume of essays on early modern games and theatre. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Shakespeare Association of America and as the Book Review Editor for Theatre Survey.
April 27, 2018
4:00 PM — 5:30 PM
The Graduate Center