Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 660. Sunday, 17 October 1993.
Date: Sunday, 17 Oct 1993 10:27:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: The *Dream* on film (or videotape)
I don't know the animated version alluded to, but there's no need to
resort to caricatures. The Peter Hall film (1969), now available on
videotape, is still the best. The BBC is not quite as good, but OK.
Papp's production, filmed live at the Delacorte, has some good things in
it, especially the New Yorker mechanicals, but Hurt slaughters the verse
and the Puck, whom the kids might enjoy, is a travesty (the kids would
enjoy her--yes, he's played by a woman--for very wrong reasons). The old
Reinhardt film is better, if you can take the orchestra of elves and
goblins playing Mendelssohn.
But why not let the 6th graders just plunge in, reading the script, or a
shortened version of it, and act out the scenes themselves? I have seen
even younger children do wonders with such a script (consult Helen Gadsby
at the Wilmington Montessori School in Wilmington, DE). Why patronize
youngsters, who are quite capable of enjoying this play (and many others,
too) without the aid of animated cartoons? Get them on their feet, as the
Folger's Peggy O'Brien would say, and be prepared for some wonderful
P.S. No, I did not make the connection between *Cor* and *A Few Good
Men*. I wonder if the author did? It's just plausible.