- From the Editors
Here it is: the first issue of Shakespeare Bulletin produced by its new editorial team. The transition has gone remarkably smoothly, not least thanks to the continued willingness of Andrew Hartley, Jeremy Lopez and Genny Love to answer our questions, the patience of Patty Weber at Johns Hopkins University Press, and the helpfulness of our Editorial Assistant Jennifer Barnes. To them all our thanks.
The change of hands has presented us with the opportunity to update the journal’s website and mission statement at http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/shakespeare_bulletin/, to firm up guidelines for authors and peer reviewers and to engage members of the editorial board in the process of mapping the journal’s future. We have been heartened by the keen expressions of commitment to Shakespeare Bulletin and the research it publishes and wish to thank members of the editorial board, past and present, for their enthusiasm and dedication. Shakespeare Bulletin has become the leading international journal of early modern performance studies. We are determined to continue to raise the journal’s profile yet further by continuing its rigorous peer review processes, targeting book and performance reviews and commissioning fully peer-reviewed, guest-edited Special Issues in a strategic manner.
The current open issue exemplifies the historical range and variety of approach of the research published by the journal. You will find early modern theatre history and its pan-European reach represented by Tiffany Stern’s article on the seventeenth-century Hamlet-adaptation Der Bestrafte Brudermord, which she suggests may have been a puppet play. Kent Lehnhof, too, is concerned with the early modern period in his analysis of the ways in which Coriolanus combines misogyny with an anti-performative impulse. In Casey Caldwell’s article on Shakespeare’s Globe and the Blackfriars in Staunton, Virginia, early modern and present-day spectators are connected through laughter and sunshine as they respond to plays in performance venues that seem particularly suited to comedy. Caldwell’s approach, combining anecdote and theory, is counterbalanced [End Page 331] by the more empirical methodology employed by Jami Rogers, whose analysis of informal racial casting quotas in leading British theatre companies ought to kick-start important debates about how to break through ‘glass ceilings.’ Race and politics are also key ingredients of Michael Friedman’s analysis of Julie Taymor’s film of The Tempest, which arrestingly connects the film’s Hawaii location with the ‘birther’ controversy surrounding US President Barack Obama. Finally, Shakespeare-on-screen is also investigated by John Severn, whose article on Kenneth Branagh’s Love’s Labour’s Lost responds to the criticism of Shakespeareans to suggest that we consider the film’s gaps, discontinuities and clashes as evidence of Branagh’s invitation of radical modes of interpretation. The articles in this issue thus tackle performance in a range of media from many different historical, theoretical and methodological vantage-points. It remains for us to remind readers and prospective authors that the journal also welcomes work on performances between the early modern period and the present and includes plays by early modern dramatists other than Shakespeare in its remit.
That wider remit is clearly on display in the issue’s performance reviews, which fully reflect the range and spirit of pleasurable exploration this section’s editors Roberta Barker and Paul Prescott hope to foster. This issue’s reviews take on some highly canonical plays, including a production of Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling from Florida and versions of Hamlet hailing from venues as far apart as the Barrymore Theatre in New York City and the Ivan Vazov National Theatre in Sofia. In addition, you will find reviews of such rarely-performed plays as the medieval morality Everyman and the Elizabethan comedy Fair Em, The Miller’s Daughter of Manchester. Considerations of performances both all-female (the Donmar Warehouse’s Julius Caesar) and all-male (Propeller’s Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night) give evidence of the ongoing vitality and complexity of gender-based experiments on the Shakespearean stage. Multiple productions of Measure for Measure are...