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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: January ::
Re: Gender Switching in Stage Productions
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0080.  Monday, 31 January 1994.
 
(1)     From:   James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
        Date:   Sunday, 30 Jan 1994 22:04:44 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Gender Switching
 
(2)     From:   Norman J. Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 31 Jan 94 10:19:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0073  Q: Stage Productions
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James McKenna <MCKENNJI@UCBEH>
Date:           Sunday, 30 Jan 1994 22:04:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Gender Switching
 
Dear Chris Daigle,
 
ADO's Don John the bastard is a good candidate.  His use of Hero becomes even
uglier--and just what is the relationship between Don Joanne and her minions,
Borachio and Conrad?
 
In CE, either the father of the Antipholi or the Duke of Ephesus would probably
work.  The rest of the characters seem a lot of effort or not significant
enough in reversal.
 
Thanks for some fun speculation!
 
James McKenna
mckennji@ucbeh.bitnet
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman J. Myers <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 31 Jan 94 10:19:34 -0500
Subject: 5.0073  Q: Stage Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0073  Q: Stage Productions
 
I directed a "Shoestring Shakespeare" production of COE last year.
Shoestring Shakespeare means that we do the plays in a small room and strip
the production of most of the "necessary" trimmings so as to focus on the
text.  I was faced with the typical problem of more women auditioning than
men.  After casting the sets of twins, Adriana, Luciana, Abbess.,
Egeon, Duke, Courtesan, I found I had several women and only one man left
of those deemed sufficiently adept.  So I had these people play "everybody
else".  Women played Angelo, the first and second merchant (same actress),
Guard and Luce and Headsman (same actress) and Dr. Pinch's attendants
(Angelo and Second Merchant).  It seemed to work well, and nobody assumed
any particular comment was being made by having women play those male
roles.  Of course it all depends on what you want to do.  I suppose in MND,
for instance, you could make quite a comment by having Bottom played by a
woman.
 
Norman Myers
Bowling Green State University
 

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