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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: August ::
Re: NYSF *Tro.*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0616.  Tuesday, 15 August 1995.
 
From:           G. L. Horton <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Aug 1995 18:59:08 -0400
Subject: 6.0615 Productions: *Ham.*; *Ado*; *Tro.* (fwd)
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0615 Productions: *Ham.*; *Ado*; *Tro.* (fwd)
 
I second Chris Stroffolino's comments about the NYSF TROILUS, although I
thought the cast was unusually even, with strong acting throughout.  I would
recommend that the viewer try to sit towards the center, except that I don't
think the ticket distribution system makes it possible for anyone but a
subscriber to do that.  Mark Wing-Davey has a deep set behind and above the
large playing space that corresponds to the classical orchestra, and scenes
that take place within that space are invisible to about 25% of the audience,
left and right.
 
Another set of directorial choices make following the action difficult: The
ceremonial "return from battle" where all the Trojan heroes pass under the
walls, while Pandarus above points them out and praises or disparages them, is
cut.  Pandarus does the lines, but the actors don't troop past, and the
opportunity to figure out which Trojan is which is given up.  The lighting of
the production and the way that the miking of voices changes the direction of
the sound means that this is a continuing problem, even when, like
SHAKSPERians,the auditor is familiar with the text.  You hear a speeh that you
know is being spoken by the character Aeneas, but you can't tell which of the
actors onstage is speaking -- so which of those costumed figures is Aeneas?
Some few -- Nestor, Priam, Ajax, --  are clearly marked; but it takes a long
time to sort out the rest of them.  This is compounded because skincolor,
haircuts, ceremonial robes, etc are distributed in a rather random way that
makes it very hard to tell the Trojans from the Greeks. When the Greek
"infantry" is in camp and relaxing, they are all in khaki, while the Trojans
keep their breastplates on even when off duty.  But as soon as the officers put
on their gorgeous silk outer robes, or the armies put on armor and fight, it's
"Who's On first?" all over again. I would have thought that this confusion was
intended, and had a metaphorical purpose, except that when I COULD tell who's
who, the subtle interplay between the actors/characters made the scene so much
richer.  My theory is that they were all so intent on constructing this
richness that they forgot that those of us out front didn't get to see the
rehearsals and need to be clued in. On the other hand, this is a production
that I would be happy to sit through three or four more times, just to be sure
that I "got" everything.  Intelligent, forcefull, emotionally committed -- a
T&C to remember.
 

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