Who invented the 'Shakespearean theatre'?

Burbage & Shakespeare


Henslowe & Alleyn:

Who Invented the "Shakespearean Theatre"?

Saturday, 24th November 24th 2012, 10am-5pm

The University of Reading

See the final programme:  Final Programme for the Who Invented the Shakespearean Theatre?

 New digital resources such the University of Reading's Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project (www.henslowe-alleyn.org.uk) and recent excavations by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) are allowing us to re-evaluate our standard assumptions about drama, theatre and playhouses in the age of Shakespeare.

Were Richard Burbage, William Shakespeare and their colleagues in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, and later the King's Men, and their co-investors in the Globe and Blackfriars playhouses really the most important figures in late 16th and early 17th theatre? Or were the theatrical entrepreneur Philip Henslowe and the eminent actor Edward Alleyn equally or more important figures with the Lord Strange's and later the Lord Admiral's Men at the Rose, Fortune and Hope Playhouses?

Were Henslowe and Alleyn rivals or competitors to Burbage and Shakespeare? Or were the four men colleagues, associates and friends in a profession that was much more interconnected than we know?

This one-day conference brings together, for the first time, the leading archaeologists at MOLA, who have excavated the remains of the Theatre, Rose, Globe and now the Curtain playhouses, with leading scholars on Burbage, Shakespeare, Henslowe and Alleyn to discuss playhouses and acting companies and the writers, actors and entrepreneurs who "invented" the theatre that we know as "Shakespearean".

Designed not just for Shakespearean scholars and students, but actors, directors, theatrical and literary audiences, aficionados and the general public, this conference promises to put Shakespeare and his contemporaries in their place.

Speakers: R. A Foakes, Andrew Gurr, Grace Ioppolo, Sally-Beth MacLean, Alan H. Nelson, Stanley Wells, and MOLA archaeologists Julian Bowsher, Heather Knight, Pat Miller and David Saxby.

The event is being held on the Whiteknights Campus of the University of Reading in the Palmer Building, which is number 26 on the link:


For additional information on travel and accommodation in Reading please follow this link: Shakespeare Conference Information Sheet

For any queries, please contact Prof. Grace Ioppolo: g.j.ioppolo@reading.ac.uk


Listen to podcasts of the conference:

Shakespeare Conference Podcast One

Download the Shakespeare Conference Podcast One audio file (right-click to save)

Speakers:  Pat Miller, Heather Knight, Dave Saxby, and Julian Bowsher; Chair: Grace Ioppolo

Shakespeare Conference Podcast Two

Download the Shakespeare Conference Podcast Two audio file (right-click to save)

Speakers: Alan Nelson, Sally-Beth MacLean, Grace Ioppolo; Chair: Andrew Gurr

Shakespeare Conference Podcast Three

Download the Shakespeare Conference Podcast Three audio file (right-click to save)

Speakers: R. A. Foakes, Andrew Gurr, Stanley Wells; Chair: Jan Piggott

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