1996

Shrew in Performance

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0169.  Tuesday, 5 March 1996.

From:           Robert Appelbaum <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 10:46:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Shrew in Performance

The African American Shakespeare Company is currently staging _Shrew_ in San
Francisco at the Next Stage Theatre, in rep with a multicultural _Merchant_
staged by Second Wind Productions.  I haven't seen either yet, and they are
only running for a couple of more weeks, but _Shrew_ received a favorable
review in the Feb. 28 San Francisco Bay Guardian, which can be accessed
on-line, I believe, at http://www.sfbayguardian.com.

The reviewer, Dennis Harvey, raises an interesting question over and above his
admiration for this particular performance.  "Ask what this area needs, theater
programming-wise, and 'more Shakespeare' would not likely appear at the top of
anyone's list....  The summertime Shakespeare glut [in the Bay Area] is so
thick by now that I groan whenever the Bard turns up 'off-season.'"

One worries whether the profusion of Shakespearean performances in the Bay Area
and elsewhere -- often by acting companies whose personnel are insufficiently
trained and experienced in Shakespeare, although that's another matter --
doesn't also mask the dearth of contemporary theater here and elsewhere.  Not
that people in the theater aren't trying; but the economics of theater today
may such that the only way to encourage new playwrights and the performance of
new plays at the professional level, especially to provide new playwrights and
directors with the continued experience in the theater they would need in order
to perfect their skills, would be to provide considerably more government
funding than is likely to come forth these days.  The performance of
Shakespeare, whether straight or in drag (as it were), may be to theater what
the performance of Mozart and Beethoven is to symphonic music.  One doesn't
object to it; one encourages it; it seems to be necessary to the culture of
performers and performances.  But one worries about our lack of support (in
places like the Bay Area at least) for new theater, in spite of the fact that
there is a lot of _desire_ for new theater, in spite of the many financial
sacrifices that people in the theater are often willing to make in order to
provide for it, and in spite of the many low-budget experiments that in fact
find their way into performance.

I'm wondering if people in academic and theater communities elsewhere would be
willing to comment on this situation.  And P.S., when I refer to "new theater,"
I don't mean David Mamet or Tony Kushner, much as I admire the work of both
playwrights, and am happy to attend a performance of any of their plays
whenever I can.  I mean precisely all those other playwrights who are not
breaking through to the professional stage, and who are not being given a
chance to develop their skills _in_ the theater.  Is it perhaps the case that
we need "Shakespeare" these days (along with, say, Mamet and Stoppard and
Kushner) in order to garner the support of a theatergoing public and especially
the support of subsidies from private foundations and government agencies?

Just asking.  But no, I will probably not be satisfied with answers concerning
how "vital" regional theater happens to in any particular Podunk, or how such
and such a place (e.g. Louisville) holds a two-week festival for new plays.  If
these are exceptions to the rule, they also prove the rule.  In the U.S. at
least, it seems to me, the real issue seems to me to be how we can do the
impossible, increase rather than decrease the funding of the National Endowment
for the Arts, and earmark increased funds for theatrical experimentation -- for
theater which doesn't rely on the Bard as an excuse for existing.

Robert Appelbaum

Conferences

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0168.  Tuesday, 5 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Carol Boettger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 09:18:58 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   RE: Sixth World Shakespeare Congress

(2)     From:   Sara Jayne Steen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 10:25:38 -0500
        Subj:   Conference Call


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Boettger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 09:18:58 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        RE: Sixth World Shakespeare Congress

Sixth World Shakespeare Congress: Theatrical Performances

The _Los Angeles Times_ "Theater Notes" of March 3 reported on the Sixth World
Shakespeare Congress Performing Arts Festival at the Los Angeles Theater
Center.  Don Shirley's article stated that "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will be
set on a Navajo reservation.  A Southern California naval base will be the
setting for "Twelfth Night". "Measure for Measure" will be set in Newt
Gingrich's Washington.

Additional performances listed in the Congress Social Programme include "Venus
and Adonis" performed by Ben Stewart. I had the pleasure of seeing his
excellent one-man dramatization of V&A at Shakespeare Orange County last
summer, and I highly recommend it. At that time, his performance of the entire
work took almost two hours. In the World Congress program, his performance is
scheduled for only one hour. I look forward to seeing his enactment of the poem
again, even if cuts have been necessary.

Carol Boettger

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sara Jayne Steen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 10:25:38 -0500
Subject:        Conference Call

Please note the following announcement for the Rocky Mountain Medieval and
Renaissance Association Meeting for 1997.  The meeting always has sessions on
Shakespeare, and you are welcome to propose papers or full sessions.

Sara Jayne Steen
President, RMMRA


                  ************************************************
               Please Cross-Post to other lists or bulletin boards

The Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association will meet in Banff,
Alberta, Canada, May 15-18 1997.   Papers may concern any medieval or early
modern subject (e.g., Literature in any language used in the period, Theatre,
History, Art History, Science, Philosophy, Travel and Exploration).  Except by
prior arrangement, papers should take no more than twenty minutes of reading
time.  They may be delivered in either English or French.

Proposals for sessions must reach the conference organizers by October 1, 1996;
completed papers accompanied by 200-word abstracts must be postmarked no later
than January 31, 1997.

Inquiries, proposals for sessions, and MSS should be sent to Professor Jean
MacIntyre, Department of English, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta,
Canada T6G 2E5.
FAX:  (403) 492-8142.
E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Voice:  (403) 492-3258 [Dept.], (403) 492-4148 [office]

Sara Jayne Steen
Professor of English
Montana State University-Bozeman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Educational Videos; Sh. on Film Newsletter;

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0166.  Tuesday, 5 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Ted Nellen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 00:39:16 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0161 Re: Educational Videos

(2)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 07:57:48 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Shakespeare on Film Newsletter

(3)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 08:19:47 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0161  Re: Pen/Ink


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ted Nellen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 00:39:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0161 Re: Educational Videos
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0161 Re: Educational Videos

Absolutely use these Barton videos. They are brillant and are a great
assistance to any teacher.  I used them as the core to my classes when my kids
performed Shakespeare.  They were not above the heads of my NYC public high
school kids. In fact they enjoyed the methods of Barton and seeing some familar
faces.  My personl favorite section is his discourse on "Time".  Brillant
stuff.

Cheers,
Ted

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 07:57:48 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Shakespeare on Film Newsletter

Dear Fellow Subscribers, It's been drawn to my attention that in a recent
posting about the DUCHESS OF MALFI, my report of the "defunctness" of the
Shakespeare on Film Newsletter was grossly exaggerated. Freshly incarnated, it
survives in the pages of SHAKESPEARE BULLETIN, published at Lafayette College,
Easton PA 18042, and edited by James Lusardi and June Schlueter. Back issues of
the Shakespeare on Film Newsletter may be ordered from the editors, who
inherited the files when SFNL closed down. There's also a complete index that
includes a citation to David Carnegie's DUCHESS OF Malfi review in vol. 12, no.
1 (December 1987).

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 08:19:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0161  Re: Pen/Ink
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0161  Re: Pen/Ink

Pen/Ink/Pencils

I remember reading that pencils first came into use in the late 1500's, but
don't remember exactly when, or who invented them.

Stephanie Hughes

Re: Sources for Othello; Malfi Video; Volpone; FE

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0167.  Tuesday, 5 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:23:42 +0200
        Subj:   Re. Sources for Othello

(2)     From:   John Dorenkamp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Malfi Video

(3)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:11:54 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re Volpone

(4)     From:   Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 1996 19:32:41 -0800
        Subj:   Funeral Elegy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:23:42 +0200
Subject:        Re. Sources for Othello

Here is a source that Emilie Roi recently had posted in the "Jerusalem Post".
She cites the historian A.L. Rowse and a book by David Lasocki and Roger Prior,
"The Bassanos:Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers in England, 1531-1665"
(Aldershot, Hampshire, Scolar Press)> Roi says that in this Jewish converso,
musician family there were friends of William Shakespeare and even his dark
lady, Emilia Bassano.  She mentions two of the family "members were described
as 'black men.' And is it a coincidence that the mulberry tree [think of the
ornament on Othello's handkerchief] on the Bassano shield is in Italian called
'Moro' for Moor, a dark person?" That would be a twist, wouldn't it be, if
Othello had been a Jew? By the way Othello can be translated from the Hebrew to
mean out= sign, el= god, o= masculine ending. In other words the name can mean
stigmatized; it can also mean circumcised , which applys to Moslems too. The
findings of this book has great relevance for MV and the sonnets as well as
such matters as authorship, musicality and who knows what more. I have ordered
it.

Florence Amit
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Dorenkamp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:55:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Malfi Video

A few years ago (maybe even 10 if that is possible), I rented a copy of the BBC
Duchess of Malfi from Indiana University's Audio Visual Services.  I suspect it
is still available.  Unfortunately I no longer have their address or phone
number. (It was part of the detritus of which I unburdened myself upon
retirement).  Nonetheless, they were very cooperative and had, as I remember,
an extensive collection.

The Duchess of Malfi, with Eileen Atkins in the title role, was indeed part of
a PBS series called something like "Classic Drama,"  which included a very fine
"Edward II," and (I think, although memory may not serve well here) a good
production of "The Changeling."  Apparently the BBC series became property of
Time-Life (although when I was searching for it, they knew nothing of it).  At
any rate, give Indiana a try.  It's a version well worth seeing.

John Dorenkamp
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 09:11:54 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        Re Volpone

You have raise, doubtless without direct intention, the vital question to which
the answer is "It depends who plays Volpone".

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard J Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 1996 19:32:41 -0800
Subject:        Funeral Elegy

I really don't mean to whip the Funeral Elegy, and I say let the unknown W.S.
rest in peace and say things in heaven to his friend William Peter that he
didn't get down too well in a poem, but all the while we must remind outselves
of Shakespeare, his excellent fancy in recommending his love and his poetry to
the ages.  Here is Sonnet 55.

        "Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
        Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rime;
        But you shall shine more bright in these contents,
        Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
        When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
        And broils root out the work of masonry,
        Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
        The living record of your memory.
        'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
        Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
        Even in the eyes of all posterity
        That wear this world out to the ending doom.
             So, till the judgement that you yourself arise,
             You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes."

If Shakespeare wrote the Funeral Elegy, you've got to wonder what happened to
him between sonnet 55, a poem which has truely purchased immortal life for the
memory of his man (or woman) and, the half-hearted lease on time that W.S.
takes out for poor William Peter. (FE, Lines 195-204.)

           "What can we leave behind us but a name,
           Which, by a life well led, may honor have?
           Such honor, O thou youth untimely lost,
           Thou didst deserve and hast; for though thy soul
           Hath took her flight to a diviner coast,
           Yet here on earth thy fame lives ever whole,
           In every heart sealed up, in every tongue
           Fit matter for discourse, no day prevented
           That pities not thy sad and sudden wrong,
           Of all alike beloved and lamented."

Anyone who would charge both sonnet 55 and these several lines of the Elegy to
the same man is in danger of being discarded and forgotten within a year's
time,  "fit matter for discourse" only in derision.

Re: About This List

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0165.  Tuesday, 5 March 1996.

(1)     From:   Peter Herman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 4 Mar 1996 21:07:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0164 About This List

(2)     From:   Nora Kreimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 01:21:30 ARG
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0164  About This List

(3)     From:   Louis Scheeder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 01:35:07 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0164 About This List

(4)     From:   Heather Stephenson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 09:04:27 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0164 About This List

(5)     From:   Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 11:03:33 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   About This List

(6)     From:   Timothy Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 09:18:56 -0700
        Subj:   Two mailing lists (of Verona?)


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Herman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 4 Mar 1996 21:07:26 -0500
Subject: 7.0164 About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0164 About This List

It seems to me that Michael Saenger's suggestion is an invitation to elitism
and defeats the entire purpose of the 'net in general and these lists in
particular. Who is to decide what is chatter and what is not? And who is to say
that answers to neophyte Shakespeareans can't be of use to the rest of us?
Furthermore, what role will ideology and critical orientation play in deciding
who gets to play in the majors and who gets shunted to the bush leagues (and
Saenger's language certainly implies these value judgments)? Will John
Drakakis' witty, left of center attacks on empiricism or essentialism be deemed
less worthy than, say, the less exciting, more conventionally scholarly
discussions of feminine endings in the FE? If Saenger finds a topic
uninteresting or irrelevant to his concerns, then I suggest he avail himself of
the delete button and move on.

Peter C. Herman
Dept. of English
Georgia State U

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Nora Kreimer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 01:21:30 ARG
Subject: 7.0164  About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0164  About This List

I join ranks with Saenger and pluck off the red rose. I want serious academic
discussion on the one hand and a chat list for more frivolous moments. I'll
susbcribe to the other one, whichever that is, so that I get, like Shakespeare,
the best of both worlds.

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Scheeder <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 01:35:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0164 About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0164 About This List

And dialogue, drama, conflict, and controversy would end.

Louis Scheeder
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heather Stephenson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 09:04:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 7.0164 About This List
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0164 About This List

With English departments still debating the import of cultural studies (in
opposition to canonical studies... or so goes the debate), I have a  question
regarding Michael Saenger's request for two lists:

Who is going to get to define the terms "chatter" and "highest level of
debate?"

And will serious submissions be "put in their place" by the suggestion that
they belong on the "chat" list?  I have always considered myself one who was
all for elitism, but the thought of this "policing" bothers me.

Heather Stephenson
Georgetown University

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 05 Mar 1996 11:03:33 +0000 (HELP)
Subject:        About This List

But my dear fellow, garlic and sapphires in the mud, don't you know, and this
particular axle tree is not really clotted like the cream you desire, but
accommodates all sort and conditions of minds.

...even those who in their haste would mistype and thereby miss the odd plural,
the odder comma and often abjure through carelessness the dreaded semicolon. We
can hear here from the mute inglorious Miltons who don't pepper their notes
with quotations and echoes as I have, usually unnoticedperhaps, made my habit.
Quite a few of us rush to comment, and I have many times found this rather
stimulating.

*What* in me it stimulates is up to me.

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Timothy Reed <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 5 Mar 1996 09:18:56 -0700
Subject:        Two mailing lists (of Verona?)

Regarding your proposal to split the SHAKSPER mailing list in two:

As well intentioned as it sounds, trying to split the SHAKSPER mailing list
simply will not work. One person's definition of chatter is invaluable
information to another. I often am very interested in the replies to a request
for info...on the Pennington "Hamlet" book, for instance. There's a good chance
I'll be playing Hamlet this fall, and I would never have heard of the book
without this resource.

Your request sounds like one that is frequently made by those new to mailing
lists or newsgroups on the net. This is not meant as an insult, merely an
observation; if your experience is otherwise, I apologize. Self moderation will
not work. People are just too likely to reply to a message without thinking
where it should go. And new members need some time to get the feel of what goes
on which list. You'll run into the constant arguments of whether a particular
post is on topic or not, and wind up generating more noise than you've cleared
up.

Moderator intervention has its drawbacks too, not the least of which is the
burden on Hardy Cook's time. He has done a Herculean task in maintaining it so
far...give the guy a break, don't load him down with more to do. But given any
particular moderator, there are always people who are unhappy with his
decisions and who rant and rave about censorship, and they do have a point.
Would everyone on the two lists be happy with all the decisions he made?
Probably not. Hardy has done a very wise thing...he distributes the messages as
they come to him with virtually no editing. (I imagine that he discards
messages that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand, but
otherwise we see what he gets.)

So how to solve the problem? Like this. I am writing this as an e-mail to you
rather than posting it to the list, because I feel that this message is more
appropriate as a direct communication than distributed to the list members. (I
am also forwarding a copy to Hardy Cook, because I believe the suggestions to
follow might help. If Hardy thinks it is appropriate to post this to the list,
I give him full permission to do so.) Perhaps Hardy should periodically post
reminders to the list that members should consider whether their posts to the
list are of interest many of the members, or just a few. Heated discussions
back and forth between two opposing members on some obscure topic are generally
not of interest to the masses; the members in question should relegate their
argument to private e-mail. I have always adopted the philosophy that if it is
of interest to at least a handful of people I'll post it, otherwise I'll carry
on private correspondence.

You're right that SHAKSPER is a list where one expects a high level of
discourse and scholarship. I think that most of the posts I have read have met
those expectations. If things are getting a little careless and sloppy, a
gentle reminder that what gets posted goes to over 600 people and to keep it of
interest to them is more than sufficient at present.

There are whole subject topics on SHAKSPER that are of no interest to me.
Thankfully Hardy groups posts together under a subject title and I simply
delete them without reading. Readers of mailing lists have to develop the
skills to separate what they want from what they don't.

Timothy Reed
The Upstart Crow Theatre Company
Boulder, Colorado

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