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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: September ::
Query: Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 237. Tuesday, 24 Sep 1991.
 
Date: 		Mon, 23 Sep 1991 12:50:00 -0400
From: 		Michael Friedman <friedman@scranton.bitnet>
Subject:  	Shakespeare's unstaged scenes
 
Ken,
        I want to respond to something I noticed in your review of the
production of *Much Ado* at the Stratford, Ontario Festival.  You mentioned
that this production included a dumbshow balcony scene before Claudio declares
his intention to shame Hero, an interpolation which provides justification for
Claudio's actions despite the fact that the text deliberately fails to provide
such motivation.  My forthcoming article in *Comparative Drama*, "The Editorial
Recuperation of Claudio," deals with theatrical and editorial strategies that
have been used in the past to make Claudio "look better," and the article in-
cludes a long section on the history of this interpolated dumbshow, which dates
back to the nineteenth century.  I was unaware, however, that "the inclusion of
this scene in dumb-show is a Stratford Festival tradition," and I would greatly
appreciate any additional recollections you or anyone else might have of the
details of such an interpolation.  The information would be too late to be in-
cluded in the Claudio article, but I'm currently working on a similar project
having to do with Bertram from *All's Well* and the unstageable quality of bed
trick scenes.  I have actually run across an account of a production which did
include a dumbshow symbolic version of the bed trick, but I'm wondering if
anyone else out there might remember another production in which the bed trick
itself was "staged."  Also, I'd appreciate any thoughts on why productions
might want to stage Shakespeare's unstaged scenes in the first place.
 
                                                Thanks,
 
                                                Michael Friedman
                                                friedman@scranton
 
	[I've been holding on to this note for too long, hoping to
	have time to dig through my notes and answer it properly.  At
	the moment, that look slike it may still take a while, so I'm
	posting Michael's request to the group in the hope that it may
	start some discussion and that he may get answers from others.
	-- k.s.]
 

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