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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: Productions: 12th Night
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0090.  Tuesday, 21 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Mark Mann <
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        Date:   Sunday, 19 Jan 1997 19:36:42 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0074 Productions: 12th Night

(2)     From:   David Skeele <
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        Date:   Monday, 20 Jan 1997 16:12:31 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0074  Productions: 12th Night


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mark Mann <
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Date:           Sunday, 19 Jan 1997 19:36:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0074 Productions: 12th Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0074 Productions: 12th Night

My troupe, The Arden Shakespeare Co. performed 12th Night as our maiden
production, and we too cross-gendered Fabian ( Feste too, though we left the
question of his gender open)...we took our interval after the letter scene,
which felt right, and Act 2 opened with Feste and Viola doing their " I do live
in my house" exchanges...secondary note: I have always looked for ways to make
the fifteen minutes of interval meaningful in more ways than a break for the
audience--in this production we had a few fiddlers ( who followed Feste around
like an Illyrian mariachi band) come out and play some songs while Feste
solicited funds for their payment...after the 15 minutes were up, with a
tambourine full of cash he sauntered up on the stage and encountered Viola, who
began their dialogue, and tossed some expenses in the kitty as well. The
interval was blended into the action seamlessly, and no time was lost
reengaging the audience into the play. Likewise, in a production of The
Winter's Tale, which I directed for Actor's Summer Theatre in Columbus, Ohio,
in an outdoor amphitheatre, the Sicilia half of the play was set on a white,
stone floor with 5 white screens on which were painted bare fruit trees
suggesting Japanese screen paintings...after a few minutes of interval, the
cast came out, 1 at a time, in their Bohemia garb, with baskets of flowers
which were scattered across ther floor in a kind a splatter painting effect,
and each screen was turned around to show the same tree, in full flower and
color. The actors then fanned out through the crowd, delivering fruit and bread
and colored fans and other trinkets, and when Time arrived to begin his speech,
the stage had gradually been transformed into the country sheepshearing
festival setting, and all the actors rushed to the stage to begin dancing the
first of several country dances. The audience's delight at such antics
convinced me that there are many opportunities in using the interval, and I'd
like to see other productions make use of such moments.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Skeele <
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Date:           Monday, 20 Jan 1997 16:12:31 -0500
Subject: 8.0074  Productions: 12th Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0074  Productions: 12th Night

To Matthew W. Mitchell-Shiner:

In my production, intermission occurred at the end of Act II, right after the
"letter scene" w/Malvolio.  If the scene is being played at all comically, it
provides a great place to break the action.  The only problem, I suppose, is
that your second half is then slightly longer, textually, than the first half.
However, in my production the second half was so fast-paced that we still beat
out the first half by about ten minutes.  Anyway, a suggestion.  I think you've
made an excellent choice for a first Shakespeare production: it is, in my
opinion, the most accessible play of Shakespeare's, both for audience members
and young actors.  Good luck!

                                                                David Skeele
 

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