Introduction: The Shakespeare Police

  • Andrew James Hartley


It is often observed that the position of the dramaturg is one characterized by its “in-betweenness,” defined by what it is not: not playwright, director, or actor, but also not simply literary critic, historian, or theorist. In the case of the Shakespearean dramaturg, the two broad categories between which he or she moves—literary academia and practical theatre—are particularly different and, at least sometimes, proud of and adamant in their difference. Indeed, these are not so much categories as cultures and, like all cultures, they have their attendant ideologies and discursive modes as well as their own values, assumptions, and agendas. Sometimes the differences between literary academia and practical theatre seem so immense that they appear to have little to say to one another, a depressing idea made more so by the fact that it is sometimes articulated by those who have spent the most time attempting to make the two cultures speak to each other.1 The dramaturg, floating between these two cultural spheres, can sometimes feel like he doesn’t quite belong in either, and that neither fully understands or respects his work. This book is, in part, an attempt to address that problem.


Literary Critic Literary Text Theatrical Practice Cultural Sphere Practical Theatre 
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© Andrew James Hartley 2005

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  • Andrew James Hartley

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