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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: July ::
Re: *Cym.* Masque
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0569.  Thursday, 20 July 1995.
 
(1)     From:   G.L. Horton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Jul 1995 13:19:04 +0059 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0564 Re; *Cym.* Masque
 
(2)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <LS0796@ALBNYVMS.BITNET>
        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Jul 1995 13:33:58 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0564  Re; *Cym.* Masque
 
(3)     From:   Erika Lin <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 19 Jul 1995 11:35:25 -0700
        Subj:   Re: *Cym.* Masque
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           G.L. Horton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Jul 1995 13:19:04 +0059 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0564 Re; *Cym.* Masque
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0564 Re; *Cym.* Masque
 
I, too, remember the eagle in the Stratford Cymbaline -- in fact, I remember
almost all of that production, one of the highlights of my Shakespeare
playgoing.  If SHAXICON is right and Will played Jupiter in Cym, then I bet the
Jupiter scene was a crowd-wower.  I know it wowed me. I also saw the Papp
in-the-park production that same season.  In that one, it was the more intimate
scenes that were most effective.  I don't remember the Jupiter scene, but I
doubt that it was cut, because the surreal costuming and choreography of the
battle scenes were such a distinctive part of the show that the opportunity for
further surrealism should have been irresistable.  But it didn't wow me. The
Jupiter scene was one of the better ones in the ineffective Huntington Theatre
production here in Boston a few years back -- but that may have been because
the Posthumous was excellent, and the scene's power was directly connected to
the hero's conversion and redemption. G.L. Horton
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <LS0796@ALBNYVMS.BITNET>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Jul 1995 13:33:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0564  Re; *Cym.* Masque
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0564  Re; *Cym.* Masque
 
I saw Cymbeline last year at the MOUNT (edith Wharton house) and they, alas,
cut the "vision/theophany" scene--but they had a very young cast (it was their
b or c cast) and, aside from a terrible frat-boy Jachimo, it was not a bad
place to take my father to (his first Shakespeare play!)---There is a book in
the "Shakespeare in Performance" scene by, I forget who (Roger Warren?) that
makes a good case for performace of that scene in the play. Chris Stroffolino
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Erika Lin <
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Date:           Wednesday, 19 Jul 1995 11:35:25 -0700
Subject:        Re: *Cym.* Masque
 
This is my first posting, so hello to everyone on SHAKSPER.  I've been a silent
reader for the last 8 months and have enjoyed the discussions on this mailing
list immensely.
 
I directed a very low-budget _Cymbeline_ at U.C.-Berkeley in April of 1994.
When I read the stage direction (I believe it's something like "Jupiter
descends in thunder and lightning, riding on an eagle"--I'm quoting from memory
here), I could only laugh.  We were performing outside with no lights, no
sound, no special effects, and no real set.  A good 50% of our total budget
went for publicity, another 25% went for costumes.  My original plan was to
have Jupiter walk up the center aisle of the audience, delivering his lines in
a booming voice.  Because of the blocking situation with the ghosts, the final
choice was to have Jupiter simply walk out of an entrance upstage center.  The
effect depended much on the ghost's reactions and on Jupiter having a _very_
loud voice.  I think ultimately it was much more effective than rigging up a
contraption that looked something like an papier-mache eagle.  It would have
been much more distracting to have a cheap "special effect" than to have no
effect at all.
 
We had the same problem with getting the trunk onstage for the Iachimo- Imogen
scene.  The only trunk available large enough to fit the 6'2" Iachimo was too
heavy to carry, and trying to wheel it up the walkway would have been too
noisy.  Finally we just left the trunk onstage but to the side from the start
of the play.  When the time came for Iachimo to climb in the trunk, Cloten and
his lords entered from the audience center aisle, noisily and drunkenly.  I had
a friend who came to more than a few rehearsals, and one day he told me he had
just one question: Each time he kept trying to look for how Iachimo got inside
the trunk, and then suddenly he would realize it had already happened and he
had missed it again.  How did Iachimo do it?  The answer was, of course, right
in front of everyone.  He just finished his scene, walked over to the trunk,
and got in.  The amazing thing was nobody saw him do it.
 
It seems to me that productions that use dynamics intrinsic to the nature of
theatre are often as effective if not more so than high-budget productions with
fancy special effects which draw too much attention to themselves and take away
focus from the action of the scene.  I am constantly amazed at the way theatre
works and the effects it can create without the help of fancy technical gadgets
or large sums of money.
 
Erika Lin
University of California at Berkeley
 

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