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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Marlowe Novels; Spelling; Laughter; Web Page; *WT*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0785.  Friday, 13 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Oct 95 09:35:35 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 6.078  Re: Marlowe Novels
 
(2)     From:   Michael Best <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Oct 1995 08:52:53 -0700
        Subj:   In Defence of Approximate Spelling
 
(3)     From:   Jeff Goode <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Oct 1995 12:50:36 -0400
        Subj:   Laughter in Mac
 
(4)     From:   Leslie D. Harris  <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Oct 95 19:33:00 PDT
        Subj:   Shakespeare Multimedia Project Web Page
 
(5)     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Oct 1995 07:56:31 -0400
        Subj:   *WT* Production
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Oct 95 09:35:35 -0500
Subject: Re: Marlowe Novels
Comment:        SHK 6.078  Re: Marlowe Novels
 
As one of the obsessive Marlowe novel readers, I wanted to thank Douglas Abel
for his post, but also to let other interested folks know that the Playwrights
Union of Canada has a new phone number (and the 800 number doesn't seem to work
when calling from the U.S.): (416) 703-0201. They take VISA but not MasterCard.
(I'm ordering your play, Doug, as soon as I can borrow my partner's VISA card!)
 
Chris Gordon
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Best <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Oct 1995 08:52:53 -0700
Subject:        In Defence of Approximate Spelling
 
                                O gentle son,
     Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
     Sprinkle cool patience.
              (_Hamlet_, somewhere)
 
While it's good to know that academics are human (bleed and flame and so on),
I'd like to offer a gentle defence of misspellings, typos, vague references to
books, and such informalities. It is important (to me anyway) that we all be
free to dash of a quick response to a thread without running it through our
spell checkers, grammar checkers, culture checkers, and so on before posting.
The level of formality on this list is already higher than on most (we are
after all proud of our wordsmithing and our sensitivities). Can we agree to do
without the dreaded "[sic]" as we comment on each other's postings?
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeff Goode <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Oct 1995 12:50:36 -0400
Subject:        Laughter in Mac
 
Jimmy: Without seeing the scene, it is, of course, difficult to guess, but...
 
I would like to note that there is quite a bit of humor in MACBETH (and not
just the Porter) and all of it is appropriate.
 
There tends to be a modern misconception that the three unities are Time,
Space, and Mood.  This is a belief that the Elizabethan/Jacobean playwrights
did not share.  Their eclectic style embraces comedy even in the tragedies.
There can be no doubt that Juliet's Nurse is a comic character, but that
doesn't in any way diminish the tragedy of R&J.  The comic moments in (pick a
title) are not flaws in the text, but an integral part of how the play works.
 
Example: When I was researching 'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE, I found that
historically many directors have tried to remove the extraneous comic subplot
involving Bergetto and Poggio, or downplay their humor in keeping with the mood
of the main story.  I also found that historically the critics, in those cases,
generally found the play to be OVERBEARINGLY tragic.  The clowns are critical
to the success of the play, because the lighter moments keep the audience
comfortable as they are drawn deeper into the depravity of the main story.  The
death of Bergetto  is MORE tragic if he is our beloved clown. And after his
death, the audience finds itself inextricably caught up in Jacobean bloodbath
that is the more horrific for it's absent comedy.  Romeo & Juliet works in
exactly the same way.
 
So I would like to suggest (only for the sake of argument) that an other
possible explanation is that you were caught off guard by the audience'
laughter because you had preconceptions about the moment, which the rest of the
audience did not share, so they were more able to go along with the director's
(and possibly the playwright's) sense of humor in that scene.
 
...JEFF
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Leslie D. Harris  <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Oct 95 19:33:00 PDT
Subject:        Shakespeare Multimedia Project Web Page
 
Hi, Folks.
 
Last Fall, I had my Shakespeare students use multimedia authoring software to
annotate passages from a Shakespeare play of their choice.  They worked in
small groups, with each group responsible for a passage from one of the plays
we read during the semester.  (I described the project to the list last year.)
The idea was to make them "editors of the future," choosing what words to
annotate, what useful graphics to include, and so on.
 
I've created a Web page about the project, whose URL changed recently.  (My
Computer Center let me know that a few folks have tried to access the page at
the old address.)  Here's the new URL:
 
     http://www.susqu.edu/ac_depts/arts_sci/english/lharris/shakweb/shakmult
.htm
 
I've included some documents related to the project, along with a few screen
captures from a sample student project on "the Scottish play."  Happy viewing!
 
Leslie Harris
Susquehanna University
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Oct 1995 07:56:31 -0400
Subject:        *WT* Production
 
Re our production of WT:
 
Part I is breathtaking.  Our Leontes is worth your time to drive to Newnan, GA.
 Part II still needs work, but it too will cause the audience to suck wind.
 
Details I think you might appreciate: when the Shepherd picks up the baby, I've
told him to do all those "pretty one"s as baby talk to the baby--and suddenly
there's the warmest moment in the play so far.  It almost seems to become the
turning point of the play.
 
Our Hermione doesn't put it on her resume, but early in her career she was a
living mannikin at a major mall.  So not only is she able to do the statue
thing, but when we perceive she moves, it is truly startling.  We have her all
the way upstage R on our wide and shallow stage, with the rest of the cast on
the other side; it's parallel to the staging of the trial scene.
 
We can take a vote on this one: when Autolycus tells the Shepherd and the Clown
that he's going to "look on the hedge," we have him doing just that: taking a
leak upstage and finishing his speech over his shoulder.  It's ridiculously
vulgar, truly funny, but should we do it?  Our audiences are unflappable, by
the way.
 
When you do this play, costume it in jeans and t-shirts.  Trust me.
 
I don't think I've mentioned that the costuming for this show is being
supported by several grants and donations under the title of the NCTC
Elizabethan Costume Project.  After WT is over, the costumes will become part
of a project wherein we loan them to area high schools as a part of an
integrated curriculum approach to Shakespeare, literature, and history.  Each
school will get a notebook of lesson plans, handouts, and research projects
[written by me--I'm also an educational designer] that will show the teachers
how to use not only the costumes but also music, dance, and art in the regular
classroom.  Any ideas you might have for this notebook would greatly be
appreciated.
 
Our Mamillius is going to be charming, even if I do report it who should be
silent.  In casting my own 7-year-old son, I thought it was important to have a
Mamillius 1) who could read; and 2) whose TV privileges I could revoke.
 
The sheepshearing scene keeps getting shorter and shorter, Fortune be praised.
For future reference, you can cut two pages between Florizel's "where we're
going you don't need to know" and Camillo's "Have you thought of where you
might go?" without serious damage.
 
The satyr dance is short and satisfying.  I've given the actors carte blanche
to decorate their burlap ponchos any way they choose, and they've responded
with all manner of furs, animal head, horns, twigs, leaves, etc.
 
All in all, the more the show comes together, the more apparent it is how
incredibly complex and rich its universe is.  My only fear is that it appears
that way to us because of concentrated study, but that we will fail to make it
immediately apparent to our audiences.  But then, that's always my fear. :)
 
Exhaustedly,
Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company
 

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