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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: October ::
Shakespeare's Boys; *Tmp.* Productions
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0834.  Saturday, 22 October 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Roger D. Gross <
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        Date:   Friday, 21 Oct 1994 15:59:06 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare's boys
 
(2)     From:   Don Weingust <
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        Date:   Friday, 21 Oct 1994 22:01:52 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0826 Qs: *Tmp.*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <
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Date:           Friday, 21 Oct 1994 15:59:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare's boys
 
I feel comfortable with "boy actors" though I don't passionately insist as
James Forse suggests.  The term was good enough for Willie.  Remember
Cleopatra's horror at the thought of surrender?  She wouldn't go to Rome to see
"Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness / I'th' posture of a whore".
"Squeaking" doesn't sound much like a grown man.  In Richard II, he speaks of
underaged boys who long to go to war..."boy, with women's voices, / Strive to
speak big and clap their female joints / In stiff unweildy arms..."  So boys
have women's voices and female joints.  They must not be much past youth.   In
the induction to Shrew, the poor Bartholmew, the page, is dragged into the con
because the Lord believes "...the boy will well usurp the grace, / Voice, gait,
and action of a gentlewoman...".  None of these seem to refer to apprentice
men.  William seems to have found the idea of a young male with feminine voice
and movement to assume the role of a great lady.  When Cleo imagines herself
being boyed squeakingly, surely is thinking of the boy playing the major role
in the show.  I think I'll go on calling them "boy actors."
 
Roger Gross
Dept. of Drama
Univ. of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR  72701

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(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Weingust <
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Date:           Friday, 21 Oct 1994 22:01:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 5.0826 Qs: *Tmp.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0826 Qs: *Tmp.*
 
Sallie,
 
You might look at a 1989 Roundabout Theatre Company production, starring Frank
Langella as a not-so-old enchanter (pretty much his own age, as I recall).  The
production also featured B.D. Wong as Ariel.
 

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