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Games and Theatre in Shakespeare's England

Tom Bishop Gina Bloom Erika T. Lin Katherine Steele Brokaw Rebecca Bushnell Shawn DeSouza-Coelho Marissa Greenberg Heather Hirschfeld David Kathman Natasha Korda

332 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Games and Theatre in Shakespeare's England brings together theories of play and game with theatre and performance to produce new understandings of the history and design of early modern English drama. Through literary analysis and embodied practice, an international team of distinguished scholars examines a wide range of games—from dicing to bowling to role-playing to videogames—to uncover their fascinating ramifications for the stage in Shakespeare’s era and our own. Foregrounding ludic elements challenges the traditional view of drama as principally mimesis, or imitation, revealing stageplays to be improvisational experiments and participatory explorations into the motive, means, and value of recreation. Delving into both canonical masterpieces and hidden gems, this innovative volume stakes a claim for play as the crucial link between games and early modern theatre, and for the early modern theatre as a critical site for unraveling the continued cultural significance and performative efficacy of gameplay today.
Author Bio
Tom Bishop is Professor of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Gina Bloom is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. Erika T. Lin is Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance at the Graduate Center, CUNY.