For updates from the project and our past work, see our Blog page and Twitter (on the left).

Casting women in men’s roles may seem like a radical departure of our times; so might portrayals of early modern characters by trans and non-binary actors. Playing with gender, however, was an exciting feature of early modern theatre practice across Europe. “Engendering the Stage in the Age of Shakespeare and Beyond” is an international research project that explores resonances between the history of gendered performance on the early modern stage and our contemporary drive to achieve gender equity in today’s professional theatre industry.


Attend the Roundtable at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America 2019, exploring our performance-as-research approach (17 March 2019).

Join us on the 13 May 2019 for a Shakespeare’s Globe Research in Action workshop


Melinda Gough’s study of Marie de Médicis’ Ballets at the Court of Henri IV, Dancing Queen, has just been released.

 Drawing on newly discovered primary sources as well as theories and methodologies derived from literary studies, political history, musicology, dance studies, and women’s and gender studies, Dancing Queen traces how Marie’s ballets authorized her incipient political authority through innovative verbal and visual imagery, avant-garde musical developments, and ceremonial arrangements of objects and bodies in space.
Discover more and buy HERE.


Our project explores:

  • the influential but largely unacknowledged work of female performers in early modern Italy, Spain, France, and England
  • the effects of such performances by women on the “all-male” early modern English stage
  • traces of trans and queer identities on the early modern stage
  • the impacts of these new insights on contemporary casting and performance practices, and
  • the insights of actors and directors working with innovative cross-casting today.