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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

‘Archives and Anecdotes’ pursues a historical syntax that can parse both words, since the two have traditionally been understood to exercise independently if not to outright antagonize one another. This chapter argues, however, that theatre anecdotes have at least as much to say about performance as they do about theatre history and myths; therefore it moves away from an assessment of the role anecdotes play in traditional historiography and towards an exploration of how they function in performance studies. Working through several examples, ‘Archives and Anecdotes’ ultimately argues that theatre anecdotes prove prophetic and thus are beholden less to the history of Shakespeare in performance than to its future.

Keywords: Key terms, archives, anecdotes, history, myths, theatre history, performance historiography

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