Book Announcement: Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage

Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Hardback, pp195, £58.99 / $99.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage, edited by Michael Dobson and Estelle Rivier-Arnaud.

Why have contemporary playwrights been obsessed by Shakespeare’s plays to such an extent that most of the canon has been rewritten by one rising dramatist or another over the last half century? Among other key figures, Edward Bond, Heiner Müller, Carmelo Bene, Arnold Wesker, Tom Stoppard, Howard Barker, Botho Strauss, Tim Crouch, Bernard Marie Koltès, and Normand Chaurette have all put their radical originality into the service of adapting four-century-old classics. The resulting works provide food for thought on issues such as Shakespearean role-playing, narrative and structural re-shuffling. Across the world, new writers have questioned the political implications and cultural stakes of repeating Shakespeare with and without a difference, finding inspiration in their own national experiences and in the different ordeals they have undergone.

The contributors to this collection of essays examine modern rewritings of Shakespeare from both theoretical and pragmatic standpoints. Key questions include: can a rewriting be meaningful without the reader’s or spectator’s already knowing Shakespeare? Do modern rewritings supplant Shakespeare’s texts or curate them? Does the survival of Shakespeare in the theatrical repertory actually depend on the continued dramatization of our difficult encounters with these potentially obsolete scripts represented by rewriting?

To read a full summary of the book and to read a 30-page sample extract, which includes the table of contents, please visit the following link:

Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars, through Amazon and other online retailers, or through our global network of distributors. Our partners include Bertram, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, YBP, Inspirees and MHM Limited. An e-book version will be available for purchase through the Google Play store in due course.

For further information on placing an order for this title, please contact

About the Editors

Michael Dobson is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK. His publications include Shakespeare and Amateur Performance: A Cultural History (2011), The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (with Stanley Wells, 2001; revised, with Will Sharpe and Erin Sullivan, 2015), England’s Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy (with Nicola Watson, 2002), and The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 1660–1769 (1992).

Estelle Rivier-Arnaud is Senior Lecturer at the University of Maine, Le Mans, France, and a specialist of Shakespeare’s drama on the contemporary stage. Her publications include Shakespeare dans la Maison de Molière (2012) and Shakespeare in Performance (2013), as well as numerous articles, play-reviews and a collection of poems. Since 2006, she has been directing an amateur theatre company, Act’ en scène, with which she is currently on tour.

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