IV. Individual Plays
Any of Marvin Rosenberg's four huge, scene-by-scene organized, and blessedly
indexed books will save you phenomenal amounts of time. The Masks of
King Lear, The Masks of Macbeth, The Masks of Othello
and the recently released titanic The Masks of Hamlet each present
a thorough scene-by-scene anatomy of the stage history of their respective
plays; the "masks" are the different productions (full citations
The Arden Shakespeare: For many years, the Ardens were the standard
critical editions of Shakespeare, but they were at best sketchy when it
came to stage history. The last ten years saw the birth of The New Cambridge
Shakespeare and The Oxford Shakespeare, both of which come equipped with
fine stage history introductions. Perhaps in response to these two new editions,
Arden has begun to revise its own complete Shakespeare. This year saw the
publication of three new Ardens: Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra
and Titus Andronicus, all with thorough stage history sections to
their introductions. I have high hopes for the rest of the series.
The Folio Shakespeare: quirky little editions put out by The Folio
Society in London around the 1950s. They almost always have stimulating
introductions by famous directors and actors, as well as interesting illustrations.
The As You Like It, for example, has an introduction by Peter Brook
and illustrations by Salvador Dali.
The New Cambridge Shakespeare and The Oxford Shakespeare for
more updated versions than the older Ardens: these two series plus the few
new Ardens are where to start for basic inquiry.
Plays In Performance. I've only been able to find the Richard III
in this series, edited by Julie Hankey (Bristol Classical Press, 1981),
but there are allegedly others; Hankey's book is remarkable for being a
line-by-line stage history.
The Shakespeare In Performance series. More thorough than the Text
& Performance series. Hugh Richmond's King Richard III is
particularly good, as is Jill Levenson's Romeo and Juliet. This series
is the best in individual play stage history. However, while the paperbacks
are cheap they are difficult to find; the hardbacks are prohibitively expensive
and only, to my knowledge, available in the UK.
The Text & Performance series, each play (not all of them are
done yet, and if you're looking for a stage history of Timon of Athens
you may be out of luck) under a different author; useful books, if somewhat
basic when it comes to the text half.
B. Other studies
Berkoff, Steven. I Am Hamlet. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989. Berkoff's
Kozintsev, Grigori. Shakespeare, Time and Conscience. Trans. Joyce
Vining. New York: Hill and Wang, 1966. On his film version.
Maher, Mary Z. Modern Hamlets and their soliloquies. Studies in Theatre
History & Culture. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1992.
Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Hamlet. Newark: University of Delaware
Trewin, J. C. Five & Eighty Hamlets. London: Hutchinson, 1987.
One eccentric theater critic's personal memoir of many different productions:
the accounts are on the brief side, but they are occasionally quite useful.
Furtwangler, Albert. Assassin on Stage: Brutus, Hamlet, and the Death
of Lincoln. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991.
Kozintsev, Grigori. King Lear: The Space of Tragedy: The Diary of a Film
Director. Trans. Mary Mackintosh. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1977. On his film version.
Leggat, Alexander. King Lear. Shakespeare in Performance, eds. J.R.
Mulryne and James C. Bulman. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1991.
Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of King Lear. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1972.
Kliman, Bernice W. Macbeth. Shakespeare in Performance, eds. J.R.
Mulryne and James C. Bulman. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992.
Mullin, Michael, ed. Macbeth Onstage: An Annotated Facsimile of Glen
Byam Shaw's 1955 Promptbook. Columbia: University of Missouri Press,
Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Macbeth. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1978.
Spencer, Christopher. Davenant's Macbeth from the Yale Manuscript: An
edition, with a Discussion of the Relationship of Davenant's Text to Shakespeare's.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961.
The Merchant of Venice
Bulman, James C. The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare in Performance,
eds. J. R. Mulryne, James C. Bulman, and Margaret Shewring. Manchester:
Manchester University Press, 1991.
Gross, John. Shylock.. London: Chatto & Windus, 1992.
Lelyveld, Toby. Shylock On The Stage. London: Routledge & Kegan
Overton, Bill. The Merchant of Venice. Text & Performance, ed.
Michael Scott. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, Inc.,
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Selbourne, David. The Making of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Detailed
day-by-day history of the rehearsal process for Peter Brook's pivotal production.
Barthelemy, Anthony Gerard. Black Face Maligned Race: The Representation
of Blacks in English Drama from Shakespeare to Southerne. Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 1987.
Hill, Errol. Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors.
Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.
Rosenberg, Marvin. The Masks of Othello. Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1961.
Wine, Martin L. Othello. Text & Performance, ed. Michael Scott.
London: Macmillan, 1984.
Richmond, Hugh. King Richard III. Shakespeare in Performance, eds.
J. R. Mulryne, James Bulman, and Margaret Shewring. Manchester: Manchester
University Press, 1989.
Sher, Antony. Year Of The King. New York: Limelight Editions, 1987.
Sher's biography of his RSC Richard III.
Billington, Michael, ed. RSC Director's Shakespeare: approaches to Twelfth
Night. London: Nick Hern Books, 1990.
The History Plays
Bogdanov, Michael and Michael Pennington. The English Shakespeare Company:
The Story of "The Wars Of The Roses" 1986-1989. London: Nick
Hern Books, 1990.
McMillin, Scott. Henry IV, Part One. Shakespeare in Performance,
eds. J.R. Mulryne and James C. Bulman. Manchester: Manchester University
back to table of contents.