The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0345. Tuesday, 11 March 1997.
Date: Monday, 10 Mar 1997 18:32 -0500
Subject: Romeo and Juliet / Shakespeare's toughest line
Just saw Romeo and Juliet up in Baltimore (and they're doing fine). and
I got to thinking about those Shakespearean lines that have become so
familiar that it borders on impossible for an actor to make them sound
new or natural. You know, "to be or not to be ..., " "all the world's
a stage ...." But the one that always sounds to lamest to me is "what
light through yonder window breaks ?..." I was wondering how the actors
and directors coped with these "BIG" speeches in an attempt to make them
sound like something a person might say, instead of like text that we've
studied at length?
The Baltimore show, at Center Stage, is most notable for its casting of
one man, Robert Dorfman, as the Chorus, Friar John, the Apothecary, a
handful of servants, and toughest of all, as the nurse. While the rest
of the cast is costumed in period attire, he performs all the parts in a
white man's suit; and it really is his show. The other interesting
thing is the screeching, mostly by Juliet. But I mean screeching in a
good way. I'm so used to petite Juliets who exude awe at the new
experience of love. This one gives it a loud in-your-face quality. A
very different kind of Juliet, that caught me by surprise.
PS Would it really be so bad if they said, "ban-ished" instead of
PPS Anyone heard of Tromeo and Juliet? what is it?