1997

Re: Burton's Hamlet

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0193.  Wednesday, 12 February 1997.

(1)     From:   Phyllis Rackin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 11:08:23 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0183  Qs: Burton's Hamlet

(2)     From:   Martin Jukovsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 21:19:44 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0183  Qs: Burton's Hamlet


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Phyllis Rackin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 11:08:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0183  Qs: Burton's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0183  Qs: Burton's Hamlet

>Today's Washington Post mentions that a video of Richard Burton's Hamlet is
>available in the US only through the website of Paul Brownstein.  Is that true?
>If so, does anyone know the address of the website?  Since this could be
>considered a "commercial" question, please let me know privately.  Thanks in
>advance.

I hope the answer to this question can be posted on the listserv.  I still
recall Burton's as the best Hamlet (although not the best *Hamlet*) I ever
saw--much, much, much better than Branagh's, for instance.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Jukovsky <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 21:19:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0183  Qs: Burton's Hamlet
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0183  Qs: Burton's Hamlet

The stage production of Richard Burton's HAMLET (directed by Gielgud) was put
on videotape and then projected in theaters on a limited basis (less than a
week) with reserved seating in (I think) serveral cities including New York.
Part of the hype surrounding the event was that the tapes were to be destroyed
afterwards.  However, the Folger listed a copy of the tape in its holdings,
acording to SHAKESPEARE QUARTERLY about 20 years ago.

Martin Jukovsky
Cambridge, Mass.

Re: Katherina in Shr. and New Globe Theater

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0192.  Wednesday, 12 February 1997.

(1)     From:   Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 10:12:17 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

(2)     From:   Melissa Aaron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 14:25:30 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

(3)     From:   Heather Stephenson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 11:19:42 U
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

(4)     From:   Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 00:02:58 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

(5)     From:   Patricia Cooke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 07:39:11 +1200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

(6)     From:   Ann Marie Olson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 19:16:04 -0600
        Subj:   Reply to JoAnna Koskinen, New Globe Theater


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 10:12:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0186 Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

I see no reason to invent lurid pasts for characters when a look at any
family's relationships will tell you that jealousy between sisters is common,
and so is playing favorites by parents -- or at least, appearing to play
favorites.  Although Katherine claims that Baptista wants her to remain an old
maid, in fact he announces that Bianca may not marry until her sister is
wedded. Beatrice's situation in Much Ado does not call for an assumption of
bastardy.  It was common practice to send a child into another household to be
educated, or act as companion, before marriage. Indeed it was considered a good
preparation for marriage to observe how other households were run.  The fact
that Beatrice stayed on was also not uncommon, since she and her cousin are
best friends.

Helen Ostovich
McMaster University

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa Aaron <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 14:25:30 -0600
Subject: 8.0186  Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

The idea that Katherine isn't really Baptista's daughter is certainly
interesting.  I can't really think of any direct eveidence fro it, though. It's
just possibly one of those "Cinderella" situations, where she is his
stepdaughter, but I can't quite believe that Shakespeare would leave that out.

To me the explanation's much simpler:  Baptista really dotes on his youngest
and can't stand his eldest.  Economically, it makes sense to marry her off, but
if you look closely at his behavior, B. tries to sabotage it: "I have a
daughter, sir, called Katherina."  "She is not for your turn, the more my
grief."  Etc.  And though it seems "unnatural,"  plenty of parents just plain
don't like their offspring.  Doesn't Baptista pay for his blindness in the end?

Melissa Aaron

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Heather Stephenson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 11:19:42 U
Subject: 8.0186  Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

JoAnna Koskinen asks:
>What do you think? Is it possible that "Kat" (I tend to run along lines of
>animal imagery when speaking of her) was not a child of Baptista?

Of course, it's possible.  As your Much Ado example attests to, many of the
plays could be read to include subtle bastard overtones -- especially when read
today by people who have different attitudes toward the concept of the
"immediate family" than were held when the plays were written.

And:
>If so, then where does the need to marry her off come from, and his
>willingness to pay for it?

Perhaps it would be far worse for a wealthy man of standing to be cuckolded
than to pay a dowry for a child not his own.

Cheers,
Heather

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrew Walker White <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 00:02:58 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0186 Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186 Q: Shrew

We had a production in Urbana, Illinois last summer which treated Katerina and
Bianca as sibling rivals.  If Bianca is daddy's favorite, and if all her beaus
are crazy about her in spite of her obvious lack of wits, the solution is to
show that Kate is the one with the brains in the family, and she is forced to
contend with two nitwits.  You'd have an attitude, too, if you had a father
like that.

It was great fun playing a clueless Hortensio to a truly dizzy Bianca, I have
to say it works well -- especially when she gets extremely tipsy and 'shifts
her bush' at the wedding reception ...

Andy "Which End of a Lute is Up?" White
Arlington, VA

(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia Cooke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 12 Feb 1997 07:39:11 +1200
Subject: 8.0186  Q: Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0186  Q: Shrew

>  JoAnna Koskinen  asks

>Also, does anyone have info on the New Globe Theatre, or knowledge of a link
>with news?

The link is http://www.reading.ac.uk/globe/ which gives news about the new
Globe and links to other sites

Patricia Cooke, Secretary & Editor
Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Inc

(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ann Marie Olson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 1997 19:16:04 -0600
Subject:        Reply to JoAnna Koskinen, New Globe Theater

I visited the new Globe in June and can share a few impressions and some solid
information. Impressions: it's wonderful! I've studied Shakespeare for years,
taught it for years on the high school level, done a master's thesis on
Shakespearean comedy, and directed Much Ado on stage. Despite many years of
academic working knowledge of the Globe, being there was eye-opening! The
intimacy of the space informs the dynamics of Shakespeare's language and scenic
structures. It is truly not to be missed. My certificate, indicating that I
financed a small part of the construction, is my most prized souvenir from a
two-week trip. The other impression is that nobody in London seems to know how
to find it! If you go, get good directions ahead of time or take a taxi. Don't
ask Londoners--we encountered many who said, "You're looking for the WHAT?"
Unbelievable! For information, contact: The Globe Exhibition Office,
Shakespeare's Globe, New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9ED. Phone number is
0171 928 6406. Fax 0171 401 8261. You can also join the Friends of
Shakespeare's Globe society by contacting them at P.O. Box No. 70, Southwark,
London SE1 9EN.

Re: RII Productions

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0190.  Tuesday, 11 February 1997.

(1)     From:   Ron Moyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Feb 1997 11:08:14 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0180  Q: RII Productions

(2)     From:   Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Feb 1997 14:16:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0180 Q: RII Productions

(3)     From:   Warner Crocker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Feb 1997 15:09:36 -0600
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0180  Q: RII Productions (2nd Mailing)

(4)     From:   Peter Greenfield <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Feb 1997 16:21:39 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0180  Q: RII Productions


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Moyer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Feb 1997 11:08:14 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0180  Q: RII Productions
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0180  Q: RII Productions

J W Aykroyd addresses suggested doubling in R2 in her _Performing Shakespeare:
A Guidebook_.  She suggests minimum cast as 15 male,  2 female, with the
following doubling: Gaunt/Gardener; Mowbray/Fitzwater/Servant 2.2/ Salisbury;
Marshall/Abbot/Welsh Captain/Murderer; Aumerle/Berkeley; Bagot/ Exton;
Greene/Man/Keeper; Bushy/Man/Servant 5.4/Surrey; Ross/Groom/Lord 3.1/ Herald;
Willoughby/Murderer/Scroope/Herald; Duchess of Gloucester/Duchess of York/Lady.

Her suggested doubling is for the purpose of achieving minimum cast size and
does not address your specific questions nor thematic doubling, but it notes
potential for doubling the duchesses and offers a range of possibilities.

Barry Kyle's '86-87 production for the RSC (w/ Jeremy Irons) doubled Bushy/
Gerdener; Scroop/Abbot; Lord Marshall/Welsh Captain; Green/Keeper; Surrey/
Murderer; York's Servant/Murderer; Exton/Gerdener's Man. Garland Wright's 1990
Guthrie production doubled Ross/Groom; Abbot/Berkeley; Lord Marshall/Glendower;
Willoughby/First Gardener.

FWIW,
Ron Moyer, Univ. of South Dakota  <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Feb 1997 14:16:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0180 Q: RII Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0180 Q: RII Productions

Dear Nancy Doherty--Where ARE you doing Richard II? You didn't say. By your
address, I could presume BARD college, but then Sx was "the bard" so hmmmm. I
have not seen R2 performed much. Last time was in the Edith Wharton stables in
I think, er, (I was dating Claudia then so it must be er) 1994 and they did it
with pretty much 3 people--the woman who played the QUEEN also played
Bullingbroke. ---Let me know where you're performing R2 and when.

Thanks, chris stroffolino

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Warner Crocker <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Feb 1997 15:09:36 -0600
Subject: 8.0180  Q: RII Productions (2nd Mailing)
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0180  Q: RII Productions (2nd Mailing)

Don't know exactly how they do it but currently Writer's Theatre in Glencoe,
IL, just north of Chicago is doing Richard II with a cast of 8 or 9. Writer's
Theatre performs in a very small space. I haven't yet seen the production but
will be seeing it this weekend now that I have returned from directing Romeo
and Juliet at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival (nee Fahrenheit Theatre
Company). An acquaintence of mine is playing eight roles in the production.

WC
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Greenfield <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Feb 1997 16:21:39 -0800
Subject: 8.0180  Q: RII Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0180  Q: RII Productions

I worked on an outdoor production of Richard II at the Marin Shakespeare
Festival (way back in 1969).  It was directed by John Argue of the San
Francisco Mime Troupe and involved extensive doubling, though not the pairings
you mention.  I can remember Gaunt/Gardener/Groom, Mowbray/Exton, Bushy and
Green with Ross and Willoughby, and (perhaps, my memory fails) the duchesses.
The doubling was done quite openly, with the whole cast on stage at all times,
often acting as a chorus, and putting on their different costumes in view of
the audience.

Peter Greenfield
University of Puget Sound

SSE at SAA; Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Rom.

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0191.  Tuesday, 11 February 1997.

(1)     From:   The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Feb 1997 15:13:19 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   SSE at the SAA 3/27

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 07 Feb 1997 23:12:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Romeo and Juliet


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Feb 1997 15:13:19 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        SSE at the SAA 3/27

The Shenandoah Shakespeare Express will perform Love's Labor's Lost at the
Shakespeare Association of America conference in Washington D.C. on March 27.
The performance, co-directed by Ralph Cohen and Tom Berger, will be followed by
a forty-five minute workshop entitled, "Irony, Heckling, and the Play Within
the Play."  Partcipants will compare and discuss the differences between the
performance of the "Nine Worthies" at the end of Love's Labor's Lost and
"Pyramus and Thisbe" at the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Please join us
for an afternoon of laughter and exploration.

For additional information, or for a current schedule, please contact the SSE
offices at 540-434-3366, e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or check out our
website at http://www.shakespeare.com/ShenandoahExpress.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 07 Feb 1997 23:12:26 -0500
Subject:        Re: Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Romeo and Juliet

Last night, February 6, the Fahrenheit Theatre Company, immediately before its
performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater, changed its name
to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival.  To confirm the appropriateness of the
change, its production of Romeo and Juliet was an undeniable success.

At the rear of the stage, a dual level structure, with stairs to the second
level on both sides, lent variety to the basic undifferentiated stage. During
the bedroom scenes and the final scene at the tomb, white cloth was lowered to
drape this structure, and during the scenes at Friar Lawrence's cell, a white
cheesecloth curtain with a cross projected on to it was lowered.

The lines of the opening sonnet were distributed among the cast, and the
opening scene was set in a backyard with a clothesline dividing the Capulets
from the Montagues.  This turned into a comic free for all with Lady Capulet
(Nicole Franklin-Kern) being comically doubled up when she's hit with a bag of
wet clothes.

The scene, suggested by costume and golf clubs, quickly changes to the country
club.  The maskers carry golf clubs, and Khris Lewin's Mercutio, with shaved
head, was magnificent.  Purists were not happy when he pulled a condom over his
shaved head and symbolically became a walking phallus. But the business is not
gratuitous.  The director, Warner Crocker, believes that this script has more
references to penises than any other script by Shakespeare, and this show is at
some pains to make those references comically clear to a twentieth century
audience.

Marni Penning was a young, fresh, vivacious (as always) Juliet, and she gave an
excellent performance. Nicholas Rose played a rather subdued and innocent
Romeo.  As he enters the party, he is momentarily separated from the rest of
the party by the lower cheesecloth curtain, which I thought was an interesting
effect, emphasizing his isolation.

Regina Cerimele, Juliet's youthful nurse, drew laugh after laugh, often running
across the stage supporting both breasts with both hands, and Mercutio
comically had her illustrate what the bawdy hand of time was doing with the
prick of noon.

Dan Kenney doubled as both Montague and Friar Lawrence, a decision that demand
a change of character in the final scene. Lady Montague (Toni Rae Brotons)
survives her husband.  In any case, Kenney's Friar was puckish, understated and
comic.  When he delivers his speech on the power of herbs, four of his students
are on stage for the instruction.

Tybalt (William Sweeney) was not at all the uncontrollable mad dog of many
recent productions.  He is easily controlled by Jim Stump's portly, elegant,
and commanding Capulet.  In fact, during the fight scene, Tybalt and Mercutio
duel rather harmlessly and comically with golf clubs.  This is more a boyish
game than a brutal fight.  Only when Romeo tries to break up the fight does
Tybalt draw his sword, and I wondered if he meant to kill Romeo rather than
Mercutio. When Tybalt and Romeo fight, Tybalt is killed more by accident,
falling on Romeo's sword, than by design.  Jenny Jones and Regina Cerimele are
to be commended for their choreographing of the fights.

The first half of this production ends with the death of Mercutio, and after
his death the tone of the production changes.  Before, the production is marked
by bawdy humor and laughter; afterward, things get dark and serious.  As I
watched, I felt strongly the effect of parallel, yet contrasting, scenes, e.g.,
the masking scene set against the aborted wedding feast.

Rich Kelly played a rather limp and fatuous Paris, not a very serious rival to
Romeo, and he is easily dispatched by a trenching shovel in the final scene.
In this production, Romeo did not realize his mistake (i.e., she's not dead)
before he dies, nor did Juliet wake up in time to see him die. The Duke (Chris
Reeder), young, lanky, puzzled, and casually dressed, a country club Duke,
neatly closes the play.

Toni Rae Brotons (Lady Montague, et al.), Lisa Penning (Balthasar, et al.) and
Colby Codding (Sampson, et al.) were busy playing a host of minor characters to
swell the tragic scene.

This is a great deal to like in this production, and I'm going back to see it
again tomorrow afternoon.  I recommend it to anyone who is able to get to
Cincinnati for a performance.  It runs until February 16.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Re: Scansion and Verse

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0189.  Tuesday, 11 February 1997.

(1)     From:   Dale Coye <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 10 Feb 1997 11:55:27 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0181 Re: Scansion-reply

(2)     From:   Lee Gibson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 11 Feb 97 07:00 CST
        Subj:   Blankety verse


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Coye <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 10 Feb 1997 11:55:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0181 Re: Scansion-reply
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0181 Re: Scansion-reply

It was suggested that the R2 line

I know it Uncle, and oppose not myself
Against his will

could be scanned by compressing "know it" to one syllable and placing Uncle in
the second foot.  The problem with this suggestion is that I believe Wright
states (I haven't got the cite in front of me) that an inversion is always
followed by a normal iambic  foot - weak strong, forming a unit of two feet in
the pattern strong-weak-weak-strong.  The first syllable of oppose is not
strong.  Is this a generally accepted rule of inversion, or just Wright's idea?

The second suggestion, to scan it as an epic caesura after Uncle with inversion
of the third foot would work, but I was under the impression that epic caesuras
always resumed with weak-strong after the break, in other words no inversion
would be allowed in the third foot. Indeed, I thought the definition of an epic
caesura was that there were two weak stresses on either side of the break.

Dale Coye
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Princeton, NJ

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lee Gibson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 11 Feb 97 07:00 CST
Subject:        Blankety verse

The line in question from _Hamlet_ may be scanned as an alexandrine with what
used to be called a "feminine ending" and is more accurately called
"paroxytonic."

Lee Gibson
Southern Methodist University

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