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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: February ::
Re: Impossibility of Performance Criticism
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 57.  Tuesay, 2 February 1993.
 
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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Date:           Monday, 01 Feb 93 23:15:19 EST
Subject: 4.0051  Re: Impossibility of Performance Criticism
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0051  Re: Impossibility of Performance Criticism
 
Leaping preposterously into the discussion about performance criticism and its
impossibility (at David Richman's insistance) I'd just like to point people to
look at Anthony B. Dawson's "The Impasse over the Stage" ELR 21 (1991), 309-27,
for a laying out of the discontinuities between kinds of criticism looking at
performance from differing points of view.  And then there is David Richman's
quite delicious LAUGHTER, PAIN, AND WONDER: SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES AND THE
AUDIENCE IN THE THEATRE.  I'm tempted to recall the bumblebee, flying in the
face of its inability to fly, but David's book is so much more like a
butterfly or a hummingbird, doing its tricks with grace and jeweled beauty.
Both Dawson and Richman evoke the magic of those performances that indeed can't
be talked about in the workaday languages of criticism.  Okay.  Who goes to a
performance of criticism on a Saturday night, anyway?
 
And yes I do show students how scripts work onstage with the help of textual
variants. They seem to LIKE plays more once they see the gamesome possibilities
of all that staging info.
 
As ever,
Steve Urkowitz
(SURCC@CUNYVM)
 

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