What Playwrights Do

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 114.  Sunday, 28 February 1993.
From:           Tom Loughlin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 27 Feb 1993 11:13 pm EST
Subject:        What Playwrights Do
Gary Goldstein's comments via John Mucci have such an elementary logical
fallacy that I wonder if he knows what exactly it is that a playwright does.
He makes the argument that because several of Shakespeare's characters use
language which is unflattering to Jews (and blacks and many other types of
people) that therefore Shakespeare himself is, nay, must be, a racist.  That
kind of a statement is not only logically incorrect, it betrays that Mr.
Goldstein has little understanding of the creative process of playwrighting.
Playwrights write characters which attempt to reflect people as they live
in the real world; reflecting what they say, how they speak, what their basic
attitudes towards life and their surroundings are.  To my knowledge, Shake-
speare wrote next to nothing which is unquestionably reflective of his own
personal ideas or prejudices, nothing which did not contain the mask of the
theatre.  Shakespeare was a master at creating character, but I don't think
anybody has the right to state categorically that because any certain
character speaks or acts a certain way that therefore this is a clear reflec-
tion of the playwright's mind.  It's simply an illogical conclusion.  It is
not the playwright's job to judge the moral or ethical qualities of the
characters she or he creates; it is simply the playwright's job to write
them honestly and truthfully, present them to us, and let us view their
actions and behaviors and reflect accordingly.
The effort to demonstrate that Shakespeare "was a (fill in the blank)" by
pointing to his characters and what they say is *ipso facto* a false and
misleading argument, for it betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the
nature of the art form and the medium which is theatre.  As clear as it is
that he was capable of putting slanderous speech into the mouths of his
characters, he was also quite capable of putting wisdom, truth and beauty into
the mouths of many others, yet I would not nor could not say that this makes
Shakespeare a wise and truthful man.  Any speculation as to his personal
beliefs are simply that -- speculation.  His very genius lies in the awareness
that he came at every question from every angle he could find, and asked every
question he could think of, while providing few answers.  The pitiful attempts
to reduce his genius to this or that single point of view are disingenuous,
and almost always point to the writer's own personal limitations.
      Tom Loughlin                *   BITNET
      Dept. of Theatre Arts       *    loughlin@fredonia
      SUNY College at Fredonia    *   INTERNET
      Fredonia NY 14063           *    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
      Voice: 716.673.3597         *
      Fax:   716.673.3397         *   "Hail, hail Freedonia, land of
                                  *    the brave and free."  G. Marx

Re: The Folger Theatre (SSE)

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 113. Saturday, 27 February 1993.
From:           Bernice Kliman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 27 Feb 1993 19:39 EDT
Subject: 4.0101  Q: Folger Library and Theatre
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0101  Q: Folger Library and Theatre
The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express will be at the Folger Theatre on March 20.
I know because I am in a workshop that weekend. This is a great group, and
if you can see them, you're in for a treat.  Call them at 1-800-SAY-PUCK to
get information about their DC plans. Steven Booth wrote a wonderful review of
their work in a recent SQ.  1/2 price tickets are usually pretty easy to
get at Landsburgh and at Arena.  Call and ask if you should arrive early.
They are both good at telling you your chances. I also know a great B&B if
you need a fairly inexpensive place to stay. Let me know. Have fun in DC--a
great place, but be careful.
Bernice W. Kliman 516-671-1301
[Editor's Note: I too would encourage you to see The Shenandoah Shakespeare
Express and to read Stephen Booth's piece in SQ (43: 479-483).  Let me quote
the second paragraph for you: "I first saw The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express
perform in Washington, D.C., in July of 1991.  I haven't thought the same
since about Shakespeare or the theater."
Let me also put in a plug for The Shakespeare Theatre's *Comedy of Errors*. In
particular, I thought that Philip Goodwin did a stunning, an unforgetable job
as the Antipholi and the set -- oh the set . . .   -hmc]

Re: Shakespeare, Jews, and Anti-Semitism

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 111.  Friday, 26 February 1993.
From:           David A. Bank <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 Feb 93 21:34:28 GMT
Subject: 4.0108 Shakespeare, Jews, and Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0108 Shakespeare, Jews, and Anti-Semitism
For Jay Halio and John Dorenkamp:
As I tried to explain, I have difficulty attaching terms like "racist"
or "anti-semitic" to types existing only (or almost only) in books,
and there can be little doubt (C.J. Sisson notwithstanding) that Jews
in 16th century London were very few. The stereotypes of the period -
as Jay Halio concedes - are derived from tradition, and they include
Turks and Mohammedans as well as Jews. No one has suggested that, in MV,
Shakespeare tries to excite (or exploit) an antipathy in his audience
to *real* Jews; to Jews that is as a community in England. They were
marginal almost to the point of invisibility. My question is this:
should we be using terms like "racist" and "anti-semitic" of MV or
whatever in these circumstances? I really don't see how it helps
our understanding of the mentality/ies of the period.
Obviously one accepts John Dorenkamp's point that Jews in literature -
including the Bible - were "very much part of the culture of
Shakespeare's time". Yet not *so* very much. The *Short Title Catalogue*
of British printed books (1475 to 1640) lists 22 first editions,
20 second editions, issues etc. with "Jew", "Jews" or "Jewes" as
part of the title. I offer this as indicative information merely.
The proportion of titles on a *per annum* basis is between 0.15%
(the lowest, in 1635) and 0.77% (1611), as a percentage of all
British books published in the period. One's impression of most of
these books is that their references to Jews have the purpose of
Christian amendment *of Christians*. May this be an important
part of MV too?
     David Bank
     Univ. Glasgow

Ohio Shakespeare Conference

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 112. Saturday, 27 February 1993.
From:           Thomas G. Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 27 Feb 93 17:06:14 -0500
Subject:        Ohio Shakespeare Conference 1993
The Ohio Shakespeare Conference for 1993 will take as its title
    "There the Whole Palace Open'd": Court and Society in Jacobean England
The conference will be held in Cleveland under the joint sponsorship of
Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.
The proceedings will open 8 pm Thursday March 25th with a welcome and Plenary
Address by Prof. Stephen Orgel and close after the Conference Banquet on
Saturday March 27th.
The conference proceedings will be conducted at the Marriott-Society Center
Hotel in downtown Cleveland.
The title expresses the conference's intent, which is to open up all the
relationships between the Jacobean court and the rest of Jacobean culture to
inquiry in all the relevant disciplines, by both scholars and practitioners.
Ben Jonson's masque "Oberon, the Fairy Prince" will be presented in CWRU's
elegant Excelsior Ballroom, and will provide a rich opportunity for conference
participants to experience a significant work in a genre almost never realized
on stage, in a production that will place equal emphasis on all the elements
of scene, dance, music, costume, speech and action.
The program surrounding the production will include plenary addresses by
leading scholars in various departments of early modern cultural history.
Invited speakers are to be:
Prof. Leeds Barroll,      "Queen Anna and the Appropriation of the Masque"
Prof. Peter Holman,       "Jacobean Dance Music"
Prof. Fritz Levy,         "The Return to Italy"
Prof. Stephen Orgel,      "The Dream, the State, the Stage"
Prof. Annabel Patterson   "Bevis was Believed"
Thirty papers and presentations besides will be offered, together with a
plenary discussion of the production of "Oberon" with the artists-professional
team responsible for the staging, including:
Mr. Barrie Rutter       (Stage Director)
Mr. Ken Pierce          (Choreographer and Lead Dancer)
Mr. David Douglass      (Music Director)
Mr. E. Guy Hare         (Designer, after Inigo Jones)
During the conferecne weekend Claire Bloom will be appearing in a one-woman
show on Shakespeare's women at the Great Lakes Theater Festival (216-241-6000)
and a biracial production of "The Tempest" will open at Karamu House
Interested parties should call the CSU Department of English (216) 687-3955
or detach and return the form below.
Hotel reservations (@ a special rate of $75 per night) should be made soon
at 1-800-228-9290, specifying Marriott-Society Center and Ohio Shakespeare.
Conferees who plan to fly to Cleveland should consider taking advantage of
the cheap travel arrangement the Conference has with USAir: to arrange
low fares to the conference, call 1-800-334-8644 (8am-9pm EST) and obtain
reservations under Gold File Number 36940036 "Oberon" conference.
The conference acknowledges sponsorship from USAir, the Cleveland Foundation,
John Carroll University and Baldwin-Wallace College, as well as Case Western
Reserve University and Cleveland State University.
We look forward to seeing you in March.
Name________________________________    Institution__________________________
I/We will attend the 1993 Ohio Shakespeare Conference.  Number of persons____
I enclose the conference registration fee of $75 per person
(Graduate students $25) Fee includes tickets and transportation to
"Oberon" admission to all conference sessions.
                                                        Amount ___________
I wish to reserve_____places at the Conference Banquet @$15
                                                        Amount ___________
I wish to pay by __ check (payable to Cleveland State University)
        __ Visa no.___________________________ Expires______
        __ Mastercard no._____________________ Expires __________
                                                Signature __________________
Tom Bishop                             "I saw the danger, yet I walked
Dept of English                           Along the enchanted way,
Case Western Reserve University         And I said let grief be a fallen leaf
Cleveland, OH 44106.(This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)    At the dawning of the day."    P.K.

*Shakespeare Survey 44* Now Available

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 110.  Friday, 26 February 1993.
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 26 February 1993
Subject:        *Shakespeare Survey 44* Now Available
*Shakespeare Survey 44*, "Shakespeare and Politics," is now available from
the Cambridge University Press.  Below is the volume's Table of Contents:
           SHAKESPEARE SURVEY 44, "Shakespeare and Politics"
List of Illustrations
Shakespeare and Politics
Language, Politics, and Poverty in Shakespearian Drama
Some Versions of Coup d'etat, Rebellion and Revolution
Woman, Language, and History in The Rape of Lucrece
Love in Venice
Two Kingdoms for Half-a-Crown
'Fashion it thus':Julius Caesar and the Politics of Theatrical Representation
Demystifying the Mystery of State: King Lear and the World Upside Down
Tragedy, King Lear, and the Politics of the Heart
The Politics of Shakespeare Production
Shakespeare in the Trenches
Shakespeare's Earliest Editor, Ralph Crane
     by T. H. HOWARD-HILL
Shakespeare's Falconry
Telling the Story of Shakespeare's Playhouse World
Shakespeare Performances in England, 1989-90
Professional Shakespeare Productions in the British Isles, January-December
     1989 compiled by NIKY RATHBONE
The Year's Contributions to Shakespeare Studies
     1 Critical Studies reviewed by R. S. WHITE
     2 Shakespeare's Life, Times, and Stage reviewed by RICHARD DUTTON
     3 Editions and Textual Studies reviewed by H. R. WOUDHUYSEN
Books Received

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