Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0473. Tuesday, 25 June 1996.
Date: Monday, 24 Jun 1996 12:29:55 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 7.0468 Re: Michael Kahn's Comment
Comment: Re: SHK 7.0468 Re: Michael Kahn's Comment
OK, once more and then I promise to shut up (on-list, at least). I *am* one of
those theatre-talking theatre people to whom Ed Pechter refers with just a
soupcon of condescension. If Kahn in fact said anything that even approximates
"it's all in the text," then he is a pompous twit and/or a fool (my guess is
the former). In analyzing literature, such New Critical perspectives are
occasionally useful, always delimiting. I don't see an up-side to their
application to theatre production.
None of this denies that productions which are limited to touchy-feely
pseudo-Stanislavskian "if I feel it, I can be it" nonsense are doomed from the
start. But so are those which refuse to explore multiple interpretations
because of some fanciful belief that subtext does not exist. If what Kahn is
saying is merely that Shakespeare's plays provide, relatively speaking, more
coherence between text and subtext than is true of most modern plays, then we
are agreed... but we'd miss a fun argument.