History and Vision

Para1This page summarizes the overall vision of Queen’s Men Editions (QME) as a project and provides a historical summary of its development from its founding in 2006 to the present.


Para2The two-fold mission of this site is:
to recover the plays associated with the Queen’s Men (QM) as readable, teachable, and performable theatrical texts for modern scholars, students, and audiences; and
to present those texts in a rich online environment, with multiple points of access to their theatrical, historical, and scholarly contents and contexts.

QME Resources

Para3In keeping with its Performance-as-Research methodology, QME creates academic resources and performance resources.


Peer-reviewed old- and modern-spelling editions of QM plays.
Research on original performance conditions and historical contexts of QM plays based on primary documents.
Bibliography of scholarly criticism on the QM and their plays, including the relationship to Shakespeare and to other contemporary theatre companies.
Production histories of QM plays.
Copies of scholarly publications arising out of QME research where possible.
Links to other relevant research resources (e.g., REED Patrons & Performances Site).


Performance annotations to editions.
Photos and scans of the material archive of QME productions staged by the ongoing Shakespeare and the Queen’s Men (SQM) project (props, stages, costumes, actors, scripts, promptbooks).
Production photographs of all QME productions.
Video footage of the SQM/QME productions: King Leir, Friar Bacon, and Famous Victories, True Tragedy of Richard III, Clyomon and Clamydes, and Three Ladies of London.
Video footage of abridged performances of Three Lords and Three Ladies of London (Purdue) and Troublesome Reign of King John (University of York, UK) and other possible future productions.
Video footage of interviews with participants in the SQM/QME productions.
Performance notes and eyewitness accounts notes made by directors, actors, audiences, and others.
Biographical information about modern artists involved in SQM/QME productions.


Activities for undergraduate students.
Workshop outlines for graduate students and faculty.
Course outlines for courses on QM taught by QM researchers.

Aims of Partnership/Shared Identity with Performing the Queen’s Men (PQM)

Para4 PQM and QME share the basic premise that the QM plays are performable theatrical works relevant to modern audiences. Performing the Queen’s Men (PQM) helps illustrate the performance dramaturgy of the plays on QME, by presenting primary records of modern productions (to which access is freely given to people affiliated with post-secondary institutions and upon request).

Partnership/Shared Identity with Linked Early Modern Drama Online

Para5QME is published as an anthology on the LEMDO platform. In addition to the obvious goal of providing peer-reviewed play texts by Shakespeare’s near-contemporaries, QME will also provide links to the other anthologies on the LEMDO platform, in particular the New Internet Shakespeare Editions anthology. Links will be created to allow users to compare the dramaturgy of the Queen’s Men with Shakespeare’s versions of the same material.


Para6QME’s images, content, and language support the mission of QME. The design highlights the relationship between original context and modern scholarship and performance, and the relationship between QME and its partner projects, PQM and LEMDO.
Para7Period images relating to QM company and repertory:
Images of QM texts and titlepages—all surviving texts are printed, not manuscript;
Images of Elizabeth I, Tarlton, and others, as we find necessary or useful.
Para8Images reflecting the modern relevance and accessibility of the plays:
Images of performances and actors, as part of the material stage archive (props, costumes, stages, etc). The material archive is a feature still under planning and construction.

The QME Brand

Para9The QME brand consists of the general attributes that distinguish our content and resources from all others. In our approach to early modern drama, we:
treat historical plays as performance texts rooted in their own time and relevant to ours;
define repertoire by company rather than by author;
see source and influence not as chronological passage from one work to the next or one author to the next, but as a mutual sharing and development of knowledge and technique among a network of artists working concurrently.
Para10Consequently, we provide: a digital collection of plays chosen for their association with the Queen’s Men, rather than with any individual author or actor, supported not only by traditional scholarly apparatus but also by:
references to, quotations from, and reproductions of relevant material records (documentary and physical) of the original theatrical conditions in which the plays were performed;
interpretive editorial commentary on dramaturgy and performance impact;
references to, quotations from, and reproductions of elements of modern productions which explore, test, or illustrate the historical and modern theatrical impact of the plays.
Para11Our over-arching goal in QME is to offer a seamless integration of text and performance.

QME Audiences

Primary Audiences

Students and scholars interested in Shakespeare’s sources and influences beyond narrative and theme.
Students and scholars interested in the plays of the QM.

Secondary Audiences

Scholars resisting Shakespeare-centric view of early theatre, or exploring non-canonical texts and approaches.
Teachers looking for resources to communicate the relation of playtext to performance/production in the early modern period.
Anyone interested in original staging practices and the potential for modern staging of old plays (including theatre professionals).
Para12Our website reflects the interest in historically informed performance that has been growing from the 1890s to the modern Globe. It reflects a recent shift in understanding the context of early modern theatre catalyzed by the REED project and reflected in publications like A New History of Early English Drama edited by John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan (1997) and Richard Dutton’s Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre. It also reflects the recent projects undertaken by professional companies like the American Shakespeare Center and Shakespeare’s Globe, which attempt to recover old practices and experiences and make them accessible to modern audiences. The liveliest reasons for users to keep returning to the site are the performance archive, and the editorial annotations discussing the performance values of individual plays.


CPSET Centre for Performance Studies in Early Theatre (U of Toronto)
PLS Poculi ludique societas (U of Toronto)
PQM Performing the Queen’s Men (McMaster)
Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama (U of T)
Para13Content is provided by the editorial team, research assistants, and PLS then reviewed by and funnelled through editors (Cockett, Griffin, Ostovich, and formerly Roberts-Smith). Individual contributors will be identified by name. Financial supporters have their logos displayed (University of Toronto, McMaster, Waterloo, SSHRC, University of Victoria, etc.).
Para14As General Editor, Helen Ostovich ultimately signs off on all content for the site.

Shelf-Life Of QME

Para15Our long term editorial ambitions depend upon our ability to gain funding, and our ability to argue for the inclusion of other plays as potentially QM plays. We expect QME editions to remain the editions of record for many decades. Publishing on the LEMDO platform means that as of 2023 our website will be fully compliant with the principles for long-term digital archiving set out by The Endings Project.

Communication With Stakeholders and Audiences

Para16We will communicate with users by email, and by website announcements, journal announcements, special group/conference announcements, and occasional workshops at conferences (e.g., SAA).


Helen Ostovich

Helen Ostovich, professor emerita of English at McMaster University, is the founder and general editor of Queen’s Men Editions. She is a general editor of The Revels Plays (Manchester University Press); Series Editor of Studies in Performance and Early Modern Drama (Ashgate, now Routledge), and series co-editor of Late Tudor and Stuart Drama (MIP); play-editor of several works by Ben Jonson, in Four Comedies: Ben Jonson (1997); Every Man Out of his Humour (Revels 2001); and The Magnetic Lady (Cambridge 2012). She has also edited the Norton Shakespeare 3 The Merry Wives of Windsor Q1602 and F1623 (2015); The Late Lancashire Witches and A Jovial Crew for Richard Brome Online, revised for a 4-volume set from OUP 2021; The Ball, for the Oxford Complete Works of James Shirley (2021); The Merry Wives of Windsor for Internet Shakespeare Editions, and The Dutch Courtesan (with Erin Julian) for the Complete Works of John Marston, OUP 2022. She has published many articles and book chapters on Jonson, Shakespeare, and others, and several book collections, most recently Magical Transformations of the Early Modern English Stage with Lisa Hopkins (2014), and the equivalent to book website, Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context containing scripts, glossary, almost fifty conference papers edited and updated to essays; video; link to Queenʼs Mens Ediitons and YouTube: http://threeladiesoflondon.mcmaster.ca/contexts/index.htm, 2015. Recently, she was guest editor of Strangers and Aliens in London ca 1605, Special Issue on Marston, Early Theatre 23.1 (June 2020). She can be contacted at ostovich@mcmaster.ca.

Janelle Jenstad

Janelle Jenstad is a Professor of English at the University of Victoria, Director of The Map of Early Modern London, and Director of Linked Early Modern Drama Online. With Jennifer Roberts-Smith and Mark Kaethler, she co-edited Shakespeare’s Language in Digital Media: Old Words, New Tools (Routledge). She has edited John Stow’s A Survey of London (1598 text) for MoEML and is currently editing The Merchant of Venice (with Stephen Wittek) and Heywood’s 2 If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody for DRE. Her articles have appeared in Digital Humanities Quarterly, Elizabethan Theatre, Early Modern Literary Studies, Shakespeare Bulletin, Renaissance and Reformation, and The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She contributed chapters to Approaches to Teaching Othello (MLA); Teaching Early Modern Literature from the Archives (MLA); Institutional Culture in Early Modern England (Brill); Shakespeare, Language, and the Stage (Arden); Performing Maternity in Early Modern England (Ashgate); New Directions in the Geohumanities (Routledge); Early Modern Studies and the Digital Turn (Iter); Placing Names: Enriching and Integrating Gazetteers (Indiana); Making Things and Drawing Boundaries (Minnesota); Rethinking Shakespeare Source Study: Audiences, Authors, and Digital Technologies (Routledge); and Civic Performance: Pageantry and Entertainments in Early Modern London (Routledge). For more details, see janellejenstad.com.

Joey Takeda

Joey Takeda is LEMDO’s Consulting Programmer and Designer, a role he assumed in 2020 after three years as the Lead Developer on LEMDO.

Martin Holmes

Martin Holmes has worked as a developer in the UVicʼs Humanities Computing and Media Centre for over two decades, and has been involved with dozens of Digital Humanities projects. He has served on the TEI Technical Council and as Managing Editor of the Journal of the TEI. He took over from Joey Takeda as lead developer on LEMDO in 2020. He is a collaborator on the SSHRC Partnership Grant led by Janelle Jenstad.

Navarra Houldin

Project manager 2022-present. Textual remediator 2021-present. Navarra Houldin (they/them) completed their BA in History and Spanish at the University of Victoria in 2022. During their degree, they worked as a teaching assistant with the University of Victoriaʼs Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. Their primary research was on gender and sexuality in early modern Europe and Latin America.

Peter Cockett

Peter Cockett is an associate professor in the Theatre and Film Studies at McMaster University. He is the general editor (performance), and technical co-ordinating editor of Queen’s Men Editions. He was the stage director for the Shakespeare and the Queen’s Men project (SQM), directing King Leir, The Famous Victories of Henry V, and Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (2006) and he is the performance editor for our editions of those plays. The process behind those productions is documented in depth on his website Performing the Queen’s Men. Also featured on this site are his PAR productions of Clyomon and Clamydes (2009) and Three Ladies of London (2014). For the PLS, the University of Toronto’s Medieval and Renaissance Players, he has directed the Digby Mary Magdalene (2003) and the double bill of George Peele’s The Old Wives Tale and the Chester Antichrist (2004). He also directed An Experiment in Elizabethan Comedy (2005) for the SQM project and Inside Out: The Persistence of Allegory (2008) in collaboration with Alan Dessen. Peter is a professional actor and director with numerous stage and screen credits. He can be contacted at cockett@mcmaster.ca.



The LEMDO Team is based at the University of Victoria and normally comprises the project director, the lead developer, project manager, junior developers(s), remediators, encoders, and remediating editors.

Queenʼs Men Editions (QME1)

The Queen’s Men Editions anthology is led by Helen Ostovich, General Editor; Peter Cockett, General Editor (Performance); and Andrew Griffin, General Editor (Text).