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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: January ::
New on the SHAKSPER FileServer: AM_REP TEMPEST
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0016. Sunday, 7 January 1996.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Sunday, January 7, 1996
Subject:        New on the SHAKSPER FileServer: AM_REP TEMPEST


As of today, SHAKSPEReans may retrieve G. L. Horton's "Review of the American
Repertory Theatre's *Tempest*" (AM_REP TEMPEST) from the SHAKSPER Fileserver.

To retrieve this review, send a one-line mail message (without a subject line)
to 
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 , reading "GET AM_REP.TEMPEST"

Should you have difficulty receiving this or any of the files on the SHAKSPER
Fileserver, please contact the editor, <
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<
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G. L. Horton notes, "No one had yet commented on it when SHAKSPER went dark:
I'd be interested to hear other people's impressions.  My friends here who saw
it differed wildly in their opinions of its merit."

*******************************************************************************

THE TEMPEST     By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ron Daniels
Starring  Paul Freeman
At the American Repertory Theatre
Reviewed by G.L. Horton

This seems to be the year for ambitious new directorial interpretations of "The
Tempest". Director Ron Daniels says in his American Repertory Theatre
production notes that he is staging "The Tempest" as an encounter between Old
World "nurture" or "culture" and New World "nature",  from which encounter the
European exiles will return to their homeland  "enriched by a greater
understanding of themselves".  But self-understanding, here, turns out to be a
counsel of despair. This "Tempest" is a tale of disillusion, wherein both old
and new world are drained of human warmth.  Friendship, kinship, romance,
degree and courtesy, learning and wit, poetry itself -- all are but phantasims,
brave and diverting while new,  but to the eye of the poet's hard-won wisdom
mere masks for lust and domination.   Power is so corrupting that even the
power of art must be abjured, and the poet-magician resign himself to a state
where "every third thought shall be my grave". The production's design elements
and acting style cooperate in this bleak vision. John Conklin's stark set is a
sun-baked beach, on which a segment of some gigantic marble construction arches
up into the vivid blue sky  "as if a huge instrument for the study of astronomy
has landed violently." All signs of the Pastoral are banished from this version
of Nature.  There are no sheltering caves, no green and leafy bowers, no
blameless rural joys.
 

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