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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: January ::
Re: WT Productions and Intermissions
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0118.  Friday, 24 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Daniel Lowenstein <
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        Date:   Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 12:29:09 PST
        Subj:   Winter's Tale at Ashland

(2)     From:   David M Richman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 17:12:53 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0108 Re: WT Productions and Intermissions


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daniel Lowenstein <
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Date:           Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 12:29:09 PST
Subject:        Winter's Tale at Ashland

Since Professor Louden has asked, I saw "The Winter's Tale" at Ashland last
summer.  One feature of the production attracted a lot of discussion.  When
Leontes would utter his jealous fantasies, his wife and his friend would be
bathed in a reddish light, and they would kiss and grope each other, generally
acting out Leontes' fantasies.  In a manner that I think would have been clear
even to an audience member who did not know the story, we were able to look
inside Leontes' mind.

I heard quite polarized opinions about this feature.  In my view, it worked
pretty well, because by showing us what Leontes thought he was seeing, it made
it easier for us to understand his actions.

On the whole, I thought the production was quite good.  The Hermione played her
role with great dignity, which is essential, though she was much too weepy in
the last scene.  The business about the sun god, which someone earlier
described on this list, struck me as idiotic.  But my tastes run strongly
against emphasis on magical or supernatural aspects of Shakespeare's plays.

I wonder if anyone on this list saw "The Winter's Tale" at Ashland in the late
1970s.  James Edmondson played Leontes and Le Clanche du Rand played Hermione.
It was the best production of any play I have ever seen.

                                Best,
                                Dan Lowenstein
                                UCLA Law School

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David M Richman <
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Date:           Thursday, 23 Jan 1997 17:12:53 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0108 Re: WT Productions and Intermissions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0108 Re: WT Productions and Intermissions

Why do theatrical performances in our time require intermissions? Several years
ago, I heard Edward  Albee remark half-jestingly, and consequently
half-seriously that theatre is dangerous.  It stimulates the bladder and the
bowels.  Many movies are bland, stimulating the god Morpheus. On a different
not, try not to cut Cleomenes and Dion. You need a sense of he oracle's power
and wonder before the trial scene.  Cleomenes and Dion offer the first
suggestion that this tale may move in a wondrous direction.  Immodestly, I will
note that I talk a good deal about this play and this subject in Chap. 3 of
*Laughter, Pain, and Wonder* U. of Del. 1990.  I have greatly enjoyed recent
accounts on this list of *Winter's Tale* productions. David Richman
 

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