This essay examines diverse commemorative acts of reception in four recent productions of Shakespeare and Fletcher’s All is True: King Henry VIII staged in locations we associate with Shakespeare’s life and career: Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon (2006), The Rose archaeological site (2008), Shakespeare’s Globe (2010), and the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia (2013). By using established theories regarding “ghosting,” location, memory and the archive developed by Marvin Carlson, Peggy Phelan, Joseph Roach, Pierre Nora, Rebecca Schneider and others, this paper attempts to determine how any endeavor to gain real or imagined proximity to Shakespeare’s life and drama is less a re-creative act than a creative one. It marks the 1989 discoveries of the Rose and Globe archaeological sites as a turning point for subsequent experiments in architectural reconstruction and Shakespeare performance and offers a basic taxonomy of real or imagined resonances of authenticity available in heritage locations. While acknowledging that these memorial sites stand in as surrogates, or “sites of memory,” for the lost or displaced originals, this paper concludes by asking if performances such as these offer a satisfying repositioning of the present, by privileging the performance of what remains, that also diminishes our nostalgic yearning for further recovery of the historical locations and events they commemorate.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 681-697
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.