The 2015 Barbara Palmer Award for Best New Essay in Early Drama Archival Research

Award: 
Barbara D. Palmer Award
Award Year: 
2015

Christopher Matusiak. “Elizabeth Beeston, Sir Lewis Kirke, and the Cockpit’s Management during the English Civil Wars.” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England: An Annual Gathering of Research, Criticism and Reviews 27 (2014), 161-191.

Christopher Matusiak’s “Elizabeth Beeston, Sir Lewis Kirke, and the Cockpit’s Management during the English Civil Wars” adeptly fulfills the criteria of the Palmer award: the author marshals extensive original research and interpretation of archival material to present a valuable exploration of theatrical management during the civil war period. Matusiak provides important insight into a largely understudied period with respect to theatrical activity, demonstrating the continuing importance of drama in the period and its intersection with contemporary politics. The article makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of women’s roles in commercial theatre, and is also relevant to other contemporary issues, including mercantile ventures, military service, New World engagements, and national identity