McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
eighteenth-century actresses, eighteenth century, female education, Charlotte Charke, Mary Darby Robinson, Mary Robinson, Sarah Siddons, Margaret Woffington, Peg Woffington, theatrical dynasty, inheritance, discovery, trial and error, British theater, British theatre, provincial theater, provincial theatre, Sybil Rosenfeld
Actress studies has become “a truly interdisciplinary field” that “intersect[s] with art, music, literature, history, economics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and fashion” (Engel 752). While much scholarship has been conducted on the actress’ life, interaction with material culture, public spectacle, authority, femininity, and writings, the role of an actress’ education in her success has yet to be explored adequately or examined beyond biography. My project seeks to examine the educational beginnings of actresses and I assert there are three modes that eighteenth-century actresses often undertook to cultivate their celebrity and success: inheritance, discovery, and trial and error. This project examines the advantages an actress gained through her theatrical education, which participates in the conversation of “thinking about the complexities of actress’ experiences and the variety of strategies they employ to manage their personal and professional lives” (Engel 756).
Csomay, B. (2018). Illuminating the Eighteenth-Century British Stage: Perfecting Performance through Education (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1455