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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: September ::
1997 ATHE Conference; Barker vs. Bradley
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0705.  Sunday, 29 September 1996.

(1)     From:   Sam Marinov <
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        Date:   Friday, 27 Sep 96 20:28:03 UT
        Subj:   SHK 7.0013 :1997 ATHE Conference

(2)     From:   Andrew Walker White <
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        Date:   Saturday, 28 Sep 1996 16:37:55 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Barker vs. Bradley


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Marinov <
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Date:           Friday, 27 Sep 96 20:28:03 UT
Subject: :1997 ATHE Conference
Comment:        SHK 7.0013 :1997 ATHE Conference

I've been asked to organize a session on performances of Shakespeare at the
1997 ATHE in Chicago. If anybody is interested, please let me know.

Sam Marinov
Atlanta

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <
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Date:           Saturday, 28 Sep 1996 16:37:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Barker vs. Bradley

While it may, in the long run, come down to matters of personal taste, The
reason why Granville Barker deserves his still-great influence in the theatre
is that he, unlike Bradley and other 19th century relics (if you can be
gratuitous, so can I), addressed Shakespeare's works in their original context.
 He discussed the bare thrust stage, the informal workshop atmosphere that
produced the plays.  He also established the importance of taking every line,
every character seriously.

His many insights into works like Hamlet and Lear come not from the
establishment of some overarching theory prior to discussion of the text; quite
the opposite.  He discussed the play using the text as the sole authority,
intentionally diminishing even his own role as theorist and critic.

As Pennington points out, in the long run his interpretations of character seem
archaic, locked into the Edwardian era from which his work first emerged.  But
his practical understanding of stagecraft as an actor/playwright/producer, his
insistence on the infallibility of the text (his observations on 'bad quartos'
are quite convincing to me), and especially his efforts to reintroduce the
thrust stage which was the source of all the Bard's works, lead me to conclude
that his influence is not a fluke at all, but one that is well deserved.

Again, I am delighted to see that the man Sir John Gielgud still raves about to
this day is once again in print for a new generation's discovery.

Andy White
Urbana, Illinois
 

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