The Early Modern Drama Database

The data can be viewed sorted by:

Play Title  /  Playwright  /  Date  /  Company  /  Playhouse

These tables organize the most accurate available data on the performance of Early Modern English drama in London from 1576, when the first public playhouse was constructed, until 1642, when the playhouses were closed by Parliament.   Historical background to the production of plays in London in this period can also be found on my Early Modern Chronology.   Both collections are works in progress and I will update and expand them whenever I have the time. They began as MS Word for Windows® tables that enabled me to sort the available data in different useful ways. I have converted the original MS Word® tables to HTML and sorted the data by Title, Date, Playwright, Company, and Theatre. Any of these HTML pages can be downloaded and, with the use of MS Word 97® or any one of a number of other programs, converted to a word-processable tabled document or to a database like MS Access® or Excel® so that individual scholars can work with the data however they please.   I encourage you to do so.

Plays that are no longer extant are in normal type.  Plays that survive in whole or in part are indicated by bold print.  The "Type," or genre classifications are often, but not always, based on Harbage's in his Annals of English Drama.  For the key to the abbreviations click on the word "Type" at the head of the table.

The tables include some court performances by the Queen’s, Admiral’s, Chamberlain’s and King’s Men companies, but the list is far from exhaustive.  I intend to complete it eventually so that a researcher can call up an entire London "season" including performances at court.

Much of this data is based on informed conjecture and complex deduction by numerous scholars from the available records of the time. I have identified the more speculative conclusions with "c." for "circa" after the date or "?" following information about author, company or playhouse, but many others are open to refinement or correction.

These are some of my sources. I have not consistently privileged any one over the others. On the rare occasions when they disagree I made my best judgement of whom to follow. Any inaccuracies are more likely mine than theirs.

Beckerman, Bernard,  Shakespeare at the Globe, 1599-1609, New York: Macmillan, 1962

Bentley, Gerald E.,  The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1966-67

Campbell, Oscar James, and Edward G. Quinn, The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare,
           New York: Thomas Y. Crowall Company, 1966

Chambers, E. K., The Elizabethan Stage, Four Volumes, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923

Gurr, Andrew,  The Elizabethan Stage: 1574-1642, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992

Harbage, Alfred, Annals of English Drama: 975-1700, London: Methuen & Co., 1964

Knutson, Roslyn Lander, The Repertory of Shakespeare’s Company, 1594-1613,
            Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1991

Knutson, Roslyn Lander, "Shakespeare’s Repertory," in A Companion to Shakespeare, David Scott Kastan,
           ed., Oxford: Blackwell, 1999

McMillin, Scott and Sally-Beth MacLean, The Queen’s Men and Their Plays,
           Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998

Wells, Stanley and Gary Taylor, William Shakespeare: The Complete Works,
           Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986

Wells, Stanley and Gary Taylor, William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion,
           Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986

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Tom Dale Keever: