Elizabeth E. Tavares

Elizabeth E. Tavares

Assistant Professor


  • PhD, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2016
  • MA, English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010
  • BA, English & History, DePaul University, 2009

Research Areas

  • English Renaissance Literature
  • Theatre History


Elizabeth E. Tavares, PhD, (she/her) is assistant professor of English with the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. Specializing in early English drama, her research foci include playing companies, theatre history, and Shakespeare in performance. Additional interests include ecocriticism, critical race theory, digital humanities, and practice-based research.

Tavares is completing her first book manuscript, The Repertory System Before Shakespeare: Playing the Stock Market, which argues that it was dramaturgical features—such as blocking, cosmetics, sound, and props—by which early playing companies distinguished themselves in the theatre marketplace of the English Renaissance. Collaborative book projects, on the role climatological phenomena played in the emergence of the professional playing companies as well as the financial underpinnings of early playing companies, are also underway. Her scholarship and reviews have appeared in or are forthcoming from Early Theatre, Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Bulletin, Notes & Queries, Shakespeare, Scene, The Journal of Dramatic Theory & Criticism, and The Map of Early Modern London, among others. She has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the NEH, Mellon Foundation, Early Modern Conversions; Folger, Huntington, and Newberry libraries; and societies for Theatre Research and Renaissance Studies. This research has been recognized with prizes from the Medieval & Renaissance Drama Society and Illinois Humanities Research Institute.

Tavares also works as a dramaturg for Shakespeare and other early modern drama in contemporary performance. 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.

Selected Publications


  • “Issues in Review: Playing in Repertory” with Laurie Johnson, Early Theatre (forthcoming)
  • The #OthelloSyllabus: Twitter as Play” with Sienna Ballou, Hybrid Pedagogy (202)
  • “Matisse in the Playhouse,” #NextGenPlen, Shakespeare Studies 47 (2019): 127–33
  • “Super Troupers; or, Supplemented Playing before 1594,” Shakespeare Studies 45 (2017): 77–86
  • “A Tale of Two Shrews: Recovering the Repertory of the Lord Pembroke’s Players,” The Journal of the Wooden O Symposium 15 (2016): 84–95
  • “The Chariot in 2 Tamburlaine, The Wounds of Civil War or Marius and Scilla, and The Reign of King Edward III,” Notes & Queries 63, no. 3 (2016): 393–96
  • “A Race to the Roof: Cosmetics and Contemporary Histories in the Elizabethan Playhouse, 1592–1596,” Shakespeare Bulletin 34, no. 2 (2016): 193–217

Book Chapters

  • “Dramatists, playing companies, and repertories,” The Arden Handbook to Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama: Perspectives on Culture, Performance and Identity, eds. Tom Rutter and Michelle M. Dowd (commissioned)
  • “Cham’s Beard and Tartar’s Bow: Staging Mongolia after the Elizabethan Repertory,” Reprints and Revivals of Renaissance Drama, eds. Eoin Price and Harry Newman (commissioned)
  • “Fistfights and Sacrifice: Troupe Dynamics, Transformation, and Shakespeare Offstage,” Slings & Arrows: Performing Shakespeare as Canada, eds. Kailin Wright and Don Moore (under review)
  • “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. Valerie Frankel, 31–43 (McFarland & Company, 2016)


Performance Reviews

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Back Room Shakespeare Project 2020), Shakespeare in Lockdown, Shakespeare Bulletin 38, no. 3 (forthcoming)
  • Everybody (Artists Repertory Theatre 2018), Shakespeare Bulletin 37, no. 3 (2019): 409–13
  • Romeo and Juliet (Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2018), Shakespeare Bulletin 37, no. 1 (2019): 141–45

Awards & Honors

  • Arnold L. and Lois S. Graves Prize for Teaching in the Humanities, ACLS (2020)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2019)
  • Folger Shakespeare Library Paleography Fellowship (2019)
  • Huntington Library Short-Term Fellowship (2018)
  • Barbara Palmer Prize for Best New Essay in Archival Research, MRDS (2017)
  • Early Modern Conversions Fellowship, McGill University (2017)
  • Mellon Harvard School for Theatre and Performance Research Fellowship (2015)
  • Mellon Academy for Advanced Study in the Renaissance Fellowship (2014)