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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: June ::
Re: Elizabethan Directing and Directors
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0442.  Saturday, 3 June 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Ralph Alan Cohen <
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        Date:   Friday, 02 Jun 1995 16:07:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 31 May 1995 to 1 Jun 1995
 
(2)     From:   Stephen Orgel <
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        Date:   Friday, 2 Jun 1995 16:07:28 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0440  Inigo Jones regisseur
 
(3)     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Saturday, 3 Jun 1995 11:18:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: The Director in the Elizabethan Theater
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ralph Alan Cohen <
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Date:           Friday, 02 Jun 1995 16:07:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 31 May 1995 to 1 Jun 1995
 
As to directing for the Elizabethan stage, add to Professor Gurr's list of
things a company had to do in the three week gestation period of a production
that one indispensable duty -- perform the plays already in repertoire for a
paying audience. As always, follow the money . . .
 
Ralph Cohen, JMU and SSE
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Orgel <
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Date:           Friday, 2 Jun 1995 16:07:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 6.0440  Inigo Jones regisseur
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0440  Inigo Jones regisseur
 
Tom Bishop is right that masques would need a director where plays might not. I
think Jones is clearly being credited with the job; here's the sentence: "Nor
are these only his [Jones's] due, but divers other accessions to the
strangeness and beauty of the spectacle, as the hell, the going about of the
chariots [another bit of direction], the binding the witches, the turning
machine...." I'm not sure the binding wouldn't have been done by professionals:
Perseus is a professional; the masquers are all women, and wouldn't have done
it. The chariots have torchbearers, 4 for each, so there are lots of available
men who aren't courtiers.
 
Tom, by the way, knows lots about masque direction, having been deeply involved
in an impressive OBERON in Cleveland a couple of years ago. This exists on
tape, for anyone interested.
 
S. Orgel
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Saturday, 3 Jun 1995 11:18:20 -0400
Subject:        Re: The Director in the Elizabethan Theater
 
All the commentary so far on an experienced troupe of actors being able to
"direct" themselves agrees with my experience at my own community theatre.
Ironically, it is only with Shakespeare that our actors have felt freed enough
to take this challenge to its ultimate.
 
When we did Errors two years ago, I selected 15 actors and then waited two
weeks before assigning roles.  In the interim, we workshopped the script,
trading roles and exploring ways to physicalize the text, very
touchy-feely/acrobatic/ensemble.  The result was a very close-knit cast who all
spoke the same "language."
 
One evening, early in the rehearsals, I had to be at another meeting and had
the cast begin work on selected scenes without me.  When I arrived at the
theatre, I found that the first meeting between A of S and Adriana had turned
into this fabulous World Federation of Wrestling tagteam match.  So much for
the director! :)
 
This physical inventiveness continued up to the last performance: A of E,
trying to batter down the door in III.1 during Balthasar's speech [during which
Balthasar and Angelo snickered uncontrollably], suddenly, without warning,
picked up Dromio and hurled *him* against the door.  Lazzi indeed.
 
So now I'm rereading Brown's *Free Shakespeare* to see how I can get a
significantly larger cast to tackle the significantly more complex *Winter's
Tale* this fall.  This group will hear from me again as I begin to formulate
more questions than I can answer.
 
Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre Company
Newnan, GA
 

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