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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: December ::
Re: Zeffereli Ado; Women Writers; Fate in Rom; NYC Mac
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 1011. Saturday, 17 December 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Matthew Henerson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Dec 1994 10:47:46 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.1008  Zeffereli Ado
 
(2)     From:   Jenise Williamson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Dec 1994 15:26:38 EST
        Subj:   Early Modern Women Writers
 
(3)     From:   Tom Dale Keever <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Dec 94 21:00:16 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.1008  Fate in Rom
 
(4)     From:   Bernice W. Kliman <KLIMANB@SNYFARVA.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 15 Dec 1994 22:06:15 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Nudity in *Macbeth*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Henerson <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Dec 1994 10:47:46 -0500
Subject: 5.1008  Zeffereli Ado
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.1008  Zeffereli Ado
 
 
Dear Milla Riggio,
 
I have a shameful confession to make regarding the Zeffereli *Much Ado*, and I
am only surprised that I didn't make it in the original posting.  I have only
heard an LP recording of the production.  I understand that it was televised in
England, but I have never seen a video tape, and I could not have seen the
original.  I am not at all surprised, however, to learn that Frank Finlay's
Dogberry was better than I thought it sounded.  He is a superb actor, and his
Iago (which I have seen in its film incarnation) completely changed my
perceptions about the role.  As to the troupe of musicians, if you remember
them, they were there.  I have found very little written on this production,
and the few stills that I have seen show Finlay surrounded by a pretty motley
crew, but I always assumed they were just the watch.
 
I feel like apologizing to Frank Finlay in absentia.  I'd hate to have any of
my performances evaluated on voice alone.  Now I'm left wondering if its
possible to get a hold of that video tape. Hmmmmm.
 
I'm glad you have fond memories of the production, and thank you for telling me
about the musicians.
 
Sincerely,
Matt Henerson.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jenise Williamson <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Dec 1994 15:26:38 EST
Subject:        Early Modern Women Writers
 
 
In response to David's request and to anyone interested in early modern
women writers, contact Brown University which has a network at the
following address:
 
        
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There are also anthologies available. I will check my own holdings and
get back to you.
 
C. Jenise Williamson
Coordinator, Creative Writing Program
Bowie State University
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Dale Keever <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Dec 94 21:00:16 EST
Subject: 5.1008  Fate in Rom
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.1008  Fate in Rom
 
Subject:  Romeo and Juliet, fate, etc.
 
I hope that Rose McManus will tell us more about her reading group's
conflicting sides.  The question, if I understand it aright, is hardly tired in
an age when we wonder so publicly how much our fates, and even our own actions,
are ordained by forces beyond our control, from our own genes to our culture's
racism.  I can imagine the discussion becoming quite heated indeed.
 
I toured as Capulet for nine months in a production directed by Mario Siletti,
and, as I was also Stage Manager, I wondered in very practical ways about the
springs that drove the action.  The play's plot works so well, in large part,
because the visible agency of "fate" has been cleverly minimized so that the
final tragic result follows from a chain of actions freely chosen by the
victims, their kin, and their friends.  Aside, perhaps, from Cupid's dart
itself, the only fatal "accident" that interupts that chain is the "infectious
pestilence" that keeps Friar John from his errand of informing Romeo of
Juliet's true condition.  Each character makes clear free choices about what he
is going to do, and only Romeo's choice at the apothecarie's is made without
adequate knowledge of the situation.  Even the "cultural and historic context"
is not accidental.  The warring families are not egged on by witches or pursued
by demons - they do what they do out of human rage and intolerance.  The play
is a radically humanistic document that puts individual will and desire at the
center of events not at the mercy of other divine forces or chance.
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bernice W. Kliman <KLIMANB@SNYFARVA.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Dec 1994 22:06:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Nudity in *Macbeth*
 
Yes, there is some nudity in the Falstaff Presents *Macbeth* currently playing
at CSC in NYC.  Like Francseca Annis in Polanski's version, this Lady walks
nude in her sleep, but the set is so dimly lit and she begins her walk so far
from the audience that it is not terribly schocking.  I said to one of my
former students who was with the group that I find that nudity wrenches me
right out of the performance because I begin thinking of how the actor feels
about it.  My former student, however, is so used to nudity in films and on
stage that it does not have that effect for her.  Since it *does* wrench me
out, I am convinced that is what the director *intended*....  This sleepwalking
scene was greatly enhanced by a gender reversal, with the Scottish Doctor
played by a woman--as a woman.  I don't think I have ever been as moved by the
Doctor. When Lady Macbeth says "take my hand..." the doctor takes her hand
lovingly but Lady Macbeth pulls away and runs off.  The evident pity of the
doctor magnified the pity I felt for this wonderful Lady Macbeth.  The nudity
was more acceptable than Polanski's because both of the onstage observers were
women who cared about her.
 
Enjoy!
Bernice
 

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