Concepts extracted from Chapter 2, "The Life of These Things Consists in Action; Staging the play" (pp 22-43) from book, Renaissance Drama in Action: An Introduction to Aspects of Theatre Practice and Performance - by Martin White
1 The Life of These Things Consists in Action,
Chapter 2 pp 22-43
1.1 Casting, p27
1.2 Rehearsal, p28
1.3 Writer-directors, p33
1.4 Actor-directors, p 37
1.5 Documenting the production, p 38
1.5.1 The prompt-copy, p 38
1.5.2 The actor's part, p 39
1.5.3 The Plot, p 40
1.6 p 22, Staging the play
1.6.1 pp 22-23, re: summer 1593 letter by Edward Alleyn
to his wife; "Whatever the truth, this letter is as
close as we get to the moment as which an
Elizabethan actors stepped onstage."
1.6.2 p 23 '... the few guides we have to the skills
and practices of Elizabethan and Jacobean
actors are found in ...
220.127.116.11 "descriptions or reminiscences of
performances from the point of view of
18.104.22.168 "playhouse artefacts such as
prompt copies and 'plots',"
22.214.171.124 "the demands and expectations
revealed by the texts the actors
126.96.36.199 "the possible implications for acting in
the relationship between the texts,"
188.8.131.52 "their performance spaces and audiences,"
184.108.40.206 "and the various attacks on, and defences of, the
theatre that appeared throughout the period."
1.6.3 p 23, "Edward Alleyn retired as an extremely
wealth man, having amassed a fortune from his
acting, [and other investments]"
220.127.116.11 p 24, "Alleyn's transformation from Elizabethan
actor to Jacobean gentleman was, however,
18.104.22.168.1 p 24, "Joan Alleyn's letter to her husband
informing him that a fellow actor,
Robert Browne, leader of the company at
the Boar's Head, was 'dead, and died very
poor' may record a more typical fate."
"Indeed, very few actors accumulated
1.6.4 p 24, "Variety and flexibility were also
necessary since, like many supporting actors
today (though perhaps more often), the
performers had regularly to play more than
one part in a play ..." "... conventions of
costume change were at times suggestive
rather than complete." ex. "... the actor has a
brief ... time offstage to do the change."
1.6.5 p 24, "The 1607 Quarto of the Fair Maid of
the Exchange, for example, printed a guide
to show how 'eleven may easily act' the
twenty-two characters in the play," .... p 24,
"... the breakdown is not accurate ... the
claim for eleven actors is wrong and that
twelve is the required number,"
1.6.6 pp 25-26, "...intricate doubling schemes
are characteric of theatre practice
throughout the period and it seems
reasonable at least to speculate that
customs were fluid enough to allow such
ingenious solutions when absolutely
necessary, such as when touring with a
significantly smaller number of actors than
were available for London performances."
1.6.7 p 26, "Playing multiple parts within one play
.... possibly sharing one part among different
actors, presumably meant that
performances often focused on some clearly
defining characteristic in voice, gesture,
make-up or costume." ex. Bottom's list of
beards from A Midsummer Night's Dream
1.6.8 p 27, The quality of 'bad quartos' may
reflect the frequency of 'fribbling' caused
by memory-lapses, though an actor could
clearly also be 'put beside his part' by
stage fright ... or by the presence in the
audience of a professional playwright ...
who might sit in the gallery ..."