Shakespeare's last play seems unusually elastic, capable of radically different interpretations, which reflect the social, political, scientific or moral concerns of their period. This edition of 'The Tempest' is the first dedicated to its long and rich stage history. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, it examines four centuries of mainstream, regional and fringe productions in Britain (including Dryden and Davenant's Restoration adaptation), nineteenth - and twentieth-century American stagings, and recent Australian, Canadian, French, Italian and Japanese productions. In a substantial, illustrated introduction Dymkowski analyses the cultural significance of changes in the play's theatrical representation; for example, when and why Caliban began to be represented by a black actor, and Ariel became a man's role rather than a woman's. The commentary annotates each line of the play with details about acting, setting, textual alteration and cuts, and contemporary reception. With extensive quotation from contemporary commentators and detail from unpublished promptbooks, the edition offers both an accessible account of the play's changing meanings and a valuable resource.