Since the 1990s, two related but distinct movements have influenced the way in which scholars of early modern drama have used performance practice in their research. On the one hand, emerging from practice-based theater studies departments, is the discourse of "practice-as-research"; on the other, coming largely from the professional theater, is the "Original Practices" movement exemplified by work of the reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe and the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. Though these movements had different origins, they now overlap to a considerable extent in the work of scholar-practitioners exploring the drama of the early modern period. This article traces the histories of these practices, unpicking their differences but also exploring the productive middle ground between the two. It addresses some of the commonly-held apprehensions (and misapprehensions) about PaR as a tool for theater history, makes some observations about best practice, and argues that what are sometimes held to be PaR's greatest liabilities—its indeterminacy, its open-endedness, its situatedness within the present, and its collaboration with non-academics—may in fact be its greatest assets.


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pp. 425-443
Launched on MUSE
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