Catalogue


Early Cambridge theatres : college, university, and town stages, 1464-1720 /
Alan H. Nelson.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.
description
xiv, 194 p. : ill.
ISBN
0521431778
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.
isbn
0521431778
catalogue key
508441
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-04:
In this brimming booklet, the editor of the two volumes of the Records of Early English Drama dedicated to Cambridge (1989) makes excellent use of that earlier corpus of research by successfully coupling it to a medieval manual of practical carpentry. The result reveals much of importance, albeit largely theoretical, about the construction of early English stage platforms and theaters. Nelson has recycled some illustrations from REED and added others, based largely on his own computer-aided-design interpretations. Unfortunately, his graphic choices omit numerous Cambridge venues. Two mildly annoying features mar an otherwise fine book. First, in the manner of numerous recent introductory theater texts, Nelson opens each section with a present tense "you are there" narrative that clashes with the more typical historiographic style of the rest of the contents. Secondly, extremely technical compilations of detailed measurements intermingle with more accessible discussions, making both less palatable. This mainly masterful expansion of the REED editorial apparatus offers the history of both early-modern theater architecture and performance. Graduate students; researchers; faculty. T. A. Pallen; Austin Peay State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Nelson's views on the subject have much to recommend them....There is a great deal to be admired in Nelson's book. He rethinks the entire subject and offers much solid evidence to alter many of our currently held notions about theater design and performance....specialists will welcome this book both as a helpful guide through the mass of primary material in Cambridge repositories as well as for Nelson's provocative reassessment of the subject." Albion
.,."offers an additional challenge to London's centrality in our understanding of Elizabethan theater....[The book] is a meticulous account of how plays were performed in Cambridge's colleges and inns. The advantages Nelson has over those who draw conclusions based in their necessarily limited knowledge of the Rose, Globe or Fortune amphitheaters is that the playing places he examines are still standing, and the records for their construction and outfitting are still extant." SEL
"This beautifully illustrated book provides a fascinating and richly detailed examination of the documentary, archaeological, and architectural evidence for early Cambridge performance sites, together with a judicious assessment of what such information can tell us about the design of commercial playhouses in Renassance London." The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review
.,."this mainly masterful expansion of the REED editorial apparatus offers the history of both early-modern theater architecture and performance." T. A. Pallen, Choice
..."offers an additional challenge to London's centrality in our understanding of Elizabethan theater....ÝThe book¨ is a meticulous account of how plays were performed in Cambridge's colleges and inns. The advantages Nelson has over those who draw conclusions based in their necessarily limited knowledge of the Rose, Globe or Fortune amphitheaters is that the playing places he examines are still standing, and the records for their construction and outfitting are still extant." SEL
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1995
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Summaries
Long Description
The excavations of the Rose and the Globe theaters have created a new context for the study and reconstruction of the English Renaissance theater. This book attempts to reconstruct the early Cambridge theaters in the context of the professional theaters of Renaissance London. It incorporates a full survey of most of the Cambridge college theaters, the university's commencement stage, and extra-mural theatrical sites used by traveling professional companies, which lead to useful comparisons with the theaters of London. The author concludes with a plea for greater attention to documentary evidence in reconstructing the English Renaissance theater.
Main Description
The excavations of the Rose and the Globe theatres have created a context for the study and reconstruction of the English Renaissance theatre. This book engages with this debate by attempting a reconstruction of early Cambridge theatres in the context of the professional theatres of Renaissance London. Cambridge provides a rich source of material: most of the college halls and chapels in which scaffold-theatres were constructed still stand, while records of the Cambridge theatres and the plays performed in them survive in abundance. The book includes a full survey of some dozen Cambridge colleges, the university's commencement stage, and extra-mural theatrical sites used by travelling professional companies, which lead to useful comparisons with the theatres of London. The author concludes with a plea for greater attention to documentary evidence in reconstructing the English Renaissance theatre.
Description for Library
Theatre historians have struggled for more than a century to reconstruct English Renaissance theatres, pre-eminently Shakespeare's Globe. Recent excavations of the Rose and the Globe have questioned standard reconstructions, creating a need for fresh knowledge. This book uses the rich evidence in Cambridge to reconstruct the contemporary stages at Queens' and Trinity. A survey of Cambridge theatres leads to an enhanced understanding of Renaissance theatre practices in general, and a plea for caution in reconstructing the Renaissance stage.
Description for Bookstore
This book attempts a reconstruction of early Cambridge theatres in the context of the professional theatres of Renaissance London. Most of the college halls and chapels in which scaffold-theatres were constructed still stand and records survive in abundance. Alan Nelson surveys some dozen Cambridge college stages, the university's commencement stage, and extra-mural theatrical sites used by travelling professional companies.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Note on sources
Introduction: London to Cambridge
Queens' College
Trinity College from 1605
Other colleges
The university commencement stage, 1464-1720
Secular playing sites
Cambridge staging practices
Postscript: Cambridge to London
Appendices
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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