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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: First Times with Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0185.  Friday, 4 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Larry Schwartz <LSCHWART@NDSUVM1>
        Date:   Thursday, 03 Mar 94 18:01:33 CST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0178  Re: First Times with Shakspeare
 
(2)     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Friday, March 4, 1994
        Subj:   First Times with Shakespeare and the Nature of Memory
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Schwartz <LSCHWART@NDSUVM1>
Date:           Thursday, 03 Mar 94 18:01:33 CST
Subject: 5.0178  Re: First Times with Shakspeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0178  Re: First Times with Shakspeare
 
o.k., i wanna play, too...
 
1)  very dim memory of a black-and-white image of someone wrapped in what
looked like ivy, jumping up and down on the tv screen saying "the monster,
the monster!"  turns out it was richard burton as caliban in a production
of "the tempest."  this is available on videocassette now, too.
 
2)  6th grade (which puts me at about 11 years old), and a production
of MND, and i played puck with a pair of wings made out of coat hangers
covered in aluminum foil.
 
out of such things are stage legends born, and i'm still waiting...  ls.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, March 4, 1994
Subject:        First Times with Shakespeare and the Nature of Memory
 
I have difficulty remembering my very first encounter with Shakespeare.  I
remember summers in South Carolina at my grandmother's house, exploring the
single play volumes in her bookshelf and trying to memorize "To be, or not to
be" on the front porch in the heat of the afternoon.  I must have been ten
then, but I also recall an earlier Sunday afternoon during the Golden Age of
Television watching Olivier's *Richard III*.  Could that have been the 1956 US
television premere?  I have no doubt about seeing this, with clear images close
to forty years after the fact of Olivier's opening snake-like posture while
delivering "Now is the winter of our discontent" and the "A horse! A horse! My
kingdom for a horse!" -- the rolling crown and the thorn bush.  Yet I also
vaguely remember a *1 Henry IV* -- could it have been on a Hallmark show.
There are no striking images here and no knowledge even if such a
made-for-television version ever really was broadcast.  Such is memory.
 
In junior high, there was the obligatory memorizing of "Friends, Romans,
Countrymen . . ."
 
In high school, I recall an *As You Like It* at Baltimore's fledgling Center
State (after it moved from its 160-seat, small arena stage in a converted row
house across from the Lyric Theater to a converted movie house on North Avenue)
and *The Tempest* at Goucher College before it became co-ed (a production that
gendered Ariel female for me for the longest time).
 
The stuff of memory -- the stuff of dreams.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.