Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0134.  Friday, 24 February 1995.
From:           John Cox <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 23 Feb 1995 12:42:55 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        *All's Well* in production at Hope College
Those in the west Michigan area should know that the Hope College theater
department is presently staging *All's Well That Ends Well*, guest directed by
Jeff Nyhof, a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley.  Nyhof's production is very
capably performed entirely by Hope undergraduates.  They understand their lines
and deliver them convincingly and with feeling.  The production is just two
hours long, made possible by considerable cutting--Lavatch is absent, for
example, and much of Parolles' role is reduced.  The effect is spare and
cinematic, an effect emphasized by a video screen mounted stage left, which
occasionally displays black and white footage to complement the action on
stage.  The production emphasizes *All's Well* as a problem play, focusing on
the emotional closeness of Bertram and Helena as quasi-siblings in their
childhoods and seemingly tracing Bertram's rejection of her as his wife to this
difficulty, rather than their class difference.  Problems are unresolved at the
end:  Bertram does not ask forgiveness, and Helena strongly emphasizes
"divorce" in her last remarks to him!  Everything about the production works to
enhance the problematic effect, with sensitive and complex performances
especially by Sara Murphy as Helena and Clayton Gibson as Bertram.  The
production continues at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23, 24, and 25.
John Cox

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