Nuns on Stage in Counter-Reformation Venice,1570-1750


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Theatre & Drama


This dissertation examines the theatrical performances of cloistered women in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Venetian convents. It seeks to understand how the convent's theatrical tradition complemented and/or diverged from popular dramatic traditions at the time, and to challenge received histories that overlook women's participation in early modern public theatrical production. Using evidence gathered from the Venetian archives and printed play texts, this study shows that Venetian nuns performed publicly, before audiences of men and women, religious and lay, in the usually restricted space of the convent, and hence are representative of a new breed of early modern actor.