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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: May ::
Re: Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Talking at Plays
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 306.  Wednesday, 19 May 1993.
 
(1)     From:   William Kemp <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 May 93 9:46:30 EDT
        Subj:   talking at plays
 
(2)     From:   Nate Johnson <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 May 93 11:35:19 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0303  Re: Oregon Shakespeare Festival
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Kemp <
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Date:           Monday, 17 May 93 9:46:30 EDT
Subject:        talking at plays
 
Commenting on the Oregon festival, Timothy Bowden mentions an
objectionable middle-aged couple who talked during a performance
as if they watching T. V. It's a common problem, of course, and
I suspect that we've all ascribed it to the same cause: theatrical
novices who don't know the etiquette of theater-going (be quiet so
I can hear).
 
I wonder about the cause. Was there some golden age of proper
audiences (which would have been just before I started going to the
theater) who were respectfully quiet during performances? Or is this
notion a way of classing theater-goers with concert audiences as nice
people who are appropriately respectful in the vacinity of sacred art?
 
Bill Kemp
Mary Washington College
Fredericksburg, Va.

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nate Johnson <
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Date:           Monday, 17 May 93 11:35:19 EDT
Subject: 4.0303  Re: Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0303  Re: Oregon Shakespeare Festival
 
It sounds like Timothy Bowden has had some bad luck with his trips
to Ashland.  I grew up on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and remember
very few instances of bad weather or lines rendered inaudible by crowd
noise.  In the summer, the weather for the outdoor performances is
generally perfect.  Make an effort to see an evening performance outside.
 
As to the problem of inconsiderate "tourists" in Ashland, a comment by
Jonathan Culler in "The Semiotics of Tourism" (whether or not one
agrees with the theoretical premises), seems appropriate:  "Once one
recognizes that wanting to be less touristy than other tourists is
part of being a tourist, one can recognize the superficiality of most
discussions of tourism, especially those that stress the superficiality
of tourists."  The problem, in the case of Timothy Bowden's experience,
which hasn't generally been a problem for me, isn't inconsiderate "tourists,"
but inconsiderate people.
 
While you're in Oregon, you might check out Jacksonville, a very pretty
19th century pioneer town with some good shops and restaurants, not far
from Ashland.  On the Oregon coast, especially for the honeymoon of a literary
couple, check out the Sylvia Beach hotel in Newport.  Each room is decorated
with a different major author in mind.  I remember the Poe room, the Dr. Seuss
room, and the Melville room, among many others.  There's a library and tea
room on the top floor and a restaurant, "Tables of Content" on the bottom.
Even if you don't stay there (which you should, since it's not expensive)
try to get a peek at some of the rooms.
 
And have a great time!
 
--Nate Johnson
 

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