Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Kyle Smith, the last person who will be introducing themselves on this blog today. I am a second-year MLitt student with Mary Baldwin’s Shakespeare & Performance program and the live-blogging coordinator for the conference.
Session #2 kicked off with James Marino of Cleveland State University’s paper Part-Based Revision in Doctor Faustus, which explored the famous discrepencies between the “A” text and the “B” texts, believed to be the result of additions to the play commissioned by Phillip Henslowe. Comparing these additions to those of the 1606 edition of Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, Marino found that the changes to Faustus were of a more substantial nature, changing or adding completely new scenes as well as drastically altering cues to the detriment of actors playing roles such as Mephistopheles but to the benefit of the clowns.
“I found a play!” declared Joseph Stephenson of Abilene Christian University. That play is The Dutch Lady, a Restoration comedy of currently unknown authorship that came to Stephenson’s attention last year. Given his research interests in the Dutch, Stephenson decided to have the play produced by the Fred Theatre. Stephenson’s paper Marstonian Echoes in a Previously Unknown Seventeenth-Century Play: “Danger and Delight” in The Dutch Courtesan and The Dutch Lady, drew paralells between The Dutch Lady and John Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan, particularly in the political ramifications of the wily Dutch women characters in both plays, highlighted by performances from ASC actors Allie Babich, Tim Sailer, and Greg Brostrom.
Claire Bourne of Pennsylvania State University dove into the realm of print with her paper Sweet Division/Dismal Scenes: Lace Ornaments & Dramatic Form in Q1 Romeo and Juliet (1597). According to Bourne, improper casting-off by printer Edward Allde meant that he had a surplus of pages and a deficit of text when compositing the playtext. In order to remedy this, Allde utilized printing ornaments, though Bourne argues that his use of such ornaments intentionally threw the tragedy of the play into sharp relief by demarcating the text in such a way that it highlighted aspects of the text that were in opposition to each other, i.e.; outdoors vs. indoors, disobedience vs. repentance, etc.
New York University’s Katherine Williams turned to the city comedy, a genre that Shakespeare did not explore himself, leaving that to such contemporaries as Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John Marston. Their collaborative play Eastward Ho provided the case study for her paper “Playd in the Black-friers”: Eastward Ho and Theatrical Collaboration. Williams posits that Eastward Ho’s embarrassment of authors actually works in the play’s favor, as the three authors actually temper the pitfalls and negative attributes that affected their individual writing.
Rounding off the session, Michael Wagoner from Florida State University presented Theatrical Microinterruptions in Shakespeare, starting by highlighting the interruptive nature of our very own Bear as an example. Wagoner’s paper states that interruptions in Shakespeare establish dynamics of power and morality, exemplified by 2.1 of The Tempest, in which, as demonstrated by Allie, Tim, and Greg, the “bad” characters interrupt far more often than the “good” characters.