'What makes thou upon a stage?': Child Actors, Royalist Publicity, and the Space of the Nation in the Queen's Men's True Tragedy of Richard the Third
Keywords:child actors, boy actors, Queen's Men, True Tragedy of Richard the Third, theatrical space, touring theatre, public, direct address, dramaturgy,
The Queen’s Men use the bodies of actors as the principal spatial medium of their plays; in the True Tragedy of Richard the Third, for example, the bodies of child actors playing representatives of the monarchy are the focus of their audience’s affective responses to the play. Consequently, the meaning of any individual performance of the play was not determined by the specifics of individual venues nor by the geographical allegiances of individual communities along the company’s touring routes. Instead, The True Tragedy created a stable, new, affective space for royalist publicity that transcended local politics and dissent. Rather than the proto-democratic space for voluntary engagement in public discourse that recent critics have seen in the Queen’s Men’s dramaturgy, this play created a conceptual space that more closely resembled a royal nation.
Contributors to Early Theatre retain full copyright to their content. All published authors are required to grant a limited exclusive license to the journal. According to the terms of this license, authors agree that for one year following publication in Early Theatre, they will not publish their submission elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the journal, and without acknowledgment of its initial publication in the journal thereafter.