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The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts$
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Mark Thornton Burnett and Adrian Streete

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635238

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.001.0001

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Shakespeare and The Modern Stage

Shakespeare and The Modern Stage

Chapter:
(p.310) 17 Shakespeare and The Modern Stage
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts
Author(s):

Christie Carson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.003.0018

This chapter suggests that several associated tendencies can be detected — a cultivation of theatrical ‘authenticity’, the overtaking of the local by the global, and the application of Shakespeare in projects of local self-definition. It concentrates on Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). A pragmatic reading of the RSC's ‘ambassadorial role’ can attribute as much of its success to financial and political imperatives as it can to cultural influence. International adaptations of Shakespeare are now as often viewed as acts of self-definition, instigating local cultural debates and British responses. Shakespeare's influence may be thinly spread, and the text may be subject to radical reinterpretation, but the influence of Shakespeare's work in the twenty-first century will likely more fully encircle the global community, engaging with a wider range of world views and representational possibilities.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, Globe Theatre, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, theatrical authenticity, self-definition, global community

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