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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: July ::
PSF's *Ado*; "To be" Speech; White Othello
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0579.  Monday, 24 July 1995.
 
(1)     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Sunday, 23 Jul 1995 21:07:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: MUCH ADO
 
(2)     From:   John Chapot <
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        Date:   Sunday, 23 Jul 1995 13:55:09 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0571 Q: "To be or not . . . " Speech
 
(3)     From:   James Schaefer <SCHAEFEJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Monday, 24 Jul 1995 10:14:01 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0573  Re: Othello
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 23 Jul 1995 21:07:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: MUCH ADO
 
Last Wednesday night, I happened to be at the opening night of MUCH ADO at the
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at Allentown College, and I was happily
impressed.  Unfortunately, I've misplaced my program, and the names of the
actors have escaped me. But Benedick is excellent, and he beautifully conveys
that the shaving of his beard is more than simply the loss of facial hair; it's
an index to his change in character.  Beatrice is petite, red haired, vivacious
-- and married to Benedick offstage as well as on (or so I recall).  They work
very well together. There's lots of good business.
 
Claudio is played with a Scottish accent -- because the actor is Scots?  And
poor Hero is young, innocent, and blonde.  Don Pedro is a fairly colorless
administrative type, and Don John, long, thin, and diabolic. He doesn't twirl
his mustachios, but you could imagine him doing so. Borachio never appears
terribly drunk, but he is acrobatic.  Dogberry is played a la Bill Murray: fat,
young, handsome, and stupid -- and the audience loved him.
 
In fact, the audience was very appreciative.  They didn't get all the jokes,
but they got most of them and they laughed heartily.
 
The stage is Shavian in detail -- no undifferentiated stage here.  There's a
trellis for climbing and acrobatics, trees for Benedick to dance with.  And
there are three levels at least for action -- and the director, by using the
different levels,  pointed some nice parallels between Beatrice and Benedick,
and Hero and Claudio.
 
I laughed; I cried; I had fun. I think we all did. If you can get to Allentown
before August 5, it's worth the $14 for a ticket.  And let me recommend the
Spring Valley Inn for a pre-play dinner.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Chapot <
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Date:           Sunday, 23 Jul 1995 13:55:09 -0400
Subject: 6.0571 Q: "To be or not . . . " Speech
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0571 Q: "To be or not . . . " Speech
 
John Fletcher's 1991 production here at ACT in San Francisco had Hamlet reading
the speech from a small card at a high rate of speech while striding briskly
across the stage. He stopped midway and reflected and slowed down for the
remainder. I don't remember if Polonius or Ophelia were present, but the effect
was that the speech had come from elsewhere, or that he had written it earlier.
 
John Chapot
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Schaefer <SCHAEFEJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Monday, 24 Jul 1995 10:14:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0573  Re: Othello
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0573  Re: Othello
 
It was not posted as part of the cultural relativism thread, but Rick Jones's
comment about a possible white Othello -- "I'm no advocating this choice, but
I'd buy a ticket to see what happened in this production" -- is a wonderfully
concise statement of, to my mind, the perfect position for both a critic and an
educator (and performances are both critism and education).  An "essay" is not
just an assignment for undergraduates, it should be our way of life: tentative,
inquisitive, explortion without gunboat diplomacy.  Or as my dissertation
advisor use to say, "Always rehearsal."  None of us has a corner on Truth.
 
Jim Schaefer
 

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