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Tiffany Stern

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Tiffany Stern
Academic Position:
Professor of Early Modern Drama; CUF Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow
Research Interests:
Early Modern Theatre; Shakespeare

Professor Tiffany Stern graduated from Merton College, Oxford, and received her PhD from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. After a Junior Research Fellowship at Merton, Tiffany worked at Oxford Brookes University for four years. She is now back at Oxford University as Professor of Early Modern Drama (English Faculty), and Beaverbrook and Bouverie Fellow in English (University College).

She specialises in Shakespeare, theatre history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, book history and editing. Her work arises from an interest in the contexts that shaped the ways playwrights wrote and actors performed. Her first book was Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan; her second book, Making Shakespeare, focused on Shakespeare’s London, actors, theatres, props and music. Both books are used by theatre companies interested in experimenting with ‘original’ methods of Shakespearean production. Shakespeare in Parts, a book she co-wrote with fellow Oxford faculty member Simon Palfrey, concentrates on Shakespeare as a playwright and actor performing from, and writing for, 'parts' (the texts actors received, consisting of cues and speeches, nothing else). Combining Simon’s expertise as an interpreter and Tiffany’s as a theatre historian, it is a work that takes its interpretative momentum from archival research to discover not only a newly active, choice-ridden actor, but also a new Shakespeare. It is complemented by Documents of Performance in Shakespearean England, which considers the other papers of performance not examined in 'Parts': plot-scenarios, playbills, arguments, prologues, songs, scrolls and backstage-plots.

She is also an editor, and has produced editions of the anonymous King Leir, Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals, and George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer.

As a general editor Professor Stern is, with Brian Gibbons and William C. Carroll, responsible for the New Mermaids play series; she is also an Arden Advisory Editor and is on the editorial board of the RSC Shakespeare, the Greenwood Shakespeare Encylopedia, the Queen’s Men internet editions, and the journals Shakespeare Bulletin, SEDERI, The Hare and Shakespeare Quarterly. Future research includes a book on early modern theatre and popular entertainment, Playing Fair: Fairs and Drama in 16th-18th Century London, for Cambridge University Press, exploring the cultural exchanges between playhouses and fairgrounds, and a book on Shakespeare Beyond Performance, putting 'literary' publication in the context of other immediate responses to Shakespearen performance -- ballads, drolls, puppet shows, notes and commonplaces, 'noted' texts.

Recent Publications

  • Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), i-xiv, 1-362, ISBN: 0521842379.
  • 'Renaissance Drama: Future Directions', Renaissance Drama, 40 (2012), 151-160, ISSN: 04863739
  • '"This Wide and Universal Theatre": The Theatre as Prop in Shakespeare's Metadrama', Shakespeare's Theatre and the Effects of Performance ed. Farah Karim-Cooper and Tiffany Stern for Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2013), 11-32, ISBN-10: 1408146924; I
  • 'Tragedy and Performance' for The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy ed. Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk (Oxford: Oxford University Press), forthcoming 2014
  • '(Re:)Historicizing Spontaneity: Original Practices, Stanislavski, and Characterisation', Shakespeare's Sense of Character: on the Page and from the Stage ed. Yu Jin Ko and Michael W. Shurgot (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 99-110, ISBN: 9781409440666
  • 'Production Preparation', The Cambridge Shakespeare Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Shakespeare's World ed. Bruce Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), forthcoming 2014
# Title Description Contributor
1 Shakespeare and the Stage

Professor Tiffany Stern gives a talk on William Shakespeare and how his plays were performed in...

Tiffany Stern
# Title Description Contributor
1 Why should we study Elizabethan Theatre?

Professor Tiffany Stern of University College, Oxford, discusses her current research and...

Tiffany Stern, Ilana Lassman
2 Shakespeare and the Stage

Professor Tiffany Stern gives a talk on William Shakespeare and how his plays were performed in...

Tiffany Stern