Geopolitical Players: Diplomacy, Trade, and Itinerant Theater in Early Modern Europe

My research in the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) collections will be focused on the reception of a troupe of English actors at the court of Heinrich Julius, Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Heinrich Julius and his consort, Elisabeth of Denmark, would become key international patrons of English itinerant theater during a period in which Heinrich Julius undertook an ambitious foreign policy campaign to strengthen relationships with geopolitical allies throughout Europe. The English players were hosted at court on an ongoing basis from the time of Heinrich Julius and Elisabeth’s marriage to the tumultuous era of Elisabeth’s regency, just before the outbreak of the Thirty Years‘ War. How did dramatic patronage participate in Heinrich Julius’s strategy of international outreach and integration? What might professional performers have been uniquely equipped to contribute to the diplomatic process?