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This essay examines the meanings of black and white within the early modern lexicon while considering how these meanings translate in performance. It addresses the relationship between the audience perception of race and the performance of blackness on the early modern stage while explaining the various materials and technologies available to early modern actors to create a range of racial identities, such as black and white cosmetic paints, textiles, clothing, and music. Finally, this essay draws upon available evidence about black presence in early modern England to suggest the plausibility of a more diverse audience than theatre scholars have been willing to admit. This diversity therefore would have influenced not only the reception of racial performances but also the development of staged representations of racial otherness over time.
In his essay ‘The Presidigitator: A Manual’, Christof Migone suggests that ‘touch has become synonymous with the genuine, the real, the human’ (2004: 1). Merleau-Ponty asserted that the ‘intimate relation between sight and touch allows a sense of immersion in the world’ (cited in Paterson, 2007: 88). More recently, Juhani Pallasmaa observed that ‘Touch is the sensory mode that integrates our experience of the world with that of ourselves’ (2005: 11). This chapter is interested in how the iPad or mobile tablet creates the perception of the ‘genuine’, ‘real’ and the ‘human’ while it enables an immersive relationship for scholars with early modern texts and images through the sense of touch. As I begin writing this chapter on my iPad during my train journey to work, I think about the convenience of mobile tablets and their materialisation of the notion that everything can be found ‘at our fingertips’. As a scholar of Shakespeare and early modern cultural history, my research practice has never been one characterised by convenience and it has often been the case that I did not have all the resources I needed at my fingertips. In this chapter, I will explore how the iPad has the potential to intervene into research practices, specifically here for scholars of early modern literature or history. Thinking this through with sensory theory or haptics (relating to the manipulation of objects using the sense of touch) and discussing the importance of tactility to researching historical texts, this chapter will argue that touching and manipulating the early modern canon is a scholarly practice that the iPad simultaneously promises and denies.
Shakespeare's company, the King's Men, played at the Globe, and also in an indoor theatre, the Blackfriars. The year 2014 witnessed the opening of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, based on seventeenth-century designs of an indoor London theatre and built within the precincts of the current Globe on Bankside. This volume, edited by Andrew Gurr and Farah Karim-Cooper, asks what prompted the move to indoor theatres, and considers the effects that more intimate staging, lighting and music had on performance and repertory. It discusses what knowledge is required when attempting to build an archetype of such a theatre, and looks at the effects of the theatre on audience behaviour and reception. Exploring the ways in which indoor theatre shaped the writing of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the late Jacobean and early Caroline periods, this book will find a substantial readership among scholars of Shakespeare and Jacobean theatre history.