Principles of Staging Practices

1. If we have evidence to believe that Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights did things in certain ways, we are in favor of trying those ways or the closest approximation to them. We should be the company that shows the world how those practices work.

2. We encourage exploring those things that Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights might have done in that building (for example, there is no evidence that actors ever mingled with audience in the stalls, but there's no evidence that they didn't).

3. We are wary of those things we have evidence to believe that he and his fellow playwrights didn't do, but deal with each on a case-by-case basis (for example, he didn't have a piano or a saxophone, but they are still acoustic instruments we play live and unplugged; he didn't have women actors, but we are committed to a diversity of representation on our stage).

4. We are attentive to what the text makes clear he and his fellow playwrights did do, closely considering explicit stage directions and implied stage directions, so that, in Hamlet's phrasing, we "suit the action to the word, the word to the action."

5. Wherever we can afford to make our building more like we believe it was, we will.

6. We aim always to preserve the relation to the audience provided by universal lighting.

7. We make the conversation about our staging conditions and practices an essential part of the conversation in the rehearsal room, in the classroom, and in public forums.


2017 Renaissance Season