Evelyn Reidy

Research activity per year

Personal profile


My creative-critical PhD explores female performers and performance-as-protest in early seventeenth-century England through the development of Very Small Trouble, a play written in five acts, mirroring a conventional early modern dramatic structure, and using modern diction.. The play takes as its instigating event a festival of protest performance in Wells, Somerset, in 1607, focusing on women’s roles as performers and cultural innovators, and the juxtaposition of popular and elite culture in the subsequent visit to Wells of Queen Anna of Denmark – herself a masque performer and patron – in 1613. 

The richly-documented Wells event allows me to explore the elements of festive performance in a scripted play, reinscribing female performers into a cultural form from which they were excluded. An accompanying critical commentary will explore the landscape of Jacobean female performance and the utilization of festive performance-as-protest by non-male, non-elite community members, thereby extending scholarship on critically neglected and often subversive provincial performance cultures. Depicting this historical event through new dramatic work encourages engagement with the concept of performance-as-protest as a radical act and brings knowledge of the early modern female performer to a wider audience. By making connections to modern protest movements, this project links the protest-performances of Wells to radical acts of protest in our current political moment in line with Shakespeare’s Globe’s mission to produce transformative acts of theatre.

Education/Academic qualification

Shakespeare & Creativity, MA

Sept 2020Aug 2021

Award Date: 9 Dec 2021

English & Theatre, BA (Hons), Tufts University

Sept 2012May 2016

Award Date: 22 May 2016