When actress Fanny Kemble took the stage in 1831 as Bianca, the pure and mistreated wife in Henry Milman's play Fazio, she astounded audiences with her true-to-life portrayal of jealousy and grief. Julia Walker, associate professor of drama and English, brings the performance to life and explains why it was so extraordinary. Walker connects Kemble's acting style to historical events and anxieties, especially changing ideas about money and banking.
This episode of Hold That Thought was originally released as part of the Theater and Music series. Walker's book Performance and Modernity: Enacting Change on the Globalizing Stage will be published November 2021. The story of Bianca and Fazio is the subject of the book's first chapter.