This online conference is part of an ongoing research project “English Theatre Culture 1660-1737” which is being conducted at the Department of Theatre Studies and the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. The project has been funded by the Czech Science Foundation (project code GA19-07494S).
One of the main objectives of the project is to foster vibrant research in the area of English Restoration theatre which has been traditionally somewhat overshadowed by English Renaissance theatre. Fortunately, Restoration theatre has enjoyed heightened critical interest in recent years which has led to the publications of thought-provoking studies such as the fourth volume of A Cultural History of Theatre, entitled A Cultural History of Theatre in the Age of Enlightenment, edited by Mechele Leon (Methuen 2017), Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama in Performance (Routledge 2018) and The Routledge Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Performance (Routledge 2019). These publications break new paths in the critical reassessment of Restoration drama and theatre, presenting it in new contexts and approaching it with unprecedented complexity and thoroughness. We wish to follow their lead and, therefore, our project pursues new directions of enquiry, such as the focus on the multi-genre and transnational character of the Restoration theatre or the English influence on Central European theatre. The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars who are interested in exploring new ways and themes of enquiry in order to support the growing critical interest in the field of the English Restoration drama and theatre.
Another ambitious part of the project is the preparation of a three-volume anthology of English Restoration theatre in Czech, containing new translations of Restoration plays as well as studies on various elements of Restoration culture, theatre, and drama. For this task, a wide team of scholars, translators, theatre directors, dramaturges and actors has been assembled. Our approach is methodologically unique because the project seeks to link the spheres of academia, translation and theatre practice. We hope that our efforts will engender a new community of scholars, translators and theatre practitioners which will, even after the formal end of the project in 2021/22, continue working on early modern theatre and, more specifically, English Restoration theatre and drama. Furthermore, we believe that this multidisciplinary concept of theatre translation, which we call dramaturgical translation, will offer a viable model that might easily be replicated and applied beyond the project’s original geographical, thematic, cultural and linguistic framework.