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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
More on Contemporary Cycles
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0694.  Wednesday, 25 September 1996.

(1)     From:   David M Richman <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Sep 1996 10:54:04 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Non Angli

(2)     From:   Aloysius A. Norton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Sep 1996 11:54:28 +0100
        Subj:   Humor

(3)     From:   Rinda Frye <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Sep 96  14:01:03 EDT
        Subj:   Contemporary Cycle Play

(4)     From:   Dale Lyles <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Sep 1996 22:28:26 -0400
        Subj:   More on Contemporary Cycles


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David M Richman <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Sep 1996 10:54:04 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Non Angli

A mundane query for Tom Bishop, or anyone else who knows.  How does one acquire
the videotape of the National Theatre version of the Tony Harrison adaptation
of the medieval plays?

Isn't there always tension between the popular--even the laughable--and the
learned and subtle in the plays that last?  I sometimes wonder if bad theatre
is, then and now, part of the price of great theatre. Doesn't Hamlet owe a debt
to the croaking raven, as well as to Montaigne?  This is a simple and obvious
question, but maybe it needs to be asked once in a while.

David Richman University of New Hampshire

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Aloysius A. Norton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Sep 1996 11:54:28 +0100
Subject:        Humor

Yes, I've gotten letters.

Is mockery the same as satire?  I believe still that the entry did not belong
on the SHAKSPEAR listserv.

Bishop is irony, fun stuff.

As for my sense of humor: "A guy walks into a bar...."

 aan

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rinda Frye <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Sep 96  14:01:03 EDT
Subject:        Contemporary Cycle Play

I realize that religious matters are often a volatile topic, but the objection
to the very funny review of a contemporary cycle play seems a bit thin-skinned
to me.  I took the reviewer's point of humor to be the contradictions and
anachronisms within the conventions of the production: e.g., the bouffant hair
on, as I recall, Potiphar's wife, and the general amateurish style of acting,
writing, and production values.  What was of particular interest to me, and I
should think to people on this list, was the comparison of this production with
how the original medieval cycles may have looked and sounded--and this was
apparent not because we laughed at the faith of those in attendance but because
we marvelled that despite these laughable production values, the audience
enjoyed the production enormously because they saw it through the eyes of the
faithful.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Sep 1996 22:28:26 -0400
Subject:        More on Contemporary Cycles

Mine was one of the submissions lost, and given the turn of discussion, I've
decided to resubmit it.

Oh my!

Recently a former student e-mailed me with some questions he had about the
Platonic concept of aesthetics being an extension of ethics, and someone else's
refutation of that, and so Tom's hysterical post actually raised some
interesting questions for me.

I told Alex [my student] that as far as I was concerned, that an aesthetic
object that deliberately existed only within a single, specific ethical
framework and did not attempt to look beyond it, was not art.

[Paradoxically, I suggested that a piece also had to admit of an ethical
universe before I would accept it... but enough about that...]

Is this then why we laugh at the Rev. Angeley's work?  Tom didn't tell us, but
I'm sure that neither Jacob nor Joseph suffered from any inner conflicts; like
Angeley himself, they were on the right track and they knew it.  Not the stuff
of good drama.

On the flip side, I'm sure most of the audience members, as they got back onto
their church buses, were rapturous about the amazing thing they had just seen.
It had confirmed their ethos in a fairly dazzling way.  Is this a Stoppardian
situation?  Is it possible for J&J to be caviar for the general, and royal
nonesuch to us?

On the other flip side, is it in fact possible to charge a community theatre
director with elitism because he smugly assumes that his production of Winter's
Tale represents, with no contest, a higher artistic achievement than J&J?

What is the balance of ethics and aesthetics?

Dale Lyles
Newnan Community Theatre
http://shenandoah.peachnet.edu/~dlyles/nctc/nctc.html
 

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