Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 56 | 2022 > “You have a better needle, I know”. Boy Actors on the Early Modern Stage
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“You have a better needle, I know”. Boy Actors on the Early Modern Stage

Rachele Svetlana Bassan    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    

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abstract

In this article I argue that an approach relying on metatheatrical analysis and on Bakhtin’s Carnivalesque could account for the apparent subversivism of the boy actor’s cross-dressing on the Renaissance stage: stage cross-dressing was rather part of a sanctioned, conservative transgression. Comedy – linked to the carnivalesque features of the Renaissance stage – shares with carnival its conservatively transgressive quality. The frequency of references to boy actors in disguise-plot comedies and their metatheatricality are analysed. Drawing on the Jacobean play Love’s Cure I will try to show how comic conservatism and metatheatre combine with socially and theatrically conservative outcomes.

Published
Sept. 6, 2022
Accepted
May 24, 2022
Submitted
April 11, 2022
Language
EN

Keywords: Renaissance dramaCross-dressingCultural StudiesCarnivalesqueBoy Actors

Copyright: © 2022 Rachele Svetlana Bassan. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.