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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: June ::
Re: Michael Kahn's Comment
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0481.  Wednesday, 26 June 1996.

(1)     From:   Tom Clayton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 12:50:35
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0473  Re: Michael Kahn's Comment

(2)     From:   Stacy Keach <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 26 Jun 1996 03:27:15 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0473 Re: Michael Kahn's Comment


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Clayton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Jun 1996 12:50:35
Subject: 7.0473  Re: Michael Kahn's Comment
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0473  Re: Michael Kahn's Comment

A know-it-all theatrical proclamation isn't exactly the key to all the
mythologies, either.

Tom Clayton

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stacy Keach <
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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Jun 1996 03:27:15 -0400
Subject: 7.0473 Re: Michael Kahn's Comment
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0473 Re: Michael Kahn's Comment

I find the recent furor over Michael Kahn's "it's all in the text" comment
inspiring at best, and misunderstood at worst.

The question "what is Shakespeare really trying to say here?", which emerges
with every artistic practitioner of any theatrical production- as they try to
figure out how that production will look, sound, and feel, whether they be
actor, designer, or director- will undoubtedly be answered in at least as many
ways as each member of the ensemble may choose to determine, even though they
will ultimately defer to the director's interpretation if they want to stay on
the team.  This is not to say that a good director is good because he doesn't
allow the creative people around him to express themselves.

Quite the contrary.  A good director is one who inspires everyone involved with
any given production to express their unique interpretation and to bring the
full measure of their talent to whatever their task may be.  And part of that
task is in trying to answer the question:  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Whatever the answer to this question may be, it is not, in my opinion, "This
particular passage does not mean what it says it means...it really means
something else."  Sub-text??? Confusion?

I feel that clarity is the key to success in performing Shakespeare, as it is
in performing Chekhov, Beethoven's Fifth, or trying to hit a golf ball.  The
passionate permutations of feelings we are made to feel by an exhilarating
experience begin with a clear vision of the heights and depths of a whole range
of emotions, a whole gallery of pictures, a multitude of memories, hopes,
dreams, evoking laughter and tears.

This is what Shakespeare provides for us when we read or see his plays.  And
what he really means, I feel, is not a matter for sub-textual analysis, it is
strictly a matter of interpretation.  And I can assure you that Michael Kahn is
one director who inspires each person on his creative team to find more
passionate, more imaginative, and more personal interpretations from moment to
moment of the creative process.

And the source of that inspiration is the Bard himself. It's all in the text,
but I guess that could mean a lot of different things.

Stacy Keach
 

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