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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
Re: Contemporary Cycle Play
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0691.  Tuesday, 24 September 1996.

(1)     From:   Norman J. Myers <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Sep 1996 16:05:45 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0687  Re: Contemporary Cycle Play

(2)     From:   Thomas G. Bishop <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Sep 1996 17:06:15 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0687  Re: Contemporary Cycle Play


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Norman J. Myers <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 23 Sep 1996 16:05:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 7.0687  Re: Contemporary Cycle Play
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0687  Re: Contemporary Cycle Play

>It's stretching it a bit to mock someone's faith and sincerity under the guise
>of a contemporary 'cycle play' being relevant to a Shakespeare Listserv.  I
>found the letter from a guy going through life with the name "Bishop" to be
>quite offensive, and inappropriate to an edited/moderated list.  If this
>message offends, anyone, please drop me from your list.
>
> Aloysius A. Norton

I accidentally deleted the posting cited by Aloysius Norton.  I'm sorry I did
because I, too, found "Bishop"'s posting somewhat inappropriate.  Not only that
but he seems to have missed a rare opportunity to address an important question
(if not appropriate for SHAKSPER certainly for "Perform", the Medieval Theatre
discussion list), namely: the relationship between a production and its
*intended* audience.  If the extensive documentation we have is at all
accurate, many of the revered Medieval religious plays (not to mention those of
Shakespeare and the others) were mounted with what might appear to us as equal
garishness and ridiculousness.  I can quite imagine that the Medieval audiences
were just as moved and thrilled by their "cycle plays" as the present-day
churchgoers might have been by theirs.  I imagine, too, that there were the
scoffers then. "Judge not, etc."

Norman Myers
Theatre
Bowling Green State University

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas G. Bishop <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Sep 1996 17:06:15 -0400
Subject: 7.0687  Re: Contemporary Cycle Play
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0687  Re: Contemporary Cycle Play

Alas, Aloysius Norton seems to think my name requires me to defer to all
expressions of religious zeal no matter how clumsy. I'm sure that both Cardinal
Torquemada and John Calvin were faithful and sincere in their respective
protestations. This does not mean I am obliged to endorse their actions.

But as it happens, I hope it was clear to most readers that it is not the faith
and sincerity of Rev. Angeley and his flock that I find absurd. Indeed, I
believe in both respects they are often far ahead of me, and am not without my
moments of admiration on that score. No, it is only their -dramatic skill- that
I find worthy of comment. And on that score, I am as prepared to be moved by a
religious play as any true believer: I found the National Theatre's production
of "The Mysteries" one of the most moving works I have ever seen, even on
videotape, and would recommend it to anyone interested in what the modern
theater can do with religious material.

Shall we now discuss how cruel Duke Theseus and Shakespeare are to make fun of
Nick Bottom and the Rude Mechanicals? At least I sat through "Jacob and Joseph"
in (mostly) silence.

I gotta go write my review of the local Sunday School pageant.

Cheers,
Tom
 

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