QueenʼsMen Editions

Introduction to the Site

Queen's Men Editions

The Queen's Men were the foremost theatrical company of the 1580s, an all-star troupe formed in the Queen's name by her chief advisor Sir Francis Walsingham, and her close ally the Earl of Leicester. From 1583 through to Elizabeth's death in 1603, they toured the provinces of England performing plays that celebrated national and Protestant virtues. The Queen's Men Editions publishes the plays associated with the company in performance editions that incorporate textual scholarship with production records of modern performances of the plays.

Performance Editions

QME gives the user two primary ways to access the work of the Queen's Men: through visual records of modern performances of their plays, and through performance editions of their playtexts in both original and modern spelling. The two avenues of access are interrelated through hyperlinked annotations embedded in the playtexts that discuss the texts themselves, their historical contexts, and the creative choices behind the modern productions. Our user guide, A New Way to Play Old Texts, demonstrates the navigational possibilities of the site for the purposes of study and research.

Performance as Research (PaR)

QME is a product of a larger research enterprise that began with the Shakespeare and the Queen's Men project  (SQM) in 2006, inspired by Sally-Beth MacLean & Scott McMillin's book The Queen's Men and their Plays. The project emerged from University of Toronto's Poculi Ludique Societas and Centre for Performance Studies in Early Theatre. The ongoing research project places the production and performance of plays at the center of the research endeavor as an important and dynamic complement to library research on surviving texts and theatre documents from the period. The QME performance editions integrate the Performance as Research productions with traditional textual scholarship.


In addition to the contextual information embedded in the performance editions, QME provides an overview of the history of the company with an interactive timeline of the documentary evidence and biographies of the actors. It also has expanding sections on social history and theater history that have grown out of the conferences associated with the PaR productions of the plays.

Contributors to the Site

QME is a collaborative site, created by an international body of scholars, theater practitioners, and digital developers.

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