Shakespeare's Staging
Titus Andronicus
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Friday, 22 April 2005 06:17

This sketch is at the top of a page of quotations from Titus Andronicus, signed Henricus Peacham, with a date possibly of 1595. It shows an uncertain scene with a mixture of costumes: only Titus is dressed in a Roman toga, but Aaron the Moor is clearly African. From the Library of the Marqess of Bath, Longleat House.

STAGING TITUS ANDRONICUS

This distasteful play was popular in Elizabethan times (it appeared in five editions before 1642) and it has become so again today—perhaps an inditement of audiences in both periods, because the script exploits horror and brutality to the point that modern stagings (such as that at UC Santa Cruz) often require medical facilities to handle hysterical reactions in the audience to the mutilations, rape, and cannibalism in the script. It may be that the youthful Shakespeare was just trying to outdo contemporary theatrical excesses, or we may even take refuge in the debatable opinion of some scholars that the play is at least in part attributable to George Peele, who wrote similar plays. More scholarly interest lies in the above Elizabethan sketch of a possible scene from the play which can be compared to deliberate modern analogues (9.1.11, 9.1.12).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aebischer, Pascale. "Women Filming Rape in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus: Jane Howell and Julie Taymor." Etudes Anglaises 55 (2002): 136-47.

Alexander, Peter, ed. Titus Andronicus. London: BBC; New York: Mayflower, 1986.

Bate, Jonathan. "Staging the Unspeakable: Four Versions of Titus Andronicus." In Shakespeare from Text to Stage, edited by Patricia Kennan and MariangelaTempera, 97-111. Bologna: CLUEB, 1992.

Bate, Jonathan. "The Theatrical Life." In Titus Andronicus, edited by Bate, 37-69. London: Routledge, 1995.

Bate, Jonathan. Titus Andronicus. Arden Third Series.London: Routledge, 1995; Thomas Learning, 2006.

Brantley, Ben. "Shakespeare in War: More Timely Than Ever." Review of Titus Andronicus, Royal Shakespeare Company, Globe Theatre, UK; and Titus Andronicus, Ninagawa Company, Stratford. New York Times, July 8, 2006.

Cerasano, S. P. "'Borrowed robes,' Costume Prices, and the Drawing of Titus Andronicus." Shakespeare Studies 22 (1994): 45-57.

Dessen, Alan C. Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare in Performance. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press, 1989.

Fink, Joel G. "The Conceptualization and Realization of Violence in Titus Andronicus." On-Stage Studies 12 (1989): 1-10.

Ford, John R. Review of Titus Andronicus, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Shakespeare Bulletin 23, no. 1 (Spring, 2005): 159-60.

Galery, Maria Clara Versiani. "Staging Practices in the Elizabethan Theater: Titus Andronicus at the Rose." In Foreign Accents: Brazilian Readings of Shakespeare, edited by Aimara da Cunha Resende, 100-113. Newark: University of Delaware Press; London: Associated University Presses, 2002.

Hughes, Alan, ed. Titus Andonicus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Hurwitt, Robert. "Cleaning up Bard's Gory Mess." Review of Titus Andronicus, California Shakespeare Theater. San Francisco Chronicle, June 6, 2011.

Kolin, Philip C., ed. Titus Andronicus: Critical Essays. New York and London: Garland, 1995.

Kujawinska-Courtney, Krystyna. "The First Production of Titus Andronicus in Poland." Shakespeare Worldwide 14-15 (1995): 102-8.

Maher, Mary Z. "The Production Design in the BBC's Titus Andronicus." Shakespeare Bulletin 4, no. 1 (1986): 5-7.

Marlowe, Sam. "Flow of Blood Leaves Tragedy Anaemic." Review of Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare's Globe. Daily Telegraph, June 1, 2006.

Metz, G. Harold. "The Early Staging of Titus Andronicus." Shakespeare Studies 14 (1981): 99-109.

Munkelt, Marga. "Titus Andronicus: Metamorphoses of a Text in Production." In Shakespeare, Text, Language, Criticism: Essays in Honour of Marvin Spevack, edited by Bernhard Fabian and Kurt Tetzeli von Rosador, 212-234. Hildesheim; New York: Olms-Weidmann, 1987.

Olsen, Thomas G. "The 1924 Alpha Delta Phi Production of Titus Andronicus." Yale University Library Gazette 76 (2002): 154-77.

Risso, Richard. "Titus Andronicus at the 1990 Utah Shakespeare Festival: A Director's Notes." In Titus Andronicus: Critical Essays, edited by Philip C. Kolin, 482-86. New York and London: Garland, 1995.

Reese, Jack E. "The Formalization of Horror in Titus Andronicus." Shakespeare Quarterly 21 (1970): 77-84.

Scuro, Daniel. "Titus Andronicus: A Crimson-Flushed Stage!" Ohio State University Theatre Collection Bulletin 17 (1970): 40-48.

Shaw, William P. "Text, Performance, and Perspective: Peter Brook's Landmark Production of Titus Andronicus, 1955." Theatre History Studies 10 (1990): 31-55.

Sher, Antony, and Gregory Doran. Woza Shakespeare! Titus Andronicus in South Africa. London: Methuen, 1996.

Spencer, Charles. "The Horror Endures." Review of Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare's Globe, London. Times, June 1, 2006.

Titus Andronicus at Talkin' Broadway.

Wells, Stanley. Titus Andronicus: A Programme Text with Commentary. Stratford-upon-Avon: RSC Publications, 1987.

Titus Andronicus: Ira Aldridge (1807-67) as Aaron the Moor (IV.ii). Ira Aldridge was the first black American theatre star.

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