THIS EVENT HAS TAKEN PLACE
A report can be found here.
12th - 14th September 2008
The Georgian Theatre Royal,
The Society will host this international and interdisciplinary conference entitled "The Georgian Playhouse 1750 to 1850 and its Continental Counterparts". The conference convenors are Professor Vivien Gardner, Iain Mackintosh, Professor David Mayer, and Dr David Wilmore. The conference will open with a reception on the Friday evening. Sessions are scheduled during the day on Saturday and Sunday, and will include papers on performance styles, theatre architecture, provincial circuits, colonial and continental theatres, the work of James Winston, scenography, and musical theatre.
A series of gala performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings will be presented by the production company of the Georgian Theatre Royal and sponsored by Turner and Townsend, who were project managers for the recent restoration of the theatre. The programme will consist of a celebration of Samuel Butler, who built the theatre in 1788, followed by the first modern revival of David Garrick's comical one-act dramatic satire Lethe. It is hoped that Timothy West, CBE, who is President of the STR, will lead a distinguished company of actors who will perform within the Woodland Scene, Britain's oldest scenery (and entirely appropriate for the groves of Lethe).
From North America come four scholars to address eighteenth-century drama on that continent before and after 1776. Odai Johnson (University of Washington) will set the scene in London in a Box: the Georgian Theatrical Imagination on the American Landscape. William Graham and Carl Lounsbury, responsible for architectural matters at Colonial Williamsburg, will present The Research and Design for the Reconstruction of the Douglass Theatre, Williamsburg, Virginia, which will show the fruit of their studies across Europe as well as demonstrate an animated three-dimensional model of their best guess of what the Douglass Theatre would have looked like. Elizabeth Cook, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, will talk about the management and marketing of the Williamsburg Theatre.
Three unfamiliar aspects of the Georgian Playhouse in England will be dealt with by Susan Brown (University of Prince Edward Island, Canada), David Haldane Lawrence (University of Birkbeck, London), and Jim Davis (University of Warwick). Brown will look at Manufacturing Spectacle: The Georgian Playhouse and Urban Trade and Manufacturing; Lawrence will introduce us to Performing Working Boys: Cross-dressing and Child Labour on the Early Nineteenth-Century Stage; Davis will entertain us with Low Comic Performance in the Georgian Playhouse, thereby helping redress the balance between the well-studied tragedians and the less well known low comedians.
James Winston and his Theatric Tourist of 1805 (which is being published in facsimile to mark the occasion) are at the heart of this conference. Marcus Risdell (Librarian of the Garrick Club), whose introduction to the facsimile is on the [Georgian Playhouse] website, will tell us more about Winston the man, whose many deeds included being one of the five founders of the Garrick Club. David Wilmore, who is the recipient of a recent Leverhulme Grant to further his studies on The Theatric Tourist, will reveal a pattern in his recent discoveries and will connect Tate Wilkinson to James Winston and Samuel Butler. Jim Fowler of the Victoria & Albert Theatre and Performance Collection has been involved in the acquisition of much hitherto uncatalogued Winston material which will enable him to talk about James Winston, Architect Manqué.
Stylistic and visual aspects of the Georgian theatre will be discussed by Moira Goff, dance scholar and Head of British Collections 1501-1800 at the British Library, on 'The Chinese Festival', and Dancing on the London Stage, Kristan Tetens (Michigan State University) on Scheherazade's Arabian Nights' Entertainments, and Pieter van der Merwe, expert on scenery at the start of the nineteenth century, revisits Macready's Acis and Galatea of 1842 and shows the complete set of Clarkson Stanfield's designs (and lithographs for them which have only come to light recently). Tragedy links the presentations of The Eighteenth-Century Tragic Actor: A Performance Style by Barbara A. Kachur (University of Missouri), and John Philip Kemble and Elizabeth Inchbald: Their Artistic and Personal Relationship by Susan Solomon (The Society for Theatre Research). Heather McPherson (University of Alabama, Birmingham) will talk on Theatrical Celebrity and the Commodification of the Actor, emphasising the parallel rise of the porcelain industry to that of the leading actor.
Musical aspects will be dealt with by Vanessa L. Rogers (Wabash College), who will talk about orchestra and orchestra pits in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in The Provincial Theatre Orchestra and Music in the Georgian-Era Playhouse while Jeremy Barlow, musicologist and instigator of the John Rich Conference held in London earlier this year, will lead us in a sing-along of the theatrical songs of Charles Dibdin. This latter event will be an entr'acte; others of this type will include a presentation by Pauline Knox Crichton, scenic artist in the recent redecoration of the Georgian Theatre Royal, with Iain Mackintosh at hand to defend the choice of the first decade of the nineteenth century rather than 1788 for its chosen style. Another entr'acte will be a demonstration of authentic eighteenth-century candle lighting by Pavel Slavko and Peter Perina, the two Directors of the Baroque Theatre Foundation whose headquarters are at the 1766 opera house of Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. John Golder (Visiting Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales) provides a focused review of a significant development in theatre architecture on the continent of Europe with From Rectangle to Circle: The Role of Provincial Theatres in the Evolution of French Playhouse Architecture, 1750-82.
Additional speakers also may be included at a later date, so please check this space. Information current as of 1 June, 2008.
A report of a Jeremy Barlow (& David Timson) performance (at the Art Workers Guild, Dec 2007)
2008 John Rich Conference Report
General Events Index
12th June 2008