1995

Re: NYSF Tro.; Time; Edgar

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0620.  Thursday, 17 August 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Aug 1995 07:05:26 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0616  Re: NYSF *Tro.*
 
(2)     From:   Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Aug 1995 16:08:16 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Time in H4
 
(3)     From:   John F. Keogh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 17 Aug 1995 19:03:23 +1000
        Subj:   Edgar and your answers
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Aug 1995 07:05:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0616  Re: NYSF *Tro.*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0616  Re: NYSF *Tro.*
 
To G.L. Horton--
 
Well, the fact that we couldn't see the Trojans returning from Battle in 1.2.
isn't necessarily a bad directorial decision--there's much precedent--as that
article (Barbara Hogdon?) "He Do Cressida In Different Voices" documents--for
it. I guess what bugged me most about that scene was the fact that Cressida's
witty comments were lost in (a) over-acting by the actress and (b) the decision
to have about 6 or 7 others (a la Russian Soviet politboro) watching with
Pandarus and Cressida....this diminished the effectiveness. The critical
problem is becoming, for me, this: "How can one do justice to PANDAR as well as
CRESSIDA?" And also, How can one do justice to THERSITIES without totally
robbing from the potential pathos of Achilles?---The problem of lack of
differentiation between the Greeks and Trojans didn't bug me as much, and it
seemed that it was actually intended to some extent (especially because the
director knew he had strong Thersities and Pandarus and THEY seem indifferent
to the distinction!). Aeneas, by the way, gave a good performance. And I too
would suggest that one sits near the middle-- even if one doesn't get to see,
as i did, the full moon rise over the huge picture of Helen that served as the
"curtain"----Chris S.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Aug 1995 16:08:16 -0400
Subject:        Re: Time in H4
 
We noticed the same recurrence of the word/concept of time in Errors.  As an
added fillip to our broad, vaudevillian approach, every character had a watch,
and checked it every time the issue arose.  Led to some very funny parallel
motions developed by the actors; became a running gag, underscoring that
Aristotelian unity thing.
 
Dale
Newnan Community Theatre Company
Newnan, GA
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John F. Keogh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 17 Aug 1995 19:03:23 +1000
Subject:        Edgar and your answers
 
Being new to this list I am none too sure of the acceptable conventions.  I
haven't seen too many thank you letters so I may be doing the wrong thing in
cluttering up the space.
 
I'd like to thank everyone for the answers to my Edgar question I found Carmen
di Biase's answer particularly helpful.
 
I still find  "King Lear" the most difficult of all Shakespeare's plays to
teach.
 
So much of it seems to be "felt".  How do you teach "feeling" to teenagers who
are far more in tune with "Romeo and Juliet" ?
 
Any advice?
John Keogh

Re: *TGV* Ending

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0619.  Wednesday, 16 August 1995.
 
From:           Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 16 Aug 1995 06:23:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0613  Qs: TGV Ending
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0613  Qs: TGV Ending
 
Dear Sarah Elizabeth Richardson--
 
Thank you for your lengthy informative and enjoyable recounting of your staging
of the last scene of TGV--I've only seen the play once and a couple of years
ago--and they didn't play the end with nearly as much insight as you seem to
brign to it (though you make me want to SEE your version--can I procure a video
tape?)--But, I'm curious about why you'd have BOTH women not give their
consent---I don't quite understand the logic. Is it because of Valentine's too
guick forgiveness of Proteus? The way you describe your ending reminds me of
the way I've seen 12N ended with the FOOL and VIOLA walking off sadly after
everyone else as left) and I'm curious how it workd for this play---a play in
which the "problem ending" is definitely more muted but nonetheless there as
you show. Again, thanks, Chris Stroffolino

Q: Edgar

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0617.  Tuesday, 15 August 1995.
 
From:           John F. Keogh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 15 Aug 1995 17:47:18 +1000
Subject:        Edgar in King Lear
 
Why doesn't Edgar reveal himself before he mortally wounds Edmund ? Why wait?
And why doesn't Edmund recognise his voice when he is challenged?. Don't tell
me Edgar does yet another voice at this stage? Isn't it all a bit silly?

Re: Edgar

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0618.  Wednesday, 16 August 1995.
 
(1)     From:   John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Aug 1995 09:50:45 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0617 Q: Edgar
 
(2)     From:   Carmine Di Biase <FCD2@JSUMUS>
        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Aug 95 14:43:37 CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0617 Q: Edgar
 
(3)     From:   Roger D. Gross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Aug 1995 16:55:59 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Edgar's last fight
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Boni <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 15 Aug 1995 09:50:45 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 6.0617 Q: Edgar
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0617 Q: Edgar
 
John Keough asks, "Isn't it all a bit silly," in regards to Edgar's various
"voices" and his choice (oh, can characters "choose"?) not to reveal himself to
Edmund in the fight scene.  Bradley made a list of the "improbabilities" in
*Lear*, including, as I recall, this one.  He then responds to each.
 
Perhaps our paradigm raises questions that Shakespeare's audience (and the
energies of performance) found less bothersome.
 
On the other hand, Edgar's transformation, from "nothing" (that word so
important in KL) to the new king at the end, requires him to adopt many
identities and to speak what he feels, not what he ought to say.  His
fabrication of Gloucester's "salvation" at Dover causes Glo. to feel saved (at
least for a while).  And his revelation to Edmund caused the latter to do "some
good" "despite [his] own nature," quite a turnaround in a Shakespeare
character.
 
That's enough for me.  But perhaps not enough for other SHASKPEReans.
 
John M. Boni
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carmine Di Biase <FCD2@JSUMUS>
Date:           Tuesday, 15 Aug 95 14:43:37 CDT
Subject: 6.0617 Q: Edgar
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0617 Q: Edgar
 
Spiritual blindness seems to me a pervasive theme in Lear.  I find it
beautifully right that Edgar does not reveal himself to Edmund before he wounds
him mortally.  By this late moment in the play both Lear and Gloucester have
grown spiritually.  They have come to know themselves, and they have come to
know their children.  And at this late moment the roles of the children - of
some of them - and their parents are reversed so that Edmund is now the blind
one.  He must not know who his killer is until he is mortally wounded, because
this period of ignorance - or of moral or spiritual blindness - is Edmund's
ordeal.  Brief though it is, it nevertheless has an improving effect on him.
Even its brevity is right, however.  As he dies he attempts to save Cordelia's
life, though of course it's too late.  And the lateness ensures his proper
fate, if we want to see him as a man condemned to hell in a Christian universe.
 
As for Edgar's voice, I'm happily willing to suspend my disbelief, given that
this is a play in which appearances, more so than voices, deceive.  The eyes
are more often deceived here than the ears.  Your point though is well taken,
because Edgar does weary of the Poor Tom voice he must use. Carmine Di Biase
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger D. Gross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 15 Aug 1995 16:55:59 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Edgar's last fight
 
John Keogh asks about Edgar's fight with Edmund.
 
Why doesn't Edgar reveal himself?  He is a fugitive from justice.  Edmund has
an army.  Edgar's only way of getting a fight is to use the ritual challenge
which is not available to wanted criminals.
 
Why doesn't Edmund recognize Edgar's voice?  The real answer is that it is part
of the license granted playwrights.  Audiences usually don't ask such
questions.  If they do, you have already failed.  The audience intuitively
understands that characters see what they seem to see and recognize what they
seem to recognize and that real-world standards are irrelevant.  If you want a
"realistic" reason, try this: Edgar is wearing a helmet.  If you have ever
spoken with a full helmet on, you know that it's a very strange sound, highly
distorted by the excess resonance.
 
Last reason:  the end of the fight is, melodramatically, a much riper moment to
spring the news on everyone.  Shakespeare has a great talent for recognizing
these moments.
 
Beware applying too strict a real-world standard to Shakespeare.  The plays are
"about" reality but Shakespeare is an ultimately practical writer and he knows
he can get away with whatever will most efficiently and effectively make his
points.  Audiences don't really care all that much about accuracy.  The will
allow you almost any license so long as your story is gripping and your actors
believable and compelling.
 
That last scene in LEAR works beautifully and no one in the spell of a good
performance ever asks questions like the ones you pose.
 
Nuts!  Now I'm getting that old "gotta do LEAR again" urge.
 
Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas

Re: NYSF *Tro.*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0616.  Tuesday, 15 August 1995.
 
From:           G. L. Horton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
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.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.