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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: Doubling
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0417.  Tuesday, 10 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
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        Date:   Monday, 09 May 1994 09:20:32 -0500
        Subj:   doubling/fragmenting
 
(2)     From:   Luc Borot <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 May 1994 21:06:58 +0100
        Subj:   Doubling
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
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Date:           Monday, 09 May 1994 09:20:32 -0500
Subject:        doubling/fragmenting
 
The University of Minnesota did a production of *King Lear* in 1993 that used
eight (I think) actors playing multiple roles but also SPLITTING roles; at one
point (the heath scene) four different actors played Lear simultaneously. I
found the production interesting and provocative for the most part, though at
times it was also chaotic and confusing (which may have been part of the the
point). It was not a production I could recommend to someone unfamiliar with
the play or with Shakespeare in general, but for those who were, it was a
fascinating experiment.
 
--Chris Gordon
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Luc Borot <
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Date:           Monday, 9 May 1994 21:06:58 +0100
Subject:        Doubling
 
Dear all,
 
Doubling is something which the ACTER association does systematically and as a
matter of principle, as their method is to perform uncut texts of Shakespeare
with neither more nor less than 5 (five!) actors, with not much money to buy
costumes and set, ergo, they have NO set... (The acronym means A Center for
Theater, Education and Research).
 
I'm sure lots of you in the US and Canada saw them, as their mission is to take
cheap, clever, uncut performances of Shakespeare to North American campuses.
 
I saw them last year at Stratford, England (the place some people think should
not exist because no one was born there in 1564, April 23rd or so, and even so
he couldn't spell) in a marvellous production of *The Tempest*.
 
"Good" Duke and "Bad" Duke were played by the same actor. Ariel and Miranda
were the same actress, the king and Caliban the same actor, and other such
doublings. It worked marvelously. We were all wondering how "good" and "bad"
Dukes would meet... well, Prospero spoke to an empty space, his brother, which
I found a very deep and thoughtful solution. Prospero would then appear as void
as his evil brother, or his brother as vain and irrelevant, which he were in
the plot anyway, if he had not gone to Tunis to marry his daughter there.
 
I reviewed it in nb44 of *Cahiers Elisabethains* (Oct 1993), pp.100-101.
 
Cheers and all that
 
Luc
 
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Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Elisabethaines
 

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