Good afternoon! I’m Margaux Delaney, Blackfriars Conference Intern. Welcome to a recap of this year’s Honorific, Roz Knutson Means Business! 

Ralph Alan Cohen begins by introducing Roz Knutson. On the principle Follow the money, Roz has opened up new territory in theater scholarship by investigating the economic conditions of the early modern playhouse world. Ralph then introduces a surprise presentation in Roz’s honor.

Eric Johnson, Director of Digital Access at the Folger Shakespeare Library, takes the podium to announce an exciting discovery. The Folger will soon close for renovations, which has necessitated the temporary dispersal of their collections. As they went through their materials, they found a box labeled “Lost Plays.” Turns out it was full of scraps (in tidy, legible secretary hand, of course) of lost plays, such as the winsomely titled A Toy to Please Chaste Ladies. This finding unfortunately diminishes the number of items in the Lost Plays Database, which Roz co-founded with David McInnis… but we’ll celebrate Roz’s achievements on lost plays nonetheless with the first-ever modern staging of a couple of these fragments.

Annabelle Rollison, Constance Swain, Michael Manocchio, and Leighton Brown present a scene from The Unfortunate General.

Michael Manocchio, Leighton Brown, and Annabelle Rollison present a scene from Crack Me This Nut.

The above ASC resident troupe actors, with the help of Dr. Ralph and a force of Mary Baldwin S&P alumni/ae, stage a series of colorful entrances from Tamercham, Part 1.

Maybe some things, Eric Johnson concludes, are better lost than found. Roz’s work has shown us that the archive of lost plays in itself is deeper and richer than we could have ever imagined without her.

Roz takes the stage––and she mentions having come across a reference to Crack Me This Nut some years ago at the Folger that she’s now unable to find again, so these things do happen.

Ralph Alan Cohen closes by thanking Paul Menzer for the fair copy of the lost play manuscripts.