What was life like for early modern boy actors, and what was it like to write for them? Join the Intellectual Forum and Jesus College Fellow Dr Harry R. McCarthy to hear about his new book, Boy Actors in Early Modern England: Skill and Stagecraft in the Theatre.
Date and time: Wednesday 23 November, 5pm-7.30pm
Location: West Court, Jesus College
Dr McCarthy’s book provides a new approach to the study of early modern boy actors, offering a historical re-appraisal of these performers’ physical skills in order to reassess their wide-reaching contribution to early modern theatrical culture. Ranging across drama performed from the 1580s to the 1630s by all-boy and adult companies alike, the book argues that the exuberant physicality fostered in boy performers across the early modern repertory shaped not only their own performances, but how and why plays were written for them in the first place.
Described by reviewers as ‘a tour de force, transforming our understanding of the boy actor,’ the book offers a critical re-imagining of what it meant – and took – to perform as a boy on professional sixteenth- and seventeenth-century stages.