1991

New Stagecraft Discussion Group

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 158. Saturday, 8 Jun 1991.
 
Date: 		Thu, 6 Jun 91 18:04:19 -0600
From:		Ken Steele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 	The Stagecraft mailing list.
 
	[Recently I came across another ListServ list which might be
	of interest to SHAKSPEReans.  (Most of you will remember that
	I have also announced REED-L, FICINO, ANSAXnet, and CHAUCER-L;
	information files on these Lists can be obtained from the
	SHAKSPER Fileserver).  This list, STAGECRAFT, is unmoderated
	(and so entails all of the disadvantages of that form), and seems
	to have had a fairly quiet first three months, but the concept is
	interesting and	with enough members might take off.  I have
	appended part of the STAGECRAFT Welcome message, with permission.
	-- k.s.]
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Purpose: This list is for the discussion of all aspects of stage work,
including (but not limited to) special effects,	sound effects, sound
reinforcement, stage management, set design and building, lighting design,
company management, hall management, hall design, and show production.
This is	not a forum for the discussion of various stage productions (unless
the discussion pertains to the stagecraft of a production), acting or
directing methods (unless you know of ways to get actors to stand in the
right spots), film or video production (unless the techniques can be used
on the stage).  The list will not be moderated unless problems crop up.
Archives will be kept of the discussion (send mail to stagecraft-request
for copies).
 
A good way to get started is to introduce yourself to the list.  The
archives include a number of introductions.
 
Let's not degenerate into arguments about the "right" way to do things.
I've found that various solutions are "right" in various situations.
Above all let's learn something and have fun doing it.
 
I am keeping a "Rolodex" file of users and their abilities.  Send me
(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) a message if you want to be included.  Use the
following format, and you may leave any line blank.  Put ROLODEX in
the subject line.
 
Name:		Brad Davis
Email Address:	This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mail Address:	Darbick ISS, P.O. Box 581157, Salt Lake City, UT, 84158, USA
Telephone:	USA (801) 582-2377
Skills:		Lighting design/tech, Sound design/tech, Tech Director,
		Stage Manager, Stage crew
Company:	StageRight Theatre Company
 
If you are a novice user of the networks and/or mailing lists let
me know and I'll send you a copy of my Introduction for Novices.
 
Brad Davis (list maintainer)
Domain:		stagecraft{-request}@jaguar.utah.edu
Semi-Domain:	stagecraft{-request}%This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bitnet:		stagecraft{-request}%jaguar@utahcca{.bitnet}
Usenet:	...!uunet.uu.net!cs.utah.edu!jaguar.utah.edu!stagecraft{-request}

Doubling & Double Bills in Shakespeare

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 157. Thursday, 6 Jun 1991.
 
From: 		Ken Steele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 	Doubling & Double Bills in Performance
Date: 		Thu, 6 Jun 91 15:33:35 EDT
 
Dear Fellow SHAKSPEReans;
 
I have always been curious about the potential for doublings in
Shakespeare's plays -- the most obvious examples are a single actor
playing Hippolyta and Titania in *MSND*, or perhaps Cordelia and the
Fool in *KL*.  Are there any reliable guides to such doubling
possibilities throughout the canon?  Has anyone seen particularly
effective doublings in modern performances of Shakespeare?
 
I'm also curious about the possibility of taking doubling one step
further, to double bills.  Here in Stratford, Ontario, we recently saw
a double bill of *Titus Andronicus* and *The Comedy of Errors*, for
example, which jammed two radically-cut texts into a single evening's
entertainment (and added some textually-harmless sight gags to connect
the two plays).  I believe that the RSC also did such a double bill
with *TA* and *CE* -- are there any other common candidates?  Has
anyone seen effective juxtapositions -- I'm thinking of the
concentrated "intertextuality" of *RJ* and *MSND*, for example, or
even *Othello* and *WT*, as fascinating partners...
 
And my perhaps wild imagination (which has not yet had sufficient
experience in the ways of stagecraft) also wonders whether a production has
ever (or COULD ever) be staged or filmed which presented a double bill
like *RJ* and *MSND*, not one after the other, but INTERWOVEN -- first
the opening scene of *RJ*, then the opening scene of *MSND*, and so
on, back and forth.  Certainly the deaths of Romeo and Juliet would be
a strange experience if immediately followed or preceded by the deaths
of Pyramus and Thisby, and Mercutio's Queen Mab speech would be
striking in immediate juxtaposition with Titania and Bottom...
 
Obviously this would destroy the tragic/comic tone of both plays, and
perhaps only a Shakespearean interested in the interplay of texts
written back-to-back would THINK of such an exercise -- but then,
Stoppard's *Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead* is pretty
effective, even if it isn't exactly Shakespeare...
 
Has anyone come across such an experiment, in print or on the stage?
Sorry to ask three questions at once, but I suppose that's the way my
mind works...
					Yours,
					
					 Ken

New from Yale University Press, Scolar Press

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 155. Wednesday, 5 Jun 1991.
 
From: 		Ken Steele <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 	New from Yale University Press, Scolar Press
Date: 		Wed, 5 Jun 91 18:29:58 EDT
 
The latest Yale University Press catalogue includes a number of
items at reduced rates which might be of interest to SHAKSPEReans:
 
	Katherine Duncan-Jones, *Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet*
		320pp, 16 illus. $24 (Forthcoming - October 1991).
 
	Louise George Clubb, *Italian Drama in Shakespeare's Time*
		296pp, 14 illus. $28 (1990).
		
	David Young, *The Action to the Word: Structure and Style in
		Shakespearean Tragedy*  248pp, $16 (1990).
		
	Gordon Braden, *Renaissance Tragedy and the Senecan Tradition:
		Anger's Privilege*  256pp, $15 (1985).
 
Address orders to Yale University Press, 92A Yale Station, New Haven,
CT 06520.  (These discount prices are available only if submitted on
the appropriate ordering form.)
 
Scolar Press lists an item which might be of interest to Renaissance
bibliographers:
 
	W. Craig Ferguson, *Pica Roman Type in Elizabethan England*.
		256pp, $99.95  (1988).
 
Scolar Press will accept telephone orders at 1-800-535-9544, or write
Scolar Press, Old Post Road, Brookfield VT 05036.
 
					Ken Steele
					University of Toronto

*TC*, Genre; New from Yale UP

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 156. Thursday, 6 Jun 1991.
 
(1)	Date: 	Wed, 5 Jun 91 19:41:20 PDT
	From: 	Geoffrey Hargreaves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Subj: 	SHK 2.0153  *TC*, Genre, Satire
 
(2)	Date: 	Wed, 5 Jun 1991 23:29:13 -0400
	From: 	Roy Flannagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Subj:	[New from Yale UP; *TC* and Genre]
 
(3)	Date: 	Thu, 6 Jun 1991 04:58:00 -0400
	From: 	George Mosley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 2.0153  *TC*, Genre, Satire
	
(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
	
Date: 		Wed, 5 Jun 91 19:41:20 PDT
From: 		Geoffrey Hargreaves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: *TC*, Genre, Satire
Comment: 	SHK 2.0153  *TC*, Genre, Satire
 
Kay, why not just say "I find it useful to think of literature as referring"
rather than "literature refers" ? That way you circumvent a host of problems.
 
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Wed, 5 Jun 1991 23:29:13 -0400
From: 		Roy Flannagan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject:	[New from Yale UP; *TC* and Genre]
 
Several notes:  I would recommend the Louise Clubb book strongly, from
having read most of it.  Her style is graceful and the subject fresh,
learning worn lightly and unintrusive.  The book on pica type is also a
treasury of little-known information presented unpretentiously; it
deserves to be read, even if it deals with a back-closet subject.
 
And on Thersites in the Bronx once more: if Agamemnon and crew are as
boring as a dull committee meeting, Steve, where's the drama in that?
But to unsay some of what I said before, I saw a local production of T&C
in the late Sixties that was in all senses of the word liberating,
mainly because of the fine actor playing Pandarus, who stole the show
flamboyantly.  If that is the chemistry of the play, if Pandarus and
Thersites lead all other actors, perhaps the play is not so killingly
depressing.  But certainly Shakespeare debunked every value his audience
held sacred, from the remnants of courtly love to jousting to the innate
nobility of the aristocracy to the worship of a platonic ideal of
feminine beauty topping the topless towers.  As Pandarus sings, the bees
have lost their stingers, their song and their honey.
 
						Roy Flannagan
 
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------------
						
Date: 		Thu, 6 Jun 1991 04:58:00 -0400
From: 		George Mosley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 2.0153  *TC*, Genre, Satire
Comment: 	Re: SHK 2.0153  *TC*, Genre, Satire
 
For Kay Stockholder:
 
I would agree with the problems you have with T&C's function as
personal or political satire.  However, I would offer that the play
can function as a satire without having particular reference either
to specifically intended persons or actions.  It can, after all,
be a satire of a tradition in literature, a parody (in the modern
sense) or burlesque of a genre.
 
A parody of genre works as long as the target genre persists.  In the
case of T&C, there are real problems of intention, of course, because
Shakespeare doesn't seem to be known for writing parody (there are
of course *very* easily defined parodies in the sonnets...well, perhaps
I'm being hyperbolic), so many audience members simply preclude the
possibility.  There are also problems with the persistence of the
target genre.
					George Mosley
					This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Outdoor *MWW* in Washington

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 154. Wednesday, 5 Jun 1991.
 
Date: 		Wed, 5 Jun 1991 16:31:59 -0400
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: 	Free Summer Shakespeare Returns to Washington, D.C.
 
Our recent discussion of *TC* reminds me of the first production of it I saw.
I was a young graduate assistant who had just been teaching World Lit. for the
past year.  I had never read *TC* before, but I'll never forget the
exhilaration I felt after seeing Shakespeare's treatment of those worthy
heroes of Greece and Troy I had discussed with my students when we read *The
Iliad*.  This all may sound rather cryptic after reading the subject heading
of this posting, but let me explain.  I saw this production at the Sylvan
Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument during the summer of 1973.
I attended many of these Shakespeare in the Park productions during the my
years in the Washington, D.C., area, and remember them fondly -- the *TC*,
however, remains most firmly planted in my rapidly aging mind.  The problem is
that, aside from local two-night stands from the players from the University
of Maryland at Baltimore County, we have not had free summer Shakespeare in
the Washington area for ten years.  Until last night.  Michael Kahn decided to
give back to the people of the Washington area some of the great support they
have showed him since he became the artistic director of the Shakespeare
Theatre at the Folger.  The original idea was to have Pat Carroll replay her
role of Falstaff from last season's production of *MWW*; unfortunately, Ms.
Carroll required knee surgery and with one month before the production was to
open Paul Winfield agreed to take on the part.  What follows is an article
from today's, June 5, 1991, *Washington Post* describing the event.
 
					Hardy M. Cook
					This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
		_________________________________________
 
"Shakespeare in the City, as You Like It: At Carter Barron, a Merry Crowd for
the Folger's Free for All"  By Henry Allen
 
	You read the paper, you watch the news, you forget how sweet life can
be in this city and then you catch a night like last night at Carter Barron
Amphitheater, Shakespeare Free for All, the Merry Wives of Windsor cavorting
around in the deep-dark woodsiness, the bossy dellitude, the sylvan gladerie
of Rock Creek Park.
	"You see all the news, all that crazy stuff on the streets, you don't
want to go anywhere," said Cleland Davis, 32, a bricklayer from Hyattsville.
He wore jeans and a Boston Red Sox hat. He sat on a park bench by the ticket
office, and watched the juggler and the harp player and the woman dressed up
as Queen Elizabeth I, red wig and all, plus the crowd drifting through the
evening toward the show.
	"I am fan of Shakespeare and of Paul Winfield -- you can't beat the
combination," he said. "When I was in high school I *hated* all those plays.
It's only in the last few years I got interested. I read 'Julius Caesar,' then
I went to see Mel Gibson in 'Hamlet' -- it was *good*.  If I would have seen
that in high school I would have taken to it. But you read it and say it's old
people stuff. In Annapolis I saw 'Romeo and Juliet' in one of those playhouse
things, just saw it and went in. I thought, this is not as old -- it's kind of
*up to date*, here."
	Does any other city do things as cool and easy as Washington when
Washington is being good old Washington?
	Here was a picnic table with Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan,
former ambassador Sol Linowitz, his brother Robert Linowes (chairman of the
Board of Trustees at the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger), director Michael
Kahn and assorted wives and friends eating salmon and drinking champagne at a
trustees celebration in a perfect June twilight, the sort of pleasant gloomy
clarity you associate with pastoral scenes in Renaissance painting.
	Just down the path was Charles Cheatham senior counselor of the Dupont
One group home for adjudicated youth, shepherding 10 of them toward
Shakespeare. "They haven't seen any Shakespeare before, no," he said.
	Picnicking on the grass by the theater, and still wearing their office
clothes, were four recent graduates of Duke University. "We're trying to live
up to our professors' expectations," said Grant Tolson, who is a research
associate at Hill & Knowlton, a public relations company.
	In a Shell gasoline hat that said "Check the Prices," Michael White,
who is in landscaping and house painting, and lives nearby, said, "It's going
to be awesome!"
	The Shakespeare Theatre and The Washington Post were the presenters of
"The Merry Wives," and Winfield was the star playing Sir John Falstaff, the
"gross, watery pumpkin" of a scoundrel knight.
	"It was Shakespeare in a Washington park for the first time in 10 years
and it was a good choice -- the last act takes place in Windsor Park, and it
is a great pagan rumpus with people dressed as animals and fairies, everybody
confused as everybody else as they leap around under a stage moon and real
stars, last night, along with the glitter of moths in the spotlights. Like
outdoor lovemaking, outdoor Shakespeare has a certain jauntiness that carries
the play through the obscure puns and jokes about Welsh accents and 16th-
century wordplay.  The obscurity adds to things in fact, sort of like Latin in
church, except that the profanity of Shakespeare keeps the crowd laughing as
Falstaff galumphs around -- most of the actors seem to have taken a course or
two at Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks, in fact.
	"This is a wonderful experience," said Dorothy Perkins, a neighbor
whose daughter is with the theater. She was sitting with her husband, Norval,
and a group of other Gold Coast neighbors and lifelong Washington social
establishment who have that cool, easy grace down as a way of living, it
seems.
	Once in a while you'd hear a helicopter, but somehow, there didn't seem
to be any sirens at all out on 16th Street, a sweet evening.
	The play will continue, with free admission, through June 16.

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