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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: October ::
Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 261. Thursday, 17 Oct 1991.
 
Date:         	Wed, 16 Oct 91 10:04:47 EDT
From: 		Lorin Wertheimer <
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Subject: 2.0257  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
Comment:      	Re: SHK 2.0257  Staging Shakespeare's Unstaged Scenes
 
Kay Stockholder says that added visual scenes do the audience's homework for
them and dilute the educative properties of Shakespeare.  I could not disagree
more.
 
If the power of art is to educate, then limiting education to the text (as
opposed to the performance) makes Jack a dull boy.  In my production of Antony
and Cleopatra, the first scene was a montage of characters walking in the
streets of Rome (actually, I set it in NYC) to the music of carmina bhurana
(sp?).  As stupid as this sounds, it set the tone perfectly for the rest of
the show, and subtly established a heirarchy among the character groups.
 
Visual images may augment the textual message, but even if they add something
completely different, they are still valid.  I cannot emphasize enough that
concentrating on the language and not the play in its entirety will put the
audience to sleep because of its non-dramatic aspect.  If language is really
the focus, do King Lear as a poetry reading!
 
And one more thing, if someone wants to kill the Porter, they may do so
out of sheer meanness.  Perhaps the army marching from the forest is in a
blind anger, or Macbeth's paranoia grows out of hand, or the porter, like
Falstaff in 1HIV gets caught in a fight.  Using the power of imagination
anything is possible.  Perhaps not wonderful, but possible.
 

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