Professor Annalisa Castaldo is giving a lecture on Wednesday, March 26 on “What Shakespeare Watched.” The lecture is part of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s Shakespeare in the World Lecture and Performance Series and will be held at The Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, at 6 p.m. The event is free. Actors will be hand to perform excerpts from plays that might have influenced Shakespeare.
Description: Although we have no documentary evidence about specific plays Shakespeare might have seen growing up or in the first few years of his London career, we do know what kinds of plays were performed in London and Stratford Upon Avon in the 1570’s and 1580’s. This presentation will provide historical and literary background about the theater that influenced Shakespeare and performances from several of the actual plays, as Dr. Castaldo takes a look at the lives and work of the playwrights who preceded Shakespeare, such as Robert Greene, John Lyly, Thomas Kyd and, of course, Christopher Marlowe. By placing Shakespeare back in the company of men he knew, admired and emulated, we will have a fuller picture of both his individual genius and the richness and variety of the Elizabethan Theater.