Elizabeth E. Tavares deposited Super Troupers; or, Supplemented Playing before 1594 on Humanities Commons 1 month ago
Considering the question, how did playhouses and the playing companies that toured them begin to work together in the 1580s, this paper returns to the problem of amalgamations. I will argue that supplemented playing was an irregular but recognizable feature of the pre-1594 marketplace, made available by the greater diversity of companies operating as well as an entertainment economy in which success was garnered more frequently through strategies of collaboration and duplication rather than competition and novelty. I focus on the record of the Lord Admiral’s players’ career from 1582 to 1594, a period frequently ignored due to the juicy data available in Philip Henslowe’s Diary after 1592. Surveying the scholarship on the ways in which the company did and did not collaborate, I chart the records of possible collaborative performances in order to posit which plays we know to have been in their repertory before 1594 could have been used for such performances. In so doing, I suggest that collaborative performance was a normal practice of the 1580s, pre-Shakespearean theatre industry.