1997

Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Love's Labour's Lost

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0432.  Tuesday, 8 April 1997.

From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 1997 20:56:31 -0400
Subject:        Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Love's Labour's Lost

Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's production of <italic>Love's Labour's
Lost</italic> opened at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati on
March 28 and closes April 20.  Shows begin at 8:00 PM, and there are
Saturday matinees at 2:00.  For more information, call 513.559.0642.

I saw the show last Saturday afternoon, and the audience loved it. The
show was peppered with spontaneous laughter and applause. The audience
generally seemed to understand the jokes, though Dull's comment on not
understanding a word (5.1.147 Bevington) got the loudest laugh.

The stage is shaped like a chevron, and runs diagonally across the
auditorium-north and south. On the north end of the stage is a gate made
of books, closed with an insubstantial chain, at the south end a
flower-decorated swing. In the middle, at either side of the stage, are
two benches made of books. The time is vaguely in the 1920s, though I
had originally thought "Edwardian."

The show begins when the three reprobate lords, William Sweeney
(Longaville), Richard Kelly (Dumain), and Nicholas Rose (Berowne), begin
to put away their toys and vices. Charles Scheeren (Navarre) enters like
a prissy schoolmaster-and the fun begins.  Berowne is especially
powerful-and the audience loved him. Jim Stump as Dull is the locale
sheriff, and Costard (Colby Codding) is a college student who has much
to learn-in this production.

Chris Reeder, the tallest member of the cast, plays a Don Quixote-like
Armado, while Moth is played by Marni Penning-perhaps the shortest
member of the cast.  They are an excellent team.

Kristin Chase is perfect as Jaquenetta-sexy and parodic.  (She later
doubles as Mercade.) She can do what the girls of France cannot do-leap
at whatever man she wants.  And in this production she does this
literally.

The girls of France (Toni Brotons as the Princess, Nicole Franklin-Kern
as Maria, Lisa Penning as Katharine, and Regina Cerimele as Rosaline)
are dressed as fashionable Parisian beauties should be-and the audience
does not have to suspend disbelief when the boys of Navarre fall in love
with them immediately. Boyet (Jim Stump again) is the officious
man-about-court.

Dan Kenny is Holofernes (and provides the music as court musician) and
Khris Lewin plays a dottering Nathaniel. They are perfect.

This show has really come together.  I loved it, and I recommend it to
anyone.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Re: Speech Prefixes in "Lear"; Teaching with the New

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0431.  Tuesday, 8 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Gregory McSweeney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 7 Apr 1997 15:32:08 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Speech Prefixes in "Lear"

[2]     From:   Fran Teague <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Apr 97 16:36:12 EDT
        Subj:   Teaching with the New Folger


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gregory McSweeney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 1997 15:32:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Speech Prefixes in "Lear"

I enjoyed Robert Marks's discussion of the discrepancies in speech
attributions in "Lear" Q and F, especially since it's always bothered me
that the Fool drops out the way he does: sans glory, sans thanks, sans
any acknowledgment of the crucial palliation he's provided the king's
downward spiral.

I think the Fool is a better "child" to Lear than Cordelia can bring
herself to be; her reticence in the early play to declare her love
completely - if not as fulsomely as her sisters do, strikes me as a sort
of standing on principle at the expense of the filial relationship. It's
a conscious decision on Cordelia's part to showcase her own superior
morality over that of her siblings. Her father's emotional needs at this
point are excessive and exasperating, to be sure, but Cordelia is
unwilling here to humour the old guy, for fear that she might be
perceived as sycophantic or greedy. In other words, her opinion of
herself must be preserved and published, that her innate nobility may be
known to all and sundry - and domestic and political stability be
damned.

So I've never been very satisfied with the notion that she and the Fool
were doubled; that may very well have been the case, but the Fool's
support of Lear is manifestly based on ego-less love, where Cordelia's
is contingent on her father's learning some mysterious moral lesson of
which she is long since the smug graduate. I still think she benefits
greatly from not being an only child; if Regan and Goneril weren't such
absolute murderous bitches she'd come across as rather
self-congratulatory and grandiose in her modesty.

Something I've found interesting in the difference in attribution in Q
and F, however, is in 1:4, where the king asks, "Does anyone here know
me?  Does Lear walk thus," etc. The Quarto has Lear asking, "Who is it
that can tell me who I am? Lear's shadow?" The Folio indicates that
after the king asks who can tell him who he is, the retort "Lear's
shadow" is given to the Fool.

The implications are hardly earth-shattering; Q would indicate a nascent
realization on the king's part of his own deterioration; F is utterly
true to the character and honesty of the Fool, in his lack of reluctance
to report unflattering truths to his master - and yet in the latter
utterance Cordelia's judgmentalism can be clearly heard. It's as though
the things she implies through her pretentious silence are
ventriloquized through the Fool's less invested voice.

Whatever the original attributions, I find it fascinating that some
degree of the authenticity of what we codify as definitive text comes to
us from transcriptions of performances. It would obviously have been
more important to jot down the content than the attributions; some
inaccuracy would have been inevitable. But in "Lear" the blurring of the
identities of Lear and the Fool, and the Fool and Cordelia seem
liberating to me. All three are on an approximate axis in terms of
victimization, audience identification, and morality - that others like
Edgar and Kent simply aren't - though these latter two are more
unproblematically 'good,' nor can their psychologies be considered less
developed than those of the first-tier characters. Go figure.

 Greg McSweeney

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 97 16:36:12 EDT
Subject:        Teaching with the New Folger

This past winter term I taught using the Folger editions, which my
students and I generally liked. Specifically, the students valued the
features of facing page notes, frequent illustrations, and top of scene
summaries.

I did find that my usual class on the text of _Hamlet_ had to be
re-thought because the edition gave no indication of the Q1 text for "To
be or not to be-ay, there's the point" or of the scene between Horatio
and Gertrude before Hamlet's return. Whether these passages are good,
bad, or indifferent, they serve as an excellent device to make students
think about the way we treat Shakespeare as a secular saint or how the
character of Gertrude is developed. I'd like to have those texts
available with some explanation so that I may teach with them.

I was also baffled to see that the "How all occasions" soliloquy was not
marked with the sort of brackets that might indicate it occurs in Q2
alone. I'm sure that there's a good reason for that, but I couldn't
figure it out.

Speaking of "How all occasions," I'm surprised more of the folks on this
list have not complained bitterly about its handling in the recent
Branagh _Hamlet_. Though I liked very much the treatment of Fortinbras
(and not everyone did, I gather), I was grumpy at the overblown shouting
and the clunky background that went with "How all occasions."

Re: Shakespeare and Modern Music

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0429.  Tuesday, 8 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Billy Houck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 7 Apr 1997 11:58:55 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0418 Re: Shakespeare and Modern Music

[2]     From:   Georgianna Ziegler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Apr 97 12:19:00 PDT
        Subj:   Music


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 1997 11:58:55 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0418 Re: Shakespeare and Modern Music
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0418 Re: Shakespeare and Modern Music

Elton John's THE KING MUST DIE is about Shakespeare and  Hamlet.  and I
have vivid memories of David Bowie singing to Yorrick's skull when he
did CRACKED ACTOR on the DIAMOND DOGS tour.

Still wearing platform shoes,
Billy Houck

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Georgianna Ziegler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 97 12:19:00 PDT
Subject:        Music

Many Thanks!! to all of you who contributed so enthusiastically to the
list of Shakespearean references in modern music.  I have forwarded your
thoughts to Angela Norris, a high school student in Golden, Colorado who
wrote us a letter and who, I am sure, will be quite overwhelmed by the
response!

Georgianna Ziegler

Position Announcement

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0430.  Tuesday, 8 April 1997.

From:           Lars Engle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 7 Apr 1997 13:57:15 -0400
Subject:        Replacement position: please post and forward

The Department of English at the University of Tulsa seeks a qualified
Ph.D. or A.B.D. with broad interests in Early Modern British literature
to teach in Fall 1997. Immediate needs are for three courses: a survey
course in British literature to 1800 for sophomore English majors, a
course in Shakespeare for general education students, and a course in
Milton for senior English majors. Relevant teaching experience,
publications and interest in women's literature a plus.

Please submit a letter, vita, and dossier for full consideration. We
will begin screening applications in mid-April and will hope to fill the
position by the end of the month. Please direct inquiries or
applications to:

Professor Lars Engle
Department of English
The University of Tulsa
Tulsa, OK 74104

918-631-2557
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Qs: Sh. as Model; New Variorum; Davenant; weird

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0428.  Tuesday, 8 April 1997.

[1]     From:   Bill McRae <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Apr 1997 10:22:24 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Model =


[2]     From:   Gabriel Wasserman" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 07 Apr 1997 16:41:27 -0400
        Subj:   New Variorum; Davenant; weird sisters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill McRae <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 1997 10:22:24 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Shakespeare as Model

What are the book-length studies of Shakespeare's texts as models for
subsequent literature?  I.e., say from _All for Love_ through
_Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead_, as well as non-dramatic
reinscriptions of Shakespeare?  =


[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Wasserman" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 07 Apr 1997 16:41:27 -0400
Subject:        New Variorum; Davenant; we=EFrd sisters

I have a question.  What happened to *The New Variorum Shakespeare*
after 1955, when *Richard II* was published.  In *The Reader's Guide to
Shakespeare*, it says that "now" (1966) *Titus Andronicus* and *The
Comedy of Errors* were being prepared.  I've never seen any volume later
than Ric. II.
Was Will D'Avenant the son of Will Shakespeare?

Tell me about the spelling and pronunciation of "weyward sisters" or
"weyard sisters" or "weird sisters"
Gabriel Z. Wasserman

P.S.: The Chandos portrait

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