Speaking Pictures explores the complex negotiations between seeing and hearing essential to the audiences' experience in any dramatic performance. Ranging chronologically from the Middle Ages to the present, the essays consider a variety of methods that help us recuperate the visual impact of theatrical spectacle before the age of video archives. The anthology takes its discussion of performance beyond the physical space of the theater to examine texts that were meant to be spoken but not literally performed, such as medieval pageantry and closet dramas of the nineteenth century. Many essays focus on the Early Modern English stage, particularly the challenges of recapturing the totality of the original audience's experience in London's open air theaters by the examination of stage directions, text, and archival evidence. The collection concludes with a discussion of the contemporary actor's challenge in physicalizing the language of Early Modern plays, especially Shakespeare's.
Publisher: Associated University Presses