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date: 27 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Actor blogs—online eyewitness accounts of the rehearsal process—provide a potentially rich resource for documenting contemporary mainstream anglophone Shakespeare performances, revealing the assumptions about character, action, and meaning shared by artists and audiences, and confirming the standard practices by which a production is created. It may be significant, then, that very few blogs actually fulfil this promise. Many theatre companies use actor blogs instead to generate the impression that the audience is being allowed a privileged access to the rehearsal process without genuinely sharing the realities of that process, hoping thereby to enfranchise the audience as ‘stakeholders’ and to shape how their finished productions will be received. The chapter ends by focusing on one blog that accurately shares an actor’s rehearsal process in real time (he’s playing Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew) and, in so doing, reveals the limitations of contemporary American emotional-realism-based approaches to acting and character.

Keywords: Key terms, Shakespeare, performance, rehearsal process, theatre companies, actor blogs, audiences, stakeholders, American emotional realism, Taming of the Shrew.

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