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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Re: *MV* as Banned Play; African *Mac.*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0805. Wednesday, 18 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Bradley S. Berens <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 17 Oct 1995 11:18:22 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0802 *MV* as banned play
 
(2)     From:   Cynthia Dessen <
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 >
        Date:   Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 07:44:48 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0803 African *Mac.*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley S. Berens <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 17 Oct 1995 11:18:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0802 *MV* as banned play
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0802 *MV* as banned play
 
For Jan Kraft, who writes:
 
*******************************************************
I'm hoping someone on the list can help me with a problem.  A literature
class in which I am currently enrolled is covering a chapter on books and
plays which have been banned in the schools at one time or other.  One
of the listed plays was Merchant of Venice.  Does anyone out there know why,
where and how it was banned.  I've not been able to find much information
beyond the anti-semitism complaint and I'd be curious to learn a little
more in detail.
***********************************************************************
 
Jan, there *is* nothing beyond the "anti-semitism complaint" with regard to
banning and this play.  Three or so summers ago, the Jewish community in Santa
Cruz, CA raised a big stink about SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ performing the play
specifically because they felt it to be an anti-semitic piece.  Two summers
ago, the outgoing artistic director Danny Scheie directed an interesting
production which de-emphasized Shylock in favor of the romance plot.  As a Jew
and a Shakespearean in the audience, I was uncomfortable with the emphasis, but
very interested. One of Danny's best tricks is doubling, and the most memorable
double was when Shylock and Lorenzo were played by the same actor (Jessica's
move from father to husband was made quite strange by this).
 
This production and three others were recently discussed in a theater journal,
the name of which I'm forgetting at the moment.  Does anyone know?
 
The place to find out about banning is in production history, probably, rather
than literary criticism.  Ed Gero-- can you come to my rescue on this one?
 
Sincerely yours,
Brad Berens
Dept. of English
U.C. Berkeley
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cynthia Dessen <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 18 Oct 1995 07:44:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0803 African *Mac.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0803 African *Mac.*
 
The African Macbeth was put on last year by a group directed by Stephen Rayne
and calling themselves Committed Artists of Great Britain. I am not sure what
they call themselves this year; they were to do Romeo and Juliet this fall and
Macbeth in the spring, but they have cancelled the tour at the last moment, due
to financial problems, leaving a lot of schools in the lurch. However, they are
not an arm of the RSC; like ACTER, which I manage, they use actors with
experience in the RSC and National, but they are not a legitimate part of the
RSC touring company, nor are they authorized to advertise themselves as such.
They do have a multi-racial cast and do a few workshops in the places they
perform, but unlike ACTER they travel with large sets and costumes, and do not
spend a week doing a teaching residency, as we do. ACTER's Romeo and Juliet
tour is currently in progress; reports are that the production is very good,
selling out most places, and they are in Furman this week. If you want more
info on ACTER or the 1996 Spring tour of Macbeth or the 1996-97 season (filling
up fast), contact me at 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  or 919-967-4265(phone and fax).
 

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