Queen’sMen Editions

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Queen's Men Editions: History and Vision

This page summarizes the overall vision of Queen's Men Editions, and provides a historical summary of its development from its founding in 2006 to the present.

1. Primary Mission

The two-fold mission of this site is:

  1. to recover the plays associated with the Queen's Men as readable, teachable, and performable theatrical texts for modern scholars, students, and audiences; and
  2. to present those texts in a rich online environment, with multiple points of access to their theatrical, historical, and scholarly contents and contexts.

Resources

Academic:

Performance:

Pedagogical:

Proposed organization of resources within ISE architecture

Foyer gives an overview of the Queen's Men and their plays as a rationale for the website. It will give acknowledgements to professors and students who helped in the project that is being completed by this website, and it will list (with short biographies) the editorial board, the advisory board, contributors and editors on the site.

Library contains the peer-reviewed editions of QM plays, fully annotated with performance links and notes, and the bibliography that supported the peer-reviewed editions (including links where relevant to online resources). The major architectural difference between this site and ISE is that QME illustrates with performance clips and images where possible.

Theater contains the material archives of modern productions, research about historical performance, and production histories. It will include footage or links to film footage, photographs of performances, props, sets, costumes, and any special effects. It will include both historical and modern practices.

Annex contains plays concurrent with QM plays, other sources connected to QM plays (histories, ballads, other), research in progress by the editorial team and associated scholars, links to other resources such as the English Broadside Ballads Archive at UCSB and pedagogical materials.

Aims of partnership/shared identity with Performing the Queen's Men (PQM)

PQM and QME share the basic premise that the Queen's Men's plays are performable theatrical works relevant to modern audiences. Performing the Queen's Men [PQM] helps illustrate the performance dramaturgy of the plays on QME, by presenting primary records of modern productions (to which access is freely given to people affiliated with post-secondary institutions and upon request).

Partnership/shared identity with Internet Shakespeare Editions

In addition to the obvious goal of providing peer-reviewed play texts by Shakespeare's near-contemporaries, QME will also provide access back to ISE. Links will be created to allow users to compare the dramaturgy of the Queen's Men with Shakespeare's versions of the same material.

Links between QME and PQM or ISE open in a new window. This is vital for maintaining the integrity of both sites, and to eliminate confusion about jumping back and forth between sites.

Images, Content, Language supporting the mission of QME:

The design highlights the relationship between original context and modern scholarship and performance, and the relationship between QME and its partner sites PQM and ISE.

Period images relating to Queen's Men's company and repertory:

Images reflecting the modern relevance and accessibility of the plays:

2. The QME Brand

General attributes that distinguish our content and resources from all others.

In our approach to early modern drama, we:

  1. treat historical plays as performance texts rooted in their own time and relevant to ours
  2. define repertoire by company rather than by author
  3. see source and influence not as chronological passage from one work to the next or one author to the next, but as a mutual sharing and development of knowledge and technique among a network of artists working concurrently

Consequently, we provide: a digital collection of plays chosen for their association with the Queen's Men, rather than with any individual author or actor, supported not only by traditional scholarly apparatus but also by:

  1. references to, quotations from, and reproductions of relevant material records (documentary and physical) of the original theatrical conditions in which the plays were performed;
  2. interpretive editorial commentary on dramaturgy and performance impact;
  3. references to, quotations from, and reproductions of elements of modern productions which explore, test, or illustrate the historical and modern theatrical impact of te plays.

Our over-arching goal in QME is to offer a seamless integration of text and performance.

3. Primary Audience

Our website reflects the interest in historically informed performance that has been growing from the 1890s to the modern Globe. It reflects a recent shift in understanding the context of early modern theatre catalyzed by the REED project and reflected in publications like A New History of Early English Drama edited by John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (1997) and Richard Dutton's Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre. It also reflects the recent projects undertaken by professional companies like the American Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe, which attempt to recover old practices and experiences and make them accessible to modern audiences. The liveliest reasons for users to keep returning to the site are the performance archive, and the editorial annotations discussing the performance values of individual plays.

4. Stakeholders

Content provided by editorial team, research assistants, and PLS, reviewed by and funnelled through editors (Cockett, Griffin, Ostovich, Roberts-Smith). Individual contributors will be identified by name. Financial supporters have their logos displayed (University of Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo, SSHRC, etc)

As General Editor, Helen Ostovich ultimately signs off on all content for the site.

5. Shelf-Life Of QME

Our long term editorial ambitions depend upon our ability to gain funding, and our ability to argue for the inclusion of other plays as potentially QM plays. Our shelf-life should be identical to the Internet Shakespeare Editions' shelf-life.

6. Communication With Stakeholders and Audiences

We will communicate with users by email, and by website announcements, journal announcement, special group/conference announcements, and occasional workshops at conferences (eg, SAA).