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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: June ::
Re: *R2*; Nudity
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0534.  Tuesday, 14 June 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jun 1994 08:20:34 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0530  Re: *R2*
 
(2)     From:   Chris Langland-Shula <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jun 1994 09:55:58 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: naked coed acting
 
(3)     From:   James Schaefer <SCHAEFEJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jun 1994 09:53:21 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   nudity
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jun 1994 08:20:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 5.0530  Re: *R2*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0530  Re: *R2*
 
Although the First Folio calls *R2* "The life and death of King Richard the
Second" and lists it among the English histories, the Quarto title pages call
it "The Tragedie of King Richard the second."
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Langland-Shula <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jun 1994 09:55:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Re: naked coed acting
 
For my part, I have always admired the human body, but we have placed a
societal taboo on it.  This my not effect some people, but as a whole, the
placement of a naked human body on a stage is an extreme statement. Often times
this is squandered by beginners, who have one or more of their actors naked
because they "like the look".  Let's face it, not too many people in everyday
life walk around naked, and it hasn't become a stage and screen standby (yes,
there are movies with nudity in them, but it isn't like murder, which happens
on children's shows).  It neccesarily becomes a major statement, because there
are so many things that an audience will bring with it about nudity.  Yes,
there is a sexual aspect to it, as well as a certain discomfort, trying to
respect the person's privacy.  There is also the concern for the rest of the
audience's reaction to you watching this naked person.  After all, even
pornography is indulged in private (by most people).
 
Putting a person on stage naked is certainly an option, but every aspect of
what an audience will bring to it needs to be considered.  If you want to
reinforce an idea of purity, perhaps the worst way to do it would be by having
your lead naked.  Yes, it is the most pure form of a human being, but that is
not the impression an audience will bring to it.
 
Chris Langland-Shula
UCLA Theatre

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schaefer <SCHAEFEJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jun 1994 09:53:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        nudity
 
To James McKenna:
 
Let me put my snide remark about the silly season of nudity in context by
recalling that the question posed was, What is this discussion about?  It COULD
be about the naked and the nude, and the difference between the two (see Robert
Graves's poem, "The Naked and the Nude"), and difference between both and those
who are clothed, but up to that point, it hadn't been.  I'm glad to see that it
is now.
 
Underneath the clothes, we are all the same; and my biologist wife asserts
that, underneath the genitalia, we all are, too, all shaped by the same
embryonic anatomy and the same hormones.  Thus to explore the layer after layer
of rank and separation and difference we all don, as well as the effect of
stripping these away, is to explore a basic element of the human condition.  I
think of Virginia Woolf, whose concerns ranged from the patent artificiality of
the academics with the golden pots on their heads (in *Three Guineas*, wasn't
it?) to Orlando, whose sex change in mid- (well, young-mid) life made
surprisingly little difference to her/his sense of self.  What does each layer
mean?  And how are we, the audience, affected when we see the layers (of crowns
or of cloth) stripped away.  Where does titillation fit into the "fear and
pity" formula?  When is "Hamlet, nude, on swings" a sign of directorial
interpretation run amok, and when does it serve as a windown into the soul?
And how much do we need to see to get the physical and emotional effect?  Good
questions.
 
Jim Schaefer
 

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