Dr. Elizabeth E. Tavares

Dr. Elizabeth E. Tavares

Assistant Professor


  • PhD, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MA, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BA, English & History, DePaul University

Research Areas

  • Shakespeare & Contemporaries
  • Theatre History
  • Performance Studies
  • Repertory Studies
  • Ecocriticism


Elizabeth E. Tavares, PhD, (she/her) is an interdisciplinary scholar of early modern English drama, whose research foci include playing companies, theatre history, and Shakespeare in performance. She is currently at work on her first book manuscript, “Playing the Repertory in Early Modern England,” which, in tracing the development of the sixteenth-century repertory system, demonstrates how four major tacks—triptych blocking, up-cycled props, tailored soundscapes, and racialized prosthetics—were employed by companies to distinguish their relative house styles and, by extension, cultivate returner audiences.

Tavares’s recent interests range from the role climatological phenomena played in the emergence of the professional playing companies and the place of victualing houses in sixteenth-century new play development, to the effects of content curation on early (modern) habits of mind. In addition to long-term collaborative book projects on these topics, she is developing digital humanities tools for purposes pedagogical and archival. Recent student-driven digital projects include Othello’s Crane: A Twitter Play (2017), Aphra Behn: The Podcast (2021), and a forthcoming mobile game for practicing scansion, SyllaBits, in collaboration with the department of Computer Science.

A three-time Mellon Foundation fellow, Tavares has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities; societies for Theatre Research and Renaissance Studies; and the Newberry, Folger, and Huntington libraries. Tavares’s prize-winning scholarship has appeared in or is forthcoming from Early Theatre, Shakespeare, Shakespeare Bulletin, and Shakespeare Studies, among others, as well as several edited collections. A regular book and performance reviewer, Tavares has also contributed to numerous academic blogs, such as Humanities for All and Before Shakespeare, as well as vlogs and podcasts.

Tavares serves as director of research for the Alabama Shakespeare Project, a performance-based research collective exploring early modern entertainments through a staged reading series and other events. Other dramaturgy credits include a three-woman Macbeth at Portland Center Stage; consultancy with the Back Room Shakespeare Project and Original Practice Shakespeare Festival; Artists Repertory Theatre’s Feathers & Teeth, Magellanica, Teenage Dick, and The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart; as well as numerous audience-engagement lectures and post-show talk-balks.

UA Affiliations

Graduate Mentorship

An avid teacher and mentor, Tavares has developed courses in and lectured on British literature and history, ecodrama, Shakespeare in repertory, curation culture, critical race theory, and hashtag activism. Her mentees have pursued thesis projects bridging the discourses of dance, embodiment, and the Victorian novel; exploring the affective affordances of Sherlock Holmes fan fiction; teaching the many lives of King Henry VII; and tracing the history of editing grief in early modern dramatic representations of male mourning, among others. She is interested in mentoring graduate students looking to work on projects in theatre history, early modern performance, embodiment, ecocriticism, performance-based research and dramaturgy, Shakespeare in contemporary performance, and digital humanities. Interested? Get in touch!

Selected Publications

Special Issues



  • “Alive in the (early) modern repertory,” Early Modern Liveness, eds. D. Rosvally and D. Sherman (under review)
  • “Cham’s Beard and Tartar’s Bow: Staging Mongolia after the Elizabethan Repertory,” Reprints and Revivals of Renaissance Drama, eds. E. Price and H. Newman (under review)
  • “Fistfights and Sacrifice: Troupe Dynamics, Transformation, and Shakespeare Offstage,” Slings & Arrows: Performing Shakespeare as Canada, eds. K. Wright and D. Moore (accepted)
  • “Playing Companies and Repertories,” The Arden Handbook to Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, eds. T. Rutter and M. M. Dowd (in press)
  • “Claire Kens Well: Appropriation and Itinerant Performance in Outlander Onscreen,” Outlander’s Sassenachs: Essays on Gender, Race, Orientation, and the Other in the Novels and Television Series, ed. V. Frankel, 31–43 (McFarland & Company, 2016)



  • Making the Covert Public,” Humanities for All blog, eds. M. May-Curry and Y. Oliver, National Humanities Alliance (2021)
  • Genre and the Elizabethan Troupe,” Before Shakespeare: The Beginnings of London Commercial Theatre 1565–1595 blog, eds. C. Davies, A. Kesson, and L. Munro (2017)




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