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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: July ::
Boys Playing Women
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 438.  Tuesday, 20 July 1993.
 
From:           Jie Gao <
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Date:           Tuesday, 20 Jul 93 15:20:21 EST
Subject: 4.0436  Re: Boys Playing Women
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0436  Re: Boys Playing Women
 
>Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 436.  Monday, 19 July 1993.
>
>From:           Phyllis Rackin <
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>Date:           Sunday, 18 Jul 1993 21:52:55 +22306256 (EST)
>Subject:        Re: Boys Playing Women
>
>> When boy actors played the parts of women, did they use their natural voices
>> or did they act feminine voices? Any info on this is appreciated.
>
>How would a boy's "natural" voice differ from a woman's?
 
Then it must have been very young boys that the companies hired. I am
still trying to imagine what effects a significant discrepancy in the
ages of the actors (as men and women) would bring to the performance,
and how would that affect the audience's gender perception. In Chinese
Qun-qu, the cast is always all-female by default; actresses playing
men's parts try to feign male voices to the degree of clear gender
distinction. Of course costumes also help in this highly symbolic
drama. But when we consider boy playing woman playing man in
Shakespeare, we would expect the actor to be distinctively manly or
womanly (not just in costumes) as the occasion requires?
 
Jie Gao
Australian National University
 

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