Manuel “Manny” Jacquez is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at The Ohio State University. His dissertation concerns early modern English playwrights’ approaches to visual spectacle. A vexed topic during the period, visual spectacle was a frequent target of critique for Puritan anti-theatricalists, while the playwright Ben Jonson also complained of his verse in competition with Inigo Jones’ ostentatious costumes and set designs when they collaborated on Jacobean court masques. How did Jonson and other playwrights really feel about visual spectacle in the professional theater and how did they integrate spectacular moments of visual display into their dramatic fictions? Examining the canons of Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Fletcher, and John Ford, Jacquez argues how each playwright distinctively approached visual spectacle, drawing from established conventions and introducing innovations to dramatic genre, playing company style, practical stagecraft, and overall codes of theatrical interpretation.
In May 2017, Jacquez was a resident director for OSU’s Office of International Affairs’ study abroad program, “Global Britain.” He traveled with 2 OSU English professors and 34 undergraduates of various majors throughout England and parts of Scotland. While abroad, he conducted dissertation research at the British Library and the Library and Archives at Shakespeare’s Globe.
In February 2017, Jacquez directed OSU English's and the Lord Denney’s Players’ production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This production explored issues of agency and power, while also focusing on the practical stagecraft and theatrical logic prompted by the play’s original stage directions. This production was reviewed in Shakespeare Bulletin, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 487-495.
In 2015, Jacquez was the assistant director for OSU English’s and the Lord Denney’s Players’ production of Shakespeare’s Richard II. He also acted in the production as the Gardener’s Assistant. That same year he worked with the OSU/RSC partnership as a Dramaturg for a youth targeted adaptation of Henry V produced by the Ohio State Theatre Department.
In 2014, Jacquez spent a week in Stratford, England as a member of the 2014 OSU/RSC cohort, training in pedagogical approaches to Shakespeare with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the spring of that year, his interest in book history led his enrollment in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s MA seminar on “Research Methods and Agendas,” where he worked on a project examining conduct manuals and the conception of “the gentleman” in early modern England.