1997

Re: Winter's Tale Productions

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0063.  Thursday, 16 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Joanne Walen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 10:45:47 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0046 Q: Winter's Tale Productions

(2)     From:   Michael Swanson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 12:08:39 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0056  Re: Winter's Tale Productions

(3)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 19:50:51 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0056  Re: Winter's Tale Productions


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Walen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 10:45:47 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0046 Q: Winter's Tale Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0046 Q: Winter's Tale Productions

WT was performed as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival season last year.
They keep a scrapbook of reviews in the Members' Lounge and also maintain
archival material from each production. Their production had a female"goddess"
figure who played the Bear and Time. There was also the use of much red
lighting to highlight the inner torment and jealousy of Leontes during the
first half. The OSF general number is 541-482-2111. You could ask first to be
put through to Joan Langley, head of Education. She could route you to the
proper person in charge of the archives.

The Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon also maintains a library of
archival material from the RSC seasons, with all reviews, promptbooks, photos,
and in some cases archive viedoes of the productions. This is valuable
production information--if you can get to Stratford. I don't have in front of
me the library number, but the Education office number is (from the US)
011-44-1789-283038, and the staff could route you.

Good luck!

Joanne Walen
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Swanson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 12:08:39 -0600
Subject: 8.0056  Re: Winter's Tale Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0056  Re: Winter's Tale Productions

The production of Pericles referred to by Kathleen Brookfield -- with an
African-American female singer playing Gower -- may have been first staged in
1974, the year she gives it, but I doubt it.  The production I saw at Stratford
with Renee Rogers playing this role was in 1986.


Michael Swanson
Chair, Fine Arts Department
Franklin College of Indiana

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 19:50:51 -0500
Subject: 8.0056  Re: Winter's Tale Productions
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0056  Re: Winter's Tale Productions

At the Patricia Corbett Theatre in Cincinnati on October 25-29, 1995, Charles
Holmond directed a <italic>Winter's Tale</italic>, with Dale Doerman as
dramaturg, in which Time was (possibly supposed to be) a goddess.  In any case,
Time was a woman (Christine Probts) dressed in diaphanous white material with
one breast exposed.  (I later learned that the breasts was a plastic
prosthesis.) She protected the infant Perdita as well as spoke Time's lines.

I've wondered about the exposed breast of Time.  A maternal suggestion? Time
nurtures?

As I recall, there was no bear.  It was left to our imagination.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Q: Productions of The Tempest

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0062.  Wednesday, 15 January 1997.

From:           Rod Osiowy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 20:37:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Re: The Tempest

I am curious as to why so few theatre companies select "The Tempest" as a
production.  Perhaps it is because it requires original music, special effects,
like flying, and a huge cast; or is it just a mediocre script?  I would be
interested to hear about how various directors have approached "The Tempest" if
they are out there.  I would also like to hear from anyone who has a video
suggestion, besides "Prospero's Books" and the B movie "Tempest."  Has anyone
producted this play?

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

Decision Not to Dig the Globe's Remains

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0060.  Wednesday, 15 January 1997.

From:           Andrew Gurr <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Jan 1997 09:46:56 +0000 (GMT)
Subject:        Not digging the Globe's remains

English Heritage is the government body responsible for sites in England that
are scheduled and protected because they are thought to be of 'heritage'
interest. It has a statutary responsibility to endeavour to 'preserve' all such
sites.  Unfortunately in recent years it has converted that responsibility into
a policy of keeping archaeologists away from sites of archaeological interest.
Now it has found another victim. The foundations of the original Globe, public
interest in which is attested by the three hundred thousand visitors that
passed through the new Globe exhibition nearby in the last two years, are not
to undergo any further excavaation.

The 5% or so of the Globe that a Museum of London team of archaeologists
uncovered in 1989 from the open space behind Anchor Terrace in Southwark was a
segment on the north-east flank of the auditorium. Analysis of this fragment
made it clear that the most significant and valuable foundations, the stage
area, must be underneath Anchor Terrace itself. A tentative dig was done in the
Terrace's cellarage in 1992, and established that the remains are there. Now,
it seems, the opportunity to learn anything from them is to be buried
permanently.

At a meeting on 7 January Southwark Borough Councils Planning Committee
affirmed English Heritage's policy by granting permission to the owners of
Anchor Terrace, which is a scheduled late Georgian block built in 1839 facing
Southwark Bridge Road, to convert the building into flats, and to return the
Globe's remains (quote)to the burial regime which has protected them in the
past (unquote). Without consultation, least of all with the scholars and
theatre historians who could have told them how important the site is, nor
taking any account of the high level of public interest, English Heritage has
concluded that (quote) further archaeological investigation with the basement
of Anchor Terrace is not justified at present (unquote). This is rather like
burying the Elgin Marbles in the hope that everyone will forget they exist.
When converted to its new use, Anchor Terrace will be able to use its Grade 2
Preservation Order to keep itself immune from any digging throughout the
foreseeable future. The rest of the Globe behind Anchor Terrace is also to be
buried indefinitely under a new block of flats.

The sites of the Globe and its near neighbour the Rose are unique. The
fragments of the two of them that the Museum of London archaeologists uncovered
in 1989 told us much more about Shakespeare's theatres than had been achieved
through centuries of painstaking analysis of the documentary evidence. As
theatres their design was unique. The Globe and all the other similar early
theatres were demolished during the Cromwell era in the 1640s, and few records
of what they were like survive. Consequently we know less about the venue for
which Shakespeare wrote his greatest plays than about almost any other kind of
theatre in the world. It was the workplace where he staged his greatest plays.
He himself contributed one-eighth of its building cost in 1599. Abandoning the
study of these remains means that we lose permanently the opportunity to learn
anything new about our greatest playwrights own theatre.

English Heritage's policy was really designed for Roman and similar remains,
not for these rarities. The Globe and Rose sites are unlike other
archaeological remains precisely because they are unique. More than two hundred
Roman theatres have survived. Leaving some of them buried will not affect what
has been learned already from the early excavations. But only eight or nine
theatres like the Globe were ever built in London during the first brief
flourish of Shakespearean theatre, and most of them have already been lost to
later redevelopment. Both the Rose and the Globe sites are protected by
scheduling as Heritage sites, but the knowledge they contain is what gives them
life. Protection in the form of permanent burial is a function appropriate to
the dead. The Globe site does not deserve permanent interment.

None of the principles that were invoked when this decision was made will bear
much scrutiny. The argument, for instance, that (quote) the burial regime...
has protected them in the past (unquote) is itself scarcely tenable, on the
evidence of a report by English Heritages own Archaeology unit. When the Rose's
remains were concreted over in 1989 to allow Rose Court to be built over its
head it was acknowledged that this form of preservation for a half-dug site was
new and experimental. Sensors were installed to identify any changes in the
condition of the remains. A report based on the records from these sensors
handed to English Heritage in 1993 said that indications of significant changes
in the moisture content together with bacterial activity had been found. Since
then nothing has been done to check on the progress of these changes. The
remains stay buried and decaying. A similar shell of concrete protects the
Globe's relics dug up in 1989 behind Anchor Terrace. We simply do not know
whether this kind of alleged protection will prevent the remains from decaying
in the future.

The technology needed to dig under Anchor Terrace is not a novelty. There is no
need to demolish the whole of this not unhandsome building, but only to dig a
few more holes in its sturdy basement floor. This has already been done once by
the archaeologists. An innovative ground radar survey in 1991, looking for
density differences at the level of the Globes foundations under the floor of
the Terrace, led in 1992 to four test pits being dug to check on the hints that
the radar scan gave. These digs proved that the whole of Anchor Terraces
foundations consist of a raft of concrete three feet thick, and that some
remains of the Globe do lie under that raft. In the hope of prompting further
digs, the Globe Centre in 1995 commissioned a more sophisticated ground radar
scan in the basement. This produced significant indications that there are
ample remains of the Globe there under the raft. There is ample space in the
vicinity of the stage area for a further analytical dig which would do no harm
to those three feet of concrete which hold the Georgian building in place.

The Globe is a site of truly international interest, and anything that can add
to our knowledge of it as Shakespeare's workplace is invaluable. Leaving the
remains undisturbed is the very form of protection which left us ignorant of
even their existence for three hundred years. A policy on archaeological sites
which insists on leaving them undiscovered is a paradox, brilliantly economical
in cost, but appallingly smug about the ignorance those savings leave us in
over the sites for which English Heritage has statutary responsibility. It
acclaims the heritage concept and historical knowledge in principle, but denies
it in practice.

Further information about this issue can be found on the Web by accessing the
Globe page at http://www.reading.ac.uk/globe. The only form of pressure that
can be applied to change this policy and the decision over the Globe site is by
loudly voicing public interest. The Globe is a scheduled site, so the decision
can be referred to the Heritage Minister in the Department of the Environment
and the Secretary of State for the Environment. If you have even a mild opinion
about the loss which implementing this decision will entail, please write to
the Heritage Minister, Virginia Bottomley, and to the government minister
ultimately responsible as Secretary of State for the Environment, John Gummer.
Their addresses are c/o the House of Commons, Westminster, LONDON SW1.

Andrew Gurr
(whose address is the English Department,
University of Reading, Box 218, READING
RG6 7AA, UK).

Re: Mousetrap; Daughters; Richard 3; Astronomy

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0061.  Wednesday, 15 January 1997.

(1)     From:   Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 10:47:29 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0047 Re: The Mousetrap

(2)     From:   Anthony Haigh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 12:44:40 -400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0043  Question about Resources

(3)     From:   Ed Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 16:53:03 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0032  Re: Richard III, Lover

(4)     From:   Chris Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 14 Jan 97 21:41:00 -0600
        Subj:   SHK 8.0054 Shakespeare and Astronomy


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rick Jones <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 10:47:29 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 8.0047 Re: The Mousetrap
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0047 Re: The Mousetrap

I'm perfectly willing to buy an argument that Claudius cannot remain
stone-faced through the Mousetrap scene.  But we should be careful not to
confuse Claudius's "admitting his guilt" with Hamlet's (and perhaps Horatio's)
*perception* that he has done so.  Were I to direct the play or play Claudius
(both unlikely but not altogether implausible eventualities), I would center on
Hamlet's running commentary, calling attention in particular to the fact that
the murderer in the enactment is the king's nephew.

Just as Macbeth believes himself invulnerable because of all that Birnam Wood,
from woman born stuff, so does Hamlet believe that he has proved Claudius's
guilt by enacting the means of the murder.  But Claudius can plausibly claim he
was responding to the relationship of murderer to victim.

The problem is that we tend to see such problems in disjunctive terms: Claudius
either is or is not proven guilty.  I think it is a reasonable position to
believe that the LAPD framed a guilty man in the O.J. Simpson case.  It is also
reasonable that Hamlet (however inadvertently) has done the same to Claudius.

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

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Haigh <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 12:44:40 -400
Subject: 8.0043  Question about Resources
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0043  Question about Resources

In reply to Susan Mather's questions regarding Shakespeare and his daughters...

Two summers ago I attended the summer Institute in Stratford and one of the
ongoing seminars was on Shakespeare and his relationship to his daughters and
the whole question of father/daughter relationships in the plays.  As the only
father in the group I was somewhat backed into a corner (not always an
unpleasant experience!) and was cast as the defender of fatherhood. I have been
playing with the idea ever since - it seems a powerful, and underdeveloped one.
 Are Helena/Hermia, Rosalind/Celia, Olivia/Viola different versions of
Susanna/Judith?  Why do daughters betray their fathers?  Are fathers too hard
on their daughters?  Are daughters mere property, or does William offer us a
more modern, and less paternalistic paradigm?  Good questions all.

Is there anyone else from that seminar (run by Ruth Ann Henderson of the
University of Turin) on the list?  Could we begin to reconstruct the debate as
the starting point for a discussion?

I would direct Ms. Mather to Peter Whelan's excellent play "The Herbal Bed"
and, of course to Bond's "Bingo."  The RSC recently toured a double bill of
"The Tempest" and "Bingo."  The double casting worked very well, but the Bond
faired less well against a superbly directed and acted "Tempest."  Did anyone
else see these productions?

I felt that Whelan's Susanna was very sympathetically drawn and could indeed
have been the Bard's daughter.  Am I right to detect a somewhat less
sympathetic reaction to her marriage to the prosaic Dr. Hall?

I look forward to hearing from wiser heads than mine.

Cheers,
Tony Haigh
Centre College, KY

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 16:53:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0032  Re: Richard III, Lover
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0032  Re: Richard III, Lover

Christine:  What a refreshing treatment of Richard's response to himself as
lover!  You have, for me, generated considerable thought, not just on Richard
III (as tragedy), but also on the regenerative power of love as a motif that
could inform much of Shakespeare.  You mentioned Edmund, but isn't Lear himself
restored to sanity by the realization that Cordelia not only does but "can"
love him?  The forgiveness scene between them is one of the things that makes
the final scene so "awe"ful. I won't dwell on this now, but Leontes _WT_ and
Benedick seem also to benefit from the power of love, and I believe one could
even make a case for Petruchio.

Thank you,
Ed Pixley
SUNY-Oneonta

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 97 21:41:00 -0600
Subject: Shakespeare and Astronomy
Comment:        SHK 8.0054 Shakespeare and Astronomy

For anyone intrigued by Bill Godshalk's posting from _The Times_, hie thee to
your astronomy colleagues: the January/February issue of _Mercury_, the Journal
of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has "Shakespeare's Astronomy" by the
same Peter Usher as the cover story. The astronomer friend with whom I serve on
the board of the Minneapolis Planetarium (I'm the token humanist) brought it to
our meeting today--to which I had brought copies of Bill's post.

Chris Gordon

Q: A Great Caesar

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0059.  Wednesday, 15 January 1997.

From:           Louis C. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Jan 1997 09:44:05 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Julius Caesar

Shakespeare presents Caesar as pompous, fearful, bragging and subject to
manipulation by flattery.  Nothing in productions I have seen questions these
facts.  Yet this is the man whom Brutus, Antony and others in the play (the
messenger who comes to the grieving Antony!) praise for his "greatness."

I have been looking for that "greatness" in the character as presented in
various productions for years.  (Years ago, in London, I did see Gielgud as
Caesar deliver the "Yon Cassius hath a lean and hungry look" while leaning back
vulnerably on the edge of a fountain and delivering those lines directly to
Cassius who stood meekly before him. I nearly leapt from my seat with delight
at the insight of this new interpretation, for here was a Caear who was indeed
formidable. Unfortunately, nowhere else in the production was this insight
capitalized upon - we were returned to Caesar-the-pompous-fool routine.)

If we take the position that the character of Caesar is comparable to that of
Hitler, Mussolini, Evita, and, as about them, wonder how such a posturing,
self-filled "leader" can command the respect of his associates, we must
conclude that, in fact, he doesn't. As with the case of those historical
figures, we must suppose that Caesar's associates find him just as he is
presented to us, but follow him because his is the currently successful
"bandwagon," and they want to be on it. (I exclude Brutus, the idealist, the
dreamer, in this - and I address the Caesar of the *play*, not the historical
Caesar, whatever he was.)

Now, everything is reasonably explained: those responsible for the government,
says Shakespeare, are as weak and or corrupt as the Caesar they allow to lead.
Ah, but not everything.  What about Marc Antony's soliloquy over the corpse, a
soliloquy rich with praise for this dead leader? Under the circumstances of the
siloloquy, we cannot doubt that these are the true feelings of this man.  Yet
Antony is the man who *immediately* capitalizes on this death and who will
shortly show himself hard enough to condemn his own nephew to death in a
political trade-off ("Here with a spot I damn him.") Is it not probable that,
in the privacy of his soliloquized thoughts, this ambitious, ruthless Antony
would not remark to himself the faults of the Caesar whom Shakespeare has shown
us to *have* faults? Surely *he* is not like the dreaming Brutus?  (If he is,
he certainly awakens from the condition quickly!).

                              * * *

Is it possible to present a Caesar who is indeed great, as the single scene in
the Gielgud production mentioned above suggested that there might be?  And that
pompous, "I am as constant as the northern star" speech be delivered by a
Caesar who shows here, perhaps, a sense of humor?  (Indeed, might not his
greatness be, in part, his power of persuasion by suggesting through the
camaraderie of humour that he is "just one of the guys" and therefore has only
such power as they democratically allow him?)  It has always seemed to me that
the man who delivered that speech as it is usually given is inviting his death
not only at the hands of the conspirators, but at the hands of the audience as
well!

May I hear from scholars, directors and actors on the above points?

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