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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: March ::
Bears on Stage
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 195.  Saturday, 27 March 1993.
From:           Zanne Westfall Pardee <WS#1@LAFAYACS.bitnet>
Date:           Friday, 26 Mar 93 11:51:23 EDT
Subject:        Bears on stage
I too have often wondered about that bear.  While investigating Great Household
Revels, I came across lots of references in various accounts of pet bears and
dancing bears, a popular attraction, it seems, at folk festivals.  Mary
Blackstone even has a few itineraries, which she presented at the SAA
conference a couple of years back.  Why not one of these tame and trained
beasties onstage?  I imagine the audience would pay attention.  It's hard to
imagine an early modern audience, accustomed as they were to performing
animals, accepting an actor in a bear suit or a suggestion thereof.  And I've
never seen evidence of such a costume in any accounts.
Suzanne Westfall WS#1@lafayacs.bitnet

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