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University of Oxford Faculty of English

Stern, Tiffany

Position: Professor of Early Modern Drama; Tutorial Fellow, University College
College: University
Period/Subject: Early Modern

Email address:

Research Interests:

I work on theatre history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, book history and editing; I specialise in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, particularly Jonson, Brome,  Middleton and Nashe, and also write on seventeenth and eighteenth century playwrights and editors, including Wycherley, Farquhar, Sheridan, Theobald and Johnson. Looking at the theatrical contexts that bring plays about – by Shakespeare and others – is a keen interest of mine. Having researched the theatrical documents put together by authors and others in the process of writing and learning a play, I am repeatedly drawn back to actors’ parts, the documents consisting of cues and speeches from which actors learned their roles. I also write on prologues, epilogues, songs, letters, arguments, plots and other stage documents; acting methods; theatrical props; and playhouse architecture. Currently I am writing a section on Shakespeare and sixteenth to eighteenth century performance for the revised Riverside Shakespeare, and am completing articles on Shakespeare and Time, Newsletters and Buckingham, and Johnson and Malone as Shakespeare editors. As a general editor I am, with Brian Gibbons and William C. Carroll, responsible for the New Mermaids play series; I am also an Arden Advisory Editor – I will be a general editor of Arden Shakespeare series 4 – and am on the editorial board of the RSC Shakespeare, the Greenwood Shakespeare Encylopedia, the Queen’s Men internet editions, and the journals Shakespeare Bulletin, SEDERI, The Hare and Shakespeare Quarterly. Future research includes a book on early modern theatre and popular entertainment, Playing Fair: Fairs and Drama in 16th-18th Century London, for Cambridge University Press, exploring the cultural exchanges between playhouses and fairgrounds, and a book on Shakespeare Beyond Performance, putting 'literary' publication in the context of other immediate responses to Shakespearean performance -- ballads, drolls, puppet shows, notes and commonplaces, 'noted' texts.

Teaching Areas:

Undergraduate: literature 1550-1660; literature 1660-1760; Shakespeare; Dissertations; Classics and English

Graduate: I welcome graduate interest in any of the above fields or cognate areas. My current graduates are working on: Warrior Women in Early Modern Literature; Contemporary Literary Discourse of the Accession of James I; The Publishers and Publishing of Shakespeare's First Folio; Carolean Stage Warfare; Ben Jonson's Parts and Instruction; Commonplacing and Drama in Elizabethan and Jacobean England; French Translations in Restoration Drama.

Recent Publications:


Documents of Performance in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), i-xiv, 1-362, ISBN: 0521842379; reprinted in paperback 2010. TLS book of the year, 2010; Winner of The David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies 2010; George Freedley Award Finalist, 2010

Shakespeare in Parts (with Simon Palfrey) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), i-xiv, 1-545, ISBN: 0199272050. Winner of The David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies 2009; reprinted in paperback 2010

Making Shakespeare for Accents on Shakespeare Series (London: Routledge, 2004), i-xiv, 1-188, ISBN: 0415319641 (hardback); 041531965X (paperback) 

Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000), i-xii, 1-337, ISBN: 0198186819 (short-listed for best theatre book of the year 2000 by The Society for Theatre Research); reprinted in paperback 2007


William Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor (ed.) for Barnes and Noble Shakespeare (New York: Barnes and Noble), forthcoming

Richard Brome’s Jovial Crew (ed.) for Arden Early Modern Drama (London: Methuen, 2014), i-xvi, 1-310; ISBN-10: 1408130017; ISBN-13: 9781408130018

George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer (ed.) for New Mermaids (London: A & C Black, 2010), i-xxix, 1-157, ISBN: 0713673796

Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals (ed.) for New Mermaids (London: A & C Black, 2004), 1-182, ISBN: 0713667656 

Anon’s King Leir (ed.) for Globe Quarto Series (London: Nick Hern Books; New York: Routledge, 2002/3), 1-135, ISBN: 1854596357 


Shakespeare's Theatre and the Effects of Performance ed. with Farah Karim-Cooper for Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2013), ISBN-10: 1408146924; ISBN-13: 9781408146927


‘Rehearsal’, ‘Prologues’, ‘Actors’ Parts’, ‘Playbills’, ‘Titleboards’, ‘Prompters’, ‘Playbooks’, Shakespeare Encyclopaedia gen. ed. Patricia Parker (Westport CT: Greenwood Press), ISBN: 0313336393; ISBN: 9780313336393, forthcoming

‘Production Preparation’, The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare ed. Bruce Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), forthcoming 2016

‘Tragedy and Performance’ for The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy ed. Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk (Oxford: Oxford University Press), forthcoming 2016

‘“Ev’ry Man must Play a Part”: Actors’ Parts and The Merchant of Venice’, Filologia Teatro Spettacolo, forthcoming 2016

‘Nashe and Satirical Fiction’, Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750 ed. Thomas Keymer (Oxford: Oxford University Press), forthcoming 2016

‘Shakespeare and Historical Performance’, Shakespeare in Our Time ed. Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett for Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2016)

‘“Before the Beginning; After the End”: When did Plays Start and Stop?’ in Shakespeare and Textual Studies ed. M.J. Kidnie and Sonia Massai (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

'The Beaux' Stratagem and Eighteenth Century Life', National Theatre Programme for George Farquhar's The Beaux' Stratagem (2015)

'Time for Shakespeare: Houglasses, Sundials, Clocks and Early Modern Theatre', Journal of the British Academy, 3 (2015), 1-34

‘“Fill thy Purse with Money”: Financing Performance in Shakespearean England’, Shakespeare Jahrbuch, 150 (2014), 65-78, ISBN-10: 1278471774 ISBN-13: 9781278471778

'Hamlet and Reversal: Content, Staging, Sound and Casting', Globe to Globe Hamlet (2014)

‘An Eighteenth Century Puppet Hamlet’, Animations Online (2014):

‘“A Ruinous Monastery”: The Second Blackfriars Playhouse as a Place of Nostalgia’, Moving Shakespeare Indoors ed. Andrew Gurr and Farah Karim-Cooper (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 97-114, ISBN: 9781107040632

‘Introduction’, William Wycherley’s The Country Wife for New Mermaids (London: Methuen, 2014), ISBN 13: 9781408179895; ISBN 10: 140817989X, vi-xxxii

‘Sermons, Plays and Note-Takers: Hamlet Q1 as a “Noted” Text’, Shakespeare Survey, 66 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 1-23, ISSN-13: 9781107041738; winner of the Barbara Palmer/Martin Stevens Award for Best New Essay in Early Drama Studies

‘“Inverted Commas around the ‘Fun’”: Music in Twelfth Night’, Twelfth Night: A Critical Guide (Arden Renaissance Drama) ed. Alison Findlay and Elizabeth Oakley-Brown (London: Methuen, 2013), 166-88, ISBN 13: 9781441128782; ISBN 10: 1441128786

‘“If I could See the Puppets Dallying”: Der Bestrafte Brudermord as a Puppet Play’, Shakespeare Bulletin, 31 (2013), 337-352, ISSN: 07482558

‘“This Wide and Universal Theatre”: The Theatre as Prop in Shakespeare’s Metadrama’, Shakespeare's Theatre and the Effects of Performance ed. Farah Karim-Cooper and Tiffany Stern for Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2013), 11-32, ISBN-10: 1408146924; ISBN-13: 978-1408146927

with Farah Karim-Cooper, ‘Introduction’, Shakespeare's Theatre and the Effects of Performance ed. Farah Karim-Cooper and Tiffany Stern for Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2013), 1-8, ISBN-10: 1408146924; ISBN-13: 978-1408146927

‘Renaissance Drama: Future Directions’, Renaissance Drama, 40 (2012), 151-160, ISSN: 04863739

‘(Re:)Historicizing Spontaneity: Original Practices, Stanislavski, and Characterisation’, Shakespeare's Sense of Character: on the Page and from the Stage ed. Yu Jin Ko and Michael W. Shurgot (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012), 99-110, ISBN: 9781409440666

‘Hamlet: the Dumb Show’, Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts ed. Russ McDonald, Nicholas Nace and Travis Williams for Arden Shakespeare (London: Methuen, 2012), 273-281, ISBN-10 1408158787; ISBN-13: 9781408158784

‘“Whether one did Contrive, the Other Write, / Or one Fram’d the Plot, the Other did Indite”: Fletcher and Theobald as Collaborative Writers’, The Quest for Cardenio: Shakespeare, Fletcher, Cervantes and the Lost Play ed. David Carnegie and Gary Taylor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 115-30, ISBN: 978019964181-9

‘The Fragment and the Whole’, for Take Note, an interactive exhibition hosted at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2012:

‘Middleton's Collaborators in Music and Song’, The Oxford Handbook to Middleton ed. Gary Taylor and Trish Thomas Henley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 64-79, ISBN: 9780199559886

‘Shakespeare in Drama’, Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century ed. Fiona Ritchie and Peter Sabor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 141-57, ISBN-13: 978052898607

‘Forward’, An Annotated Edition of Joshua Barnes' The Academie, or The Cambridge Dunns (1675) ed. Alan Swanson (Lewiston: Edwin Meller, 2011), i-v, ISBN10: 0773425713; ISBN13:9780773425712 

‘“The Forgery of Some Modern Author”?: Theobald’s Shakespeare and Cardenio's Double Falsehood’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 62.4 (2011), 555-93, ISSN: 00373222

‘“I Have Both the Note, and Dittie About Me”: Songs on the Early Modern Stage’, Common Knowledge, 17 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011), 306-20, ISSN: 0961-754X

‘Epilogues, Prayers after Plays, and Shakespeare’s 2 Henry IV’, Theatre Notebook, 64 (2010), 22-29, ISSN: 00405523

‘The Globe and the Open-air Amphitheatres’, Ben Jonson in Context ed. Julie Sanders (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 107-15, ISBN-13: 9780521895712

‘The Theatre of Shakespeare’s London’, The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare: Second Edition ed. Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 45-59, ISBN-10: 0521886325 (hardback); ISBN-13: 9780521713931

‘“The Curtain is Yours!” The Lord Chamberlain’s Men at the Curtain’, Locating the Queen’s Men, 1583-1603: Material Practices and Conditions of Playing ed. Helen Ostovich, Holger Schott Syme and Andrew Griffin (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 77-96, ISBN: 9780754666615

‘Actors’ Parts’, Handbook on Early Modern Theatre ed. Richard Dutton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 496-512, ISBN13: 9780199287246 (hardback); ISBN10: 0199287244 (paperback)

‘Right and Wrong on Cue’, Around the Globe (Summer, 2008), 8-9, ISSN: 13662317; reprinted in the Globe theatre programme for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2008 and 2010), 16-18

‘Watching as Reading: the Audience and Written Text in the Early Modern Playhouse’, How to do Things with Shakespeare ed. Laurie Maguire (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008), 136-59, ISBN: 9781405135269 (hardback), ISBN: 9781405135276 (paperback)

‘“I do wish that you had mentioned Garrick”: the absence of Garrick in Johnson’s Shakespeare’, Comparative Excellence: Essays on Shakespeare and Johnson ed. Eric Rasmussen and Aaron Santesso (New York: AMS Press, 2007), 70-96, ISBN: 0404648525

‘“Taking Part”’: Actors and Audience on the Blackfriars Stage’, Inside Shakespeare: Essays on the Blackfriars Stage ed. Paul Menzer (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 2006), 35-53, ISBN: 1575910772

‘“On each Wall / And Corner Post”: Playbills, Title-pages, and Advertising in Early Modern London’, English Literary Renaissance (ELR), 36 (2006), 57-85, ISSN: 00138312

with Simon Palfrey, ‘What does the Cued Part Cue?: Parts and Cues in Romeo and Juliet’, Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare and Performance ed. Barbara Hodgdon and William B. Worthen (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 179-196, ISBN: 1405111046

‘“A Small-Beer Health to his Second Day”: Playwrights, Prologues, and First Performances in the Early Modern Theatre’, Studies in Philology, 101 (2004), 172-199, ISSN: 00393738

‘Repatching the Play’, From Script to Stage in Early Modern England ed. Peter Holland and Stephen Orgel (London: Palgrave, 2004), 151-77, ISBN: 1403933421

‘Teaching Shakespeare in Higher Education’, Shakespeare in Education ed. Martin Blocksidge (London: Continuum, 2004), 120-40, ISBN: 082645433X

New article on Thomas Chapman (c. 1683-1747), New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

‘Greene’s Orlando Furioso: A New Source for the “Trial Scene” in King Lear’, Notes and Queries, 49 (2002), 229-231, ISSN: 00293970

‘The Origins of the Theatre in Europe’, ‘Impressionism’, The History of Europe (London: Mitchell Beazley, 2002)

‘Behind the Arras: The Prompter’s Place in the Shakespearean Theatre’, Theatre Notebook, 55 (2001), 110-18, ISSN: 0040 5523

‘Live Rehearsals’, Around the Globe (Spring, 2001), 12-13, ISSN: 13662317

‘“You that Walk i’th’galleries”: Standing and Walking in the Galleries of the Globe Theatre’, Shakespeare Quarterly, 51 (2000), 211-16, ISSN: 00373222

‘Letters, Verses and Double Speech-Prefixes in The Merchant of Venice’, Notes and Queries, 244 (1999), 231-33, ISSN: 00293970

‘Putting on Plays in Shakespeare’s Theatre’, The English Review, 10:1 (1999), 34-36, ISSN: 09558950

‘Hamlet and Performance in Early Modern London’, The English Review, 10:2 (1999), 2-5, ISSN: 09558950

‘The Green-Room Scuffle’, Theatre Notebook, 52 (1998), 115, ISSN: 00405523

‘Places Please: Mozart’s Rehearsals’, Glyndeborne Touring Opera Programme (1998)

‘Was Totus Mundus Agit Histrionem ever the Motto of the Globe Theatre?’ Theatre Notebook, 51 (1997), 122-27, ISSN 00405523


I'm a Londoner by birth and attended local comprehensive schools in Finchley, North London (Moss Hall School, Hendon School), and Lewes, East Sussex (Priory School). My first degree, in English, is from Oxford (Merton College); my MPhil and PhD are from Cambridge (Emmanuel College). After a three year Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford (Merton College), I taught at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow before becoming a lecturer at Oxford Brookes (2001-5). I am now back at Oxford University as Professor of Early Modern Drama (English Faculty), and Beaverbrook and Bouverie Fellow and Tutor in English (University College).


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