Why has Fiasco’s production of Cymbeline been so successful? What do these talented actors play up in their production of this dramatic romance written late in Shakespeare’s career, what do they play down, and why do their choices work so well? Valerie Wayne examines this production in light of the play’s performance history and considerable confusion about what kind of play this is.

Valerie Wayne is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is completing an edition of Cymbeline for the Arden Shakespeare, third series, which is to be published in 2016. An award-winning teacher, she has taught in Honolulu for over thirty years and helding visiting positions at the University of Liverpool, the University of Szeged in Hungary, and the University of Kansas. As a textual scholar she edited Edmund Tilney’s The Flower of Friendship: A Renaissance Dialogue Contesting Marriage, and Thomas Middleton’s A Trick to Catch the Old One for The Oxford Collected Works of Thomas Middleton, serving also as Associate General Editor on that project. Her edited collections include The Matter of Difference: Materialist Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare and, with Mary Ellen Lamb, Staging Early Modern Romance: Prose Fiction, Dramatic Romance, and Shakespeare. She has been a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America, served on the editorial board of Shakespeare Quarterly, chaired the New Variorum Shakespeare Committee, and been president of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

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