Work: Matusiak, Christopher. “Elizabeth Beeston, Sir Lewis Kirke, and the Cockpit’s Management during the English Civil Wars.” Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England 27 (2014): 161–91.
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.
Awards announcement and presentation took place during the annual MRDS business meeting in May 2015, at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.