Comparative examinations of the Commedia dell’Arte and early modern English theatre (and Shakespeare in particular) have been directed mainly to the study of texts. These studies have argued convincingly that scripted and non-scripted comedies of the Italian stage and those of early modern English theatre developed similar themes, characters and conventions, constituting – in the words of Louise George Clubb – ‘an international movement of playmaking recognizable as Renaissance Drama’. Less attention has been devoted to a study of the material organizational side of these (different but similar) theatrical enterprises. The article is a first attempt to consider, in a comparative perspective, what in both contexts happened ‘behind the scene’: in other words, how – in some cases similarly, in others differently – players and other professional figures collaborated in preparing the staging of plays.
Collaborative Authorship; English Theatre; Italian Theatre; Staging Practice