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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Re: The Malone Society; Speaking the Verse
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0606.  Wednesday, 28 May 1997.

[1]     From:   Thomas L. Berger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 May 1997 16:53:21 EDT
        Subj:   The Malone Society

[2]     From:   Roger Gross <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 May 1997 14:34:35 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Speaking the Verse


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas L. Berger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 May 1997 16:53:21 EDT
Subject:        The Malone Society

Founded in 1906, the Malone Society was named after Edmond Malone,
editor of the first variorum edition of Shakespeare. The Society's first
General Editor was W. W. Greg.  Now under the general editorship of Dr.
Roger Holdsworth, it continues to publish editions of Renaissance plays
from manuscript, photographic facsimiles of printed plays, and editions
of original documents related to the drama.  These volumes, all of which
contain material not readily available elsewhere, maintain the high
standard of accuracy for which the Society is renowned.

A look at the volumes for recent years illustrates the nature of the
Society's publications: Collections XV includes a reprint of one of
Ralph Crane's transcripts of Middleton's A GAME AT CHESS; a reprint of
the part of 'Poore' in another wise unknown Jacobean play acted at
Christ Church, Oxford; a collection of records from the archives of the
Middle Temple, relating to dramatic and musical entertainments,
1613-1643; and a letter from Sir Henry Killigrew to the Earl of
Leicester enclosing proposals for a fireworks display for Queen
Elizabeth.

TOM A LINCOLN, edited by Richard Proudfoot from BL Add MS 61745.  The
play dates from 1611-16 and is of historical interest for its echoes of
Shakespeare and for its burlesque of the conventions of romantic
narrative and romantic drama.

Samuel Daniel, HYMEN'S TRIUMPH, edited by John Pitcher.  The text used
in this reprint derives from the manuscript in the Edinburgh University
Library.  It was prepared under Daniel's supervision as a presentation
copy to Jean Drummon, daughter of PAtrick, third Lord Hawthornden, at
her marriage for Robert Ker of Cessford, first Lord Roxborough, in 1614.

William Shakespeare, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, prepared by Thomas L.
Berger.  The text reproduced is that of the Huntington copy, one of
eight copies of Q1 which survive.

The 1996 volume (delayed at press) will be Dr. Lynn Hulse's edition of
dramatic pieces by William Cavendish preserved among the Portland
manuscripts in the Hallward Library at the University of Nottingham.
The 1997 volume will be Sarah Poynting's edition of Walter Montagu's THE
SHEPHERD'S PARADISE (performed January 1633 at the court of Henrietta
Maria by an all-female cast) from one of two Folger manuscript versions.

Annual dues for U. S. members are $27.00.
The U.S. Treasurer is Thomas L. Berger
Department of English / St. Lawrence University / Canton, NY 13617
Phone:  315-379-5134    FAX: 315-379-5628  e-mail: 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

Special membership offers now obtain, but the U.S. Treasurer is so inept
at using e-mail that he won't even attempt to put them on the screen but
will be happy to send them snail mail to those who would like to have
said offers.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Gross <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 May 1997 14:34:35 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Speaking the Verse

Jody Tate asks about the verse and the acting style.

Regarding the verse, I can make available to you a 'booklet' by me which
I use as a text in my Acting Shakespeare classes.  It is called THE
SHAK-PACK: MATERIALS FOR ACTING SHAKESPEARE.  It is 50 pages long and is
a basic introduction which lays out most of what you need to know to
speak the verse appropriately.  The pack is a sort of miniaturized
version of my almost completed book, SPEAKING SHAKESPEARE'S VERSE.
Several universities are using it now and they tell me it is useful.

Re. acting style, I recommend Bertram Joseph's ACTING SHAKESPEARE and
ELIZABETHAN ACTING (I think that's the title).  You are correct...every
age has actors which it finds natural and actors it finds artificial or
formal.  This distinction doesn't give us an objective image of the
style.  One age's 'natural' is another ages 'phony'.  I have a tape
which samples the great actors since the beginning of recording.  I am
amazed to hear that naturalness comes and goes.  Edwin Booth seems much
more natural to me than actors who worked 30 or 40 years later.  Yet he
is just as 'large' as they.  The impression of naturalness comes from
something other than the 'size' or 'elevation' of the acting.  It is
related to the idea of 'believability' which is also independent of
style.  We don't have an adequate way of describing the factors which
lend believability.

In your post, I find what seems to be a linking of correct verse
speaking and the grand style.  I encourage you to give up that link.
Verse can be spoken 'correctly' in either the grand style or in a
'conversational' style.  Style and rhythm are quite independent of each
other.

If you are interested in THE SHAK-PACK, contact me off list.

Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas
 

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