Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: March ::
Re: *MM* Ending; Fienne's *Ham*; Casting; Acting;
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0181.  Wednesday, 8 March 1995.
 
(1)     From:   John Boni <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 08:27:06 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0177 Re: *MM* Ending
 
(2)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 95 12:00:33 -0500
        Subj:   Ralph Fiennes's *Hamlet*
 
(3)     From:   Marty Jukovsky <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 95 15:11:06 -0800
        Subj:   Fwd: Re: Non-traditional casting
 
(4)     From:   Roger D. Gross <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 16:04:15 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Berry and iambic pentameter
 
(5)     From:   Michael Swanson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 19:23:11 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 6.0176
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Boni <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 08:27:06 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0177 Re: *MM* Ending
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0177 Re: *MM* Ending
 
Robert Saenger's caution about overpainting Shakespeare is well-taken. However,
in the case of MM, Isabella's silence cries out for interpretation. Does she
smile up at the good Duke and, in the style of a musical, walk off into the
sunset with him?  Hmmm, maybe not.  Does she reject him?  Well, that may be
overpainting.  Does she stiffen and keep her distance?  Very possibly. Think
about what this man has put her through.
 
John M. Boni, Dean
College of Arts & Sciences
Northeastern Illinois University
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 95 12:00:33 -0500
Subject:        Ralph Fiennes's *Hamlet*
 
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I have access to summaries (mostly, plus
a complete review by Benedict Nightingale) of the British reviews of the
recently opened production of *Hamlet,* starring Ralph Fiennes. If people are
interested, I'd be happy to post them to SHAKSPER.
 
Chris Gordon, resident Hamlet fanatic
University of Minnesota
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marty Jukovsky <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 95 15:11:06 -0800
Subject:        Fwd: Re: Non-traditional casting
 
I thought the readers of the SHAKSPER list might find this of interest.  It's
from the musicals list.
 
Martin Jukovsky
Cambridge, Mass.

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
**************************************************
My 2cents on Non-traditional, color-blind, open casting:
 
I have seen Shakepeare's Henry V presented by The Company of Women at
Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Mass. The cast was all women playing roles of
men and women. It was wonderful. There were moments when I was aware that I was
watching women playing men, but I _always_ have moments when I am aware that I
am watching an actor portraying a part.
 
In Shakespeare's time, there were no women in theatre. The women were played by
young men. Was that traditional or non-traditional? Does that mean casting
women in women's roles is non-traditional? Should a young boy play Juliet?
 
I also worked for 15 years at a children's theatre center, where kids played
all ages of people in all kinds of roles - Shakespeare, Dickens, Dos Pasos,
etc., etc. Theirs were some of the most credible performances I have seen.
 
I am currently working on a play which has open casting. The play centers on a
mid-western family in the twenties. When we first worked on the concept, the
idea of open casting seemed implausible. A muti-racial family in Wisconsin in
the twenties? As we got into it, showcased it and ran it, we discovered it
worked! And negative responses from audience members were very rare.
 
Free your mind - be color blind.
 
Al Hemberger

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 16:04:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Berry and iambic pentameter
 
Michael Swanson's posting makes me fear I've been unclear about Cicely Berry's
book.  I think it is a fine book, very useful, should find a place in every
"Acting Shakespeare" class.....with the 26 pages on verse removed or ignored.
Berry and Barton are at their very best in helping us to be more sensitive to
the complexity of Shakespeare's meanings and how they are embodied in his
syntax and diction.  That is enough to place them among the most valuable of
contemporary writers on Shakespeare. Barton's work on antithesis is a
tremendous contribution, enough to make me forgive, if not forget his
uninformed assertions about the verse.
 
In my vocabulary, Berry and Barton are talking mostly about poetry and
rhetoric, not about verse.  Verse has to do primarily with the rhythm, which is
mainly a matter of number of syllables and relative emphasis.
 
This misunderstanding of iambic pentameter which I accused these two great
figures of seems to have captured Michael Swanson too.  He says Berry leads
actors into the text "without feeling the need for sing-song readings that
'iambic pentameter' can seem to imply."
 
Modest generalization:  if you think that iambic pentameter implies or causes a
sing-song rhythm, you are using the wrong definition of iambic pentameter.  It
is a much more subtle system and it allows speech with all the subtlety and
nuance and "familiarity" and easiness of the best conversational prose with the
bonus of the power, clarity, energy, and inevitability which only good, regular
verse gives.  If you use the Berry/Barton definition and if you haven't studied
Elizabethan pronunciation thoroughly enough, you are bound to conclude that
Shakespeare didn't really write proper iambic pentameter.
 
One of the disastrous results of all this is that we typically see the work of
the greatest verse playwright of all time performed as prose, not by choice but
by default.
 
Roger Gross
Drama
Univ. of Arkansas
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Swanson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 1995 19:23:11 -0500
Subject: Comment:        SHK 6.0176
 
My last message somehow lost its first parapgraph, which gave the rest context.
I was describing an interesting production of R&J staged in December at Miami
University of Ohio.  The non-traditional casting choices I described were in
that production.
 
Michael Swanson, Franklin College
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.