Touring, Women, and the Professional Stage

  • Sara Mueller Queen's University


Early modern performance records document that women touring professionals were an accepted part of the performance culture of early modern England. Although some work has been done on these records, this work is largely positivist. This article argues that a positivist approach to reading performance records of female itinerants needs to be paired with an approach which acknowledges that the remaining records cannot be taken as a representative sample of what occurred and that the records themselves are slippery, biased, and grounded in the time and place of a singular instance. Instead of being a failure of the surviving body of records, this aspect of the records can be an opportunity to recover the ideological valence of the performances of itinerant women.