Invaluable source material for professional theatre directors and for students of English dramatic literature is provided by this detailed examination of playhouse procedures for Shakespeare's own acting company. In careful analysis, T. J. King reveals how the size and composition of the casts of characters for Shakespeare's plays were determined by common theatrical practices at London playhouses between 1590 and 1642. King closely examines manuscripts, contemporary play-books and authoritative texts of Shakespeare to determine the numbers of actors required and the procedures for actors doubling roles. The volume contains numerous illustrations of playhouse documents as well as tables and lists of actors, plays and roles.