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Deborah C. Payne

Associate Professor Department of Literature

An expert on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century theatre, Professor Payne has published on topics ranging from the Restoration actress to baroque opera. She is the editor of “The Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre” (Cambridge, 2000); “Four Restoration Libertine Plays” (Oxford, 2005); and “Revisiting Shakespeare’s Lost Play: Cardenio/Double Falsehood in the Eighteenth Century” (Palgrave, 2016). Just recently she completed “The Commodiluxe Stage: A New Material History of Restoration Theatre.” Her most recent essays include “Pepys and Theatrical Spectatorship” (RES, 2015) and “Textual Skirmishes and Theatrical Frays: Double Falsehood versus the Scriblerians” in “Revisiting Shakespeare’s Lost Play” (Palgrave, 2016). Professor Payne also has forthcoming a book chapter on eighteenth-century acting companies for A Cultural History of the Theatre (Bloomsbury, 2017). In addition to her scholarly activities, Professor Payne has worked as a dramaturge and literary consultant for theatre and opera companies in Washington, D.C., including The Shakespeare Theatre Company, where she served as their Humanities Research Consultant for several years. Her teaching interests include Restoration and eighteenth-century drama; Shakespeare in Performance; drama and theory; and Modern British drama.
Professor Payne has been the recipient of fellowships from the NEH, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, the Williams Andrew Clark Memorial Library, and American University. In spring 2014, she lectured at the Universidad de Sevilla on a Fulbright Fellowship. She has won distinguished teaching awards from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the University.


PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
MA, English, University of California Los Angeles
BA (Highest Honors), English and Theatre, Loyola Marymount University

CAS - Literature
Battelle Tompkins - 218
Contact Info
(202) 885-2997 (Office)

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For the Media
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See Also
Literature Department


  • Fall 2017

    • LIT-434 Adv St Medieval/Early Mod Lit: Early Modern London
    • Description
  • Spring 2018

    • LIT-121 Rethinking Literature: Theatre of War
    • Description

AU Expert

Area of Expertise:

Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century theatre; theatre history; performance theory; Shakespeare in performance; dramaturgy; reading knowledge of French, Latin, and Spanish

Additional Information:

Deborah Payne recently published Four Libertine Plays (Oxford, 2005) and is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to English Restoration Theatre (2000). In the summer of 2005, Fisk concluded a three-year Exemplary Project Grant in conjunction with the Shakespeare Theatre, awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities for $250,000. Professor Payne recently published "Revisiting Shakespeare's Lost Play: Cardenio/Double Falsehood in the Eighteenth Century" (Palgrave, 2016) and has just completed "The Commodiluxe Stage: A New Material History of Restoration Theatre." In 2014 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to lecture in Spain.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.