We formed the R/18 Collective in 2019 to promote professional productions of plays drawn from the Restoration and Eighteenth-Century repertoire and to support performance research related to those productions. Composed of scholars from the UK, the US, and Canada, the Collective seeks both to cultivate strong, reciprocal relationships between scholars and theatre artists and to increase awareness among theatre audiences of the great riches embedded in dramatic works from this era. We believe these plays provide urgently-needed insights into a modernity with which we are still living, including the historical development of our current ideas about race, gender, sexuality, nation, and capital.
We are committed to providing the dramaturgical knowledge and services of some of the world's top scholars in the field to theatre companies interested in producing these works as well as to securing collaborative, international grants to support those productions and the related performance research. While we await the time when we can return to live theatre, and in line with our principal end of promoting the "re-activation" of this repertoire, we have turned our energies toward the creation of an essential and dynamic online resource hub for scholars, teachers, and artists interested in plays from the Restoration and Eighteenth Century.
Misty G. Anderson is the James R. Cox Professor and Head of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she also holds courtesy appointments in the departments of Theatre and Religious Studies. Anderson is the author of Imagining Methodism in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Enthusiasm, Belief, and the Borders of the Self (Johns Hopkins, 2012) and Female Playwrights and Eighteenth-Century Comedy: Negotiating Marriage on the London Stage (Palgrave, 2002), numerous articles on performance and gender in the long eighteenth-century. She is also a co-editor of the Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama and the Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Performance (2017 and 2019) along with R/18 Collective members Kristina Straub and Danny O’Quinn. She has worked as a dramaturg for the Clarence Brown Theatre and produced a documentary about their 2017 production of The Busy Body. She is currently completing a third book project, God on Stage.
Tracy C. Davis is Barber Professor of Performing Arts at Northwestern University, and specializes in British theatre history; historiography; economics and business history of theatre; performance theory; gender and theatre; research methodology; museum studies; and Cold War studies. She has edited numerous collections, the most recent of which are The Routledge Handbook to Theatre and Performance Historiography (2021, co-edited with Peter W. Marx) and Uncle Tom's Cabins: The Transnational History of America's Most Mutable Book (2018, co-edited with Stefka Mihaylova). A book on the development of activist practices among nineteenth-century liberals and radicals is in progress. She is editor of the monograph series Cambridge Studies in Theatre and Performance Theory and co-editor of the monograph series Transnational Theatre Histories (Palgrave).
Lisa A. Freeman is Professor and Head of the English Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Character's Theatre: Genre and Identity on the Eighteenth-Century English Stage (UPenn, 2002), and Antitheatricality and the Body Public (UPenn, 2017), which was named the Runner-Up for the Association of Theatre in Higher Education Outstanding Book Award, a Finalist for the Theatre Library Association George Freedley Award, and an Honorable Mention for the Joe A. Callaway Prize. Freeman is the author of "Mourning the Dignity of the Siddonian Form", published in a special issue of Eighteenth-Century Fiction on Eighteenth-Century Drama, and the editor of the Sarah Siddons volume for Pickering and Chatto's Lives of Shakespearean Actors series. She has published essays on various aspects of eighteenth-century English drama in The Cultural History of Theatre in the Enlightenment (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Cambridge Companion to British Theatre, 1730-1830 (Cambridge, 2007), and Players, Playwrights, and Playhouses: Investigating Performance, 1660-1800 (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007). She has just completed an essay on Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and has a new essay forthcoming in Theatre Survey on the dramatic theory and criticism of Elizabeth Inchbald.
Daniel O’Quinn is a Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. His program of research follows two distinct yet intertwined threads: the study of performance cultures in the long eighteenth-century and the vicissitudes of empire in a wide array of locales. He is the author of Entertaining Crisis in the Atlantic Imperium, 1770-1790 (Johns Hopkins, 2011); and Staging Governance: Theatrical Imperialism in London, 1770-1800 (Johns Hopkins, 2005). The former book examines the mediation of the American War in the British press and in a variety of performance venues. The latter book explores the representation of Anglo-Indian affairs on the London stage and in the theatre of politics at the close of the eighteenth century. His current project, The Post-American Repertoire, brings these earlier concerns together to explore how British culture aesthetically mediated the affective fallout from American decolonization. His new monograph, Engaging the Ottoman Empire: Vexed Mediations, 1690-1815 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), is a wide-ranging account of diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire that arose from preparing editions of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Embassy Letters, Lady Craven’s Travels through Crimeas to Constantinople, and The Travels of Mirza Abu Taleb Khan.
Kristina Straub is Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches eighteenth-century British studies, theatre and performance studies, gender studies, and sexuality studies. She is the author of Divided Fictions: Fanny Burney and Feminine Strategy (Kentucky University Press, 1988), Sexual Suspects: Eighteenth-Century Players and Sexual Ideology (Princeton, 1991), and Domestic Affairs: Intimacy, Eroticism, and Violence Between Servants and Masters in Eighteenth Century Britain (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), as well as numerous articles on eighteenth-century theatre, sexuality, and gender and has just completed an essay on eighteenth-century adaptations of The Tempest for Borrowers and Lenders and an essay on censorship and the eighteenth-century London entertainment industry to be included in The Censorship of the British Theatre for Cambridge University Press. She co-curated “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and Literary Celebrity” at the Folger Shakespeare Library with Janine Barchas, and has co-edited two new anthologies of eighteenth-century drama (with Misty Anderson and Daniel O’Quinn) for Routledge Press. Her current scholarly project, a book entitled Public Knowledge and the Problem of Inclusion in Eighteenth-Century British Commercial Entertainment examines archival evidence of how theatre and other forms of popular entertainment contributed to modern ideas of public knowledge.
David F. Taylor is an Associate Professor at Oxford University and a fellow of St. Hugh's College. He specializes in literature and culture of the long eighteenth century, with particular interests in theatre, the relationship between literary and visual cultures, satire and parody, oratory, the construction of literary history, and the cultural history of Shakespeare. He is concerned with questions of visuality in his new project, which tracks practices and concepts of spectacle across the period. His first book, Theatres of Opposition: Empire, Revolution, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan (OUP, 2012) considered Sheridan – playwright, theatre manager, politician – as a prism through which to map the dynamic and often fraught exchange between theatrical and opposition political cultures at the end of the eighteenth century. He edited The Oxford Handbook of the Georgian Theatre, 1737-1832 (OUP, 2014; pbk. 2018) and published articles and essays that consider writers spanning the long eighteenth century – from Rochester to Wordsworth and from Johnson to Edgeworth and Byron – through the many lenses of performance. The Politics of Parody: A Literary History of Caricature, 1760–1830 (Yale UP, 2018) was named an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2019 by Choice magazine and was also given an honourable mention for the 2019 John T. Shawcross Award (awarded by the Milton Society of America).
Reach out to us at R18Collective@gmail.com with questions or comments - we would love to hear from you!
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