Staging and Stage Décor: Perspectives on European Theater 1500-1950

Bárbara Mujica (Ed.)

by Michael J. Collins (Georgetown University), Michael Scott (Blackfriars Hall, Oxford), Isaac Benabu (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel), Susan L. Fischer (Bucknell University), Kathleen Jeffs (Gonzaga University), Anna-Lisa Halling (Brigham Young University), Francesca Fantappiè (University of Tours, France), Guy Spielmann (Georgetown University), Jérôme Brillaud (University of Manchester), Albrecht Classen (University of Arizona), Sabrina Kanthak (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany), Iryna Kastylianchanka (Osaka University)

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'Staging and Stage Décor: Perspectives on European Theater 1500-1950' is a compendium of essays by an international array of theater specialists. The Introduction provides an overview of theater décor and architecture from ancient Greece through the Renaissance and beyond, while the articles that follow explore a variety of topics such as the development of lighting techniques in early modern Italy, the staging of convent theater in Portugal, performance spaces at Versailles, the reconstruction of the Globe theater, and Shrovetide plays in Germany. This volume also offers insight into little-studied subjects such as the early productions of Brecht and the spread of Russian theater to Japan. The focus on performance and performance space across centuries and continents makes this a truly unique volume.

List of Figures
Bárbara Mujica
Georgetown University

Part I. The Mediterranean World: Italy, Spain, Portugal, France

Chapter 1 The Poetics and Dramaturgy of Light in the Italian Renaissance and Baroque Theater
Francesca Fantappiè
University of Tours

Chapter 2 On the Versatility of the Spanish Corral
Bárbara Mujica
Georgetown University

Chapter 3 Portuguese Convent Theater: A Proposed Performance of Soror Maria do Céu’s Triunfo do Rosario Plays
Anna-Lisa Halling
Brigham Young University

Chapter 4 Baroque Language and Meaning through the Senses: Décor in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Spanish Golden Age Season
Kathleen Jeffs
Gonzaga University

Chapter 5 Figuring Duration and Space on the Early-Modern Stage: The Very Relative Triumph of the “Italian Order” and French Classicisme
Guy Spielmann
Georgetown University

Chapter 6 The Garden Theater of Versailles
Jérôme Brillaud
The University of Manchester, UK

Part II. England: A Theatrical Powerhouse

Chapter 7 Staging Early Modern Drama at Shakespeare’s Globe
Michael J. Collins
Georgetown University

Chapter 8 Language as Stage Design in Shakespeare’s Poetic Settings
Michael Scott
Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, UK

Chapter 9 Staging Character and the Construction of Shylock
Isaac Benabu
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chapter 10 Reading Shakespeare Performance: Rupert Goold’s Violent and Vulnerable Staging of Macbeth
Susan L. Fischer
Bucknell University

Part III. The Blossoming of German and Russian Theater

Chapter 11 The Theater Stage in Sixteenth-Century German Plays: The Case of Hans Sachs
Albrecht Classen
University of Arizona

Chapter 12 Early Stagings of Brecht’s Trommeln in der Nacht (1922) and Im Dickicht (1923)
Sabrina Kanthak
Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich

Chapter 13 Beyond Western Approaches to Theater Globalism: The Space of Performance through the Interaction of Russia and Japan
Iryna Kastylianchanka
Osaka University


Bárbara Mujica is a professor emerita at Georgetown University, where she was the director of El Retablo, a Spanish-language theater group. President Emerita of the Association for Hispanic Classical Theater (AHCT) and founding editor-in-chief of 'Comedia Performance,' Dr. Mujica has written extensively on Spanish theater. Her latest books on the subject are 'Staging and Stage Décor: Early Modern Spanish Theater' (Vernon Press 2022), 'A New Anthology of Early Modern Spanish Theater: Play and Playtext' (ed. Yale 2014) and 'Shakespeare and the Spanish Comedia' (ed. Bucknell 2013). She has also authored 'Women Religious and Epistolary Exchange in the Carmelite Reform: The Disciples of Teresa de Ávila' (Amsterdam 2020), 'Teresa de Avila: Lettered Woman' (Vanderbilt 2009), 'Teresa de Jesús: Espiritualidad y feminismo' (Orto 2006), and 'Women Writers of Early Modern Spain: Sophia’s Daughters' (Yale 2004). In 2022 'Women Religious and Epistolary Exchange in the Carmelite Reform' won the GEMELA prize for best book of the year on early modern women of the Spanish-speaking world. Bárbara Mujica is also a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. This year she was named an Abby Freeman Writer-in-Residence at The Braid Theater in Los Angeles. Her latest novel, 'Miss del Río', about the Mexican actress Dolores del Río, was named one of the best books of the year by 'Library Journal' and one of the five best recent historical novels by 'The Washington Post'.

theater history, set design, European theater, Shakespeare, history of stage lighting, performance space, early modern convent theater, early German theater, early modern French theater, Brecht, Russian theater, Japanese theater, Versailles performance spaces, Spanish theater in England

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Staging and Stage Décor: Perspectives on European Theater 1500-1950





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


13 B&W

Publication date

March 2023