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Palgrave Macmillan

Open-Air Shakespeare

Under Australian Skies

ISBN 9781137426857
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot
Series Global Shakespeares

Many people today first encounter staged Shakespeare in an open-air setting. In Australia, picnic Shakespeares seem particularly suited to the predilections of contemporary audiences and the plays have been performed in a remarkably varied range of sites. Shakespeare has been transported to gardens, parks, caves, mountains and beaches all over the country, in a place that for Shakespeare and his contemporaries was completely unknown. Why does the anomaly of performing Shakespeare in Australian space exert such a strong appeal? This book traces the history of open-air Shakespeare production in Australia from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day and suggests that the industry reflects important changes in the ways contemporary Australians relate to both their environment and to Shakespeare. It provides striking evidence of the diversity of localised responses to Shakespeare that exist outside Britain, and contributes to our understanding of Shakespeare's changing global impact.

Rosemary Gaby is a senior lecturer in English at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She has published widely on Shakespeare in performance and is currently editing Henry IV, Part Two for the Internet Shakespeare Editions. She has completed an online edition of Henry IV, Part One for the ISE, and her print edition of the play was published in 2013.

List of illustrations
Introduction: Open-air Shakespeare, Space, Place and Performance
1. Early Experiments: Pastoral and Elizabethan Staging
2. Pageants and Festivals: Shakespeare in the Street
3. Glenn Elston and the Rise of Picnic Shakespeares
4. From Local Park to National Park: After the 1980s


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