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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: March ::
Re: Paulina and *WT*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0207.  Thursday, 10 March 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Mar 1994 15:15:45 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
 
(2)     From:   A. G. Bennett <BENNETT@BRANDEIS.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Mar 1994 17:04 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
 
(3)     From:   Elizabeth Schmitt <E2E3SCHM@UNTVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Mar 1994 22:35:18 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Winter's Tale in performance
 
(4)     From:   Ronald Dwelle <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Mar 94 09:27:09 EST
        Subj:   SHK 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Wednesday, 09 Mar 1994 15:15:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
 
The posting by Mary Ann Miller about productions of THE WINTER"S TALE
reminded me on this snowy day in Connecticut that I am scheduled to be
the dramaturg for a student production of this play next fall.  And I
would welcome, privately if that seems to be in the best interests of
the list, any suggestions for A) critical and interpretive essays on
the play, B) staging problems you know about or have seen demonstrated
and whatever solutions you can come up with or have seen tried, C)
production ideas you've seen that worked and ones that did not.  And
whatever else seems to be pertinent to the beginning stages of
dramaturgical research.  Don't be afraid to be obvious! (I.e., never
assume knowledge on the part of your hearer!)  Our director's basic
staging idea seems to me to be very interesting:  he wants to build the first
part of the play around a large, marblized central pillar which will
reverse to become a Wagnerian tree in the pastoral section and which,
reversed again, will contain Hermione's statue at the end.  This is
as far as we've gotten and again, I welcome commentary.
 
Many thanks in advance.
 
Best,
Milla Riggio
 
P.S.  I forgot to include my address.  You can write me EITHER at

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  (my preferred private e-mail address)
- or - the address I use for SHAKESPER, which is 
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 .
 
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           A. G. Bennett <BENNETT@BRANDEIS.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Mar 1994 17:04 EDT
Subject: 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
 
In answer to Mary Jane Miller's question of productions of _The Winter's
Tale_ (my favourite play of all, I'll admit), I saw a production at
Stratford (Ont.) several years ago, which wasn't bad-- but it wasn't
particularly memorable, either.
 
However, John Barton and the RSC do a simply stunning staging of Hermione's
descent at the end of the eighth tape of the _Playing Shakespeare_ series,
which I've just had the good fortune to see again last week. The episode is
their workshop on "Passion and Coolness," and the scene is beautifully
done-- the sense of wonder which is integral to that moment comes through
brilliantly. Amazing what they can do with 3 actors, a box (for Hermione's
pedestal), and a blanket (that Hermione drapes over her body toga-like)!
 
By the way-- Partick Stewart is Leontes, Lisa Harrow is Hermione, but I
can't remember for the life of me who plays Paulina (with just the right
amount of suspense, too).
 
Cheers,
Alex Bennett
(
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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Elizabeth Schmitt <E2E3SCHM@UNTVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Mar 1994 22:35:18 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Winter's Tale in performance
 
In response to Mary Jane Miller's query if anyone had seen a good production of
Winter's Tale, I must reply "yes." The 1982 RSC production featuring Patrick
Stewart as Leontes and Gemma Jones as Hermoine opened my eyes to this play in a
way that has not been equaled since. The production was directed by Ronald Eyre
and originated the year previous at Stratford. I saw it during its run as part
of the first Barbican season {that featured T Nunn's ace Henry IV, pts I and
II}. Patrick STewart's performance was amazing. In an interview I did with him
later that year, he told me that he had researched the disease that caused
Leontes' jealousy  and also found that he had to physically separate himself
from the rest of the company during the long break the character has off stage.
He also had found he had to remain in costume and "in character"---he tried
showering and napping once in Stratford and found the result to his
concentration disasterous. Gemma Jones' Hermoine was a study in quiet, but
powerful nobility. Her speeched during the trial scene impressed me with their
calm determination against Leontes' ragings. As to whether she showed herself
ready for redemption, I honestly can't remember. I do remember enjoying Sheila
Hancock's performance as Paulina. She proved a good match for Stewart. I cannot
use the same praise to discuss the RSC's next attempt at the play during 85/86
with Jeremy Irons as Leontes. THey chose to double Hermoine/ Perdita and much
of the focus on the last scene was diverted to the "party-trick" nature of it.
Oh dear, I have gone on for my first foray into SHAKSPER land. Hope this is
helpful.
Elizabeth W.B. Schmitt, University of North Texas

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(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ronald Dwelle <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Mar 94 09:27:09 EST
Subject: Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
Comment:        SHK 5.0203  Re: Paulina; Noh Lecture; Colonialism
 
Mary Jane Miller asks if anyone has seen a good production of WT. Last year our
college theater department did it, and of course I assigned the play to my
students and forced them to go see it. Mind you, all this in spite of my
conviction that the play is sloppy, poorly wrought, and only tangentially
Shakespearean (talk about your quarto authors!).
 
Surprise. It was a typical college/amateurish production. But, it was quite
moving, almost as though there had been a great spirit behind the written
lines. And not just for me--a hypercritical college audience was hushed and
awed at the final statue-coming-to-life. Amazing. As one of my students said,
"I cried, in spite of myself."
 
I can assure all of you that this was not great acting--the kind that can bring
a telephone directory to life.
 
(The bear was also superb.)
 

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