Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Rescripting Shakespeare: The Text, the Director, and Modern Productions

Dessen, Alan C. (Fellow, 2000-01)

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2022

From the publisher's description:

Alan Dessen focuses on the playtexts used for staging Shakespeare's plays, from almost three hundred productions of the last twenty five years. Dessen examines the process of rescripting--when directors make cuts to streamline the playscript, save running time, etc., and rewriting--when more extensive changes are made. He assesses what is lost and gained by rescripting, and the demands of presenting to contemporary audiences words targeted at players, playgoers, and playhouses that no longer exist. The results are of interest to theatrical professionals and historians. Draws upon 280 stage productions from the last 25 years performed in the UK, USA and Canada; offers comparative analyses of material from recent productions with what is known about the first performances in the 1590s and early 1600s; of use and interest to playgoers and theatrical professionals as well as academic specialists.


Subjects: Literature; Literary Criticism; Theater; Plays; Drama; Comparative Literature; Drama Criticism; English Literature