Creating "Original" Shakespeare: The Work and Legacy of Patrick Tucker
In his 2001 book Secrets of Acting Shakespeare Patrick Tucker outlines a methodology he claims is based on that of actors in Shakespeare’s time, where no collective rehearsals are held, and an actor is not allowed access to any of the script beyond their own lines. While Tucker’s method has found a following in the world of professional theatre, his practices as a historian are questionable, and his sources limited. Furthermore, the question of seventeenth-century rehearsal practices is addressed in Tiffany Stern’s 2000 book Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan, where she provides empirical evidence that actors did rehearse in the seventeenth century. This project seeks to explore the process by which Tucker arrives at his conclusion, the implications that Stern’s research has on his project, and to understand why and how Tucker has had a lasting influence despite the fact that his signature claim is in doubt.