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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: November ::
Qs: Production Lists Project; *Shr.* Irony
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0898.  Tuesday, 14 November 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Michael Swanson <
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        Date:   Monday, 13 Nov 1995 21:29:34 -0500
        Subj:   Production Lists Project
 
(2)     From:   Bernie Folan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Nov 95 16:12:00 gmt
        Subj:   Irony at close of The Taming of the Shrew
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Swanson <
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Date:           Monday, 13 Nov 1995 21:29:34 -0500
Subject:        Production Lists Project
 
Please excuse cross-posting, as well as the length of this message.
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
I am writing to ask your help with a research project that I believe could be
of substantial service to the American educational theatre community, and
indeed to the theatre community as a whole.  Please take a few minutes to read
my request and to respond by mailing back the enclosed card.
 
From the late 1940s through the mid-1970s, various theatre scholars directed a
survey of college and university theatre productions known as the Production
Lists Project.  Under the auspices of the old American Educational Theatre
Association and American Theatre Association, lists of plays produced were
annually collected, arranged into useful lists (i.e., ranking the most produced
plays, musicals, playwrights, and one-acts), and printed in the Educational
Theatre Journal  (now Theatre Journal ).  The project last saw publication in
1976.
 
A paper given by Rick Jones at the 1994 Association for Theatre in Higher
Education (ATHE) conference on the subject of theatre production seasons
inspired me to consider compiling the titles of college and university plays
produced, so as to provide the field with a much better picture of educational
theatre production in the United States than is now available.  Are colleges
and universities producing more recent or original plays than in the past, as
some have suggested in recent years?  Are there fewer Shakespearean
productions?  More Moli=E8re or Marivaux?  Fewer musicals?  More plays by
people of color or by women?  Only such a survey can truly give us such
information, which might also allow us to develop a better overall picture of
national educational theatre production trends. My hope is that the production
information, which will be compiled with the File Maker Pro software program,
might eventually be made available to researchers and to members of the field
through journal publication and through Internet access to the database.
 
To begin this project, my home institution, Franklin College, has awarded me a
grant to fund the initial setup of and the first year's operating costs for
such a project.  At its April 1995 meeting, the ATHE Board of Governors stated
its support for the concept of such a study, in terms of its potential
usefulness to the field.  The next step is up to you.  Please send me a list of
the plays your United States university, college, or conservatory theatre
program produced in the 1994 - 95 academic season, including the summer of
1995.  Mailing me a season brochure by surface mail, if it's still an accurate
record of your season, is a perfectly appropriate way to submit these titles.
Please indicate whether any of these plays were musicals, one-acts, original
works, or plays by people of color or by women.  If you send by e-mail, I will
acknowledge receipt of the information.  If things go well, you will receive a
similar request, by e-mail, next and subsequent summers.
 
Thanks for the time you've taken to read this, and, I hope, to respond to my
request.  I look forward to hearing from you, and to eventually providing you
with a better picture of American educational theatre production than has been
available to us since 1976 .
 
Yours truly,
Michael Swanson
Chair, Fine Arts Department
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bernie Folan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 95 16:12:00 gmt
Subject:        Irony at close of The Taming of the Shrew
 
I am working on how to approach the following question - How ironical is
Katherine's last speech in relation to the play as a whole?
 
My problem is that I'm not quite sure whether I should read this as
 
1) Does K mean what she says about the qualities of a good wife or is she being
ironic? or
 
2) How ironical this final speech is in that it marks a complete change in her
attitudes from the start of the play.
 
Is Katherine a changed woman or is she a newly aware woman giving tips to the
new wives she is speaking to?  Is the irony in her change or in her realising
what the change *should* be for a wife?
 
When I studied the play the fact that Katherine had changed into a submissive
wife was a given - I'm not now sure that she has.  Perhaps she's just learned
what she needs to do to be a "good" wife (as learned in the sun/moon scene).  I
don't want any answers - I'm quite happy to do that part. Just ideas on the
source of the irony being questioned to help me with my approach.
 
Bernie Folan <
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