1997

Re: RSC Hamlet in NY

The Shakespeare Conference: .  Saturday, 20 December 1997.

From:           David P. McKay <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 11:27:14 EST
Subject:        Re: RSC Hamlet in NY

In response to John Walsh, the Brooklyn Academy of Music sent out a
membership renewal press release which said that the RSC was bringing
productions of Hamlet, Cymbeline, Henry VIII and Everyman to BAM in the
Spring.  Unfortunately, that is all the information they supplied.

Best,
David P. McKay

Q: Juliet and the "inconstant moon"

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1245.  Saturday, 20 December 1997.

From:           Marilyn A. Bonomi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 22:13:29 -0500
Subject:        Juliet and the "inconstant moon"

While discussing the first balcony scene with my high school sophomores,
we considered the question of why Juliet tells Romeo not to swear by the
moon.  Although the obvious textual answer came up immediately, one
student asked the following:

Is Juliet telling Romeo not to swear to or by Diana, goddess of the moon
and of chastity?  If so, why would she want him NOT to swear chastity-is
she already that interested in him?

My first reaction was, the text is clear: she says the moon is
inconstant.

But my second reaction was, Geez, a kid who's willing to think, to
connect to what we'd talked about in 1.1 with Rosaline having "Dian's
wit" and the consequent offer from Romeo of gold if she'd "ope her lap"
(which phrase, incidentally, becomes a most convenient euphemism
throughout our discussions of the play).

And my third thought is-she's certainly hot enough to suggest
instantaneous marriage...  Maybe the kid's ON to something.

I promised to ask my Shakespeare professor at Southern CT. State U., but
we had no time in class, and the semester has ended.  So I'm turning to
all of you on the list, to see what you think.

Thanks in advance!

Marilyn B.

Re: Marlowe, Anti-Semitism

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1243.  Saturday, 20 December 1997.

[1]     From:   Balz Engler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 15:27:53 +0100
        Subj:   Marlowe, Anti-Semitism

[2]     From:   Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 16:16:44 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1240  Re: Anti-Semitism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Balz Engler <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 15:27:53 +0100
Subject:        Marlowe, Anti-Semitism

Stevie Simkin's report reminds me of a production of The Merchant of
Venice at the Deutsches National Theater, Weimar, in 1995, directed by
the Israeli director Hanan Snin. The scene was an SS casino in a
concentration camp (Buchenwald is just a bus ride's distance from
Weimar). The SS officers want to be entertained, and they put on the
Merchant, forcing three Jewish people to play the roles of the Jews in
the play. For a detailed critical account of this impressive production,
see *Shakespeare-Jahrbuch* 1996, 176-78 (Maik Hamburger).

Balz Engler, Department of English,
University of Basel, Nadelberg 6, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland,

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Simkin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 16:16:44 -0000
Subject: 8.1240  Re: Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1240  Re: Anti-Semitism

I was encouraged by Keith Richards' response to my post about our recent
production of *The Jew of Malta* and its Warsaw setting, particularly
the Brechtian note.

Keith refers to a production of Marlowe's play under the Third Reich and
notes that "for many reasons ... [J of M] did not work well to promote
anti-Semitism. ... it's completely over the top portrayal of what a Jew
"is" can serve as a Brechtian alienation effect, prompting critical
reflection among an audience composed of people who know Jews as
friends, colleagues, and neighbours."

This was precisely our strategy, with stylized, gestic portrayals of the
stereotypes, and with the "Jewish" actors quite clearly dropping in and
out of stereotyped roles.  With the whole company onstage throughout,
*in role* as Polish Jews, non-Jewish Poles, or German soldiers, the
responses of the onstage audience were crucial and very complex and
varied, the most blatant "acting up" of the Jews being stamped on by the
German officer playing Ferneze, while less sophisticated minds (one Nazi
in particular) evidently failed to realise the ways they were themselves
being ironized. Each non-Jewish Pole also responded differently to what
was happening.  The complexity of onstage audience response stimulating
"real" audience response was fascinating.

In turn, the friars' roles (first played by Germans) were hijacked by
Jewish actors halfway through the performance, so that the satirical
scenes (friars beating each other up in their rivalry to convert Barabas
and inherit his gold, etc.) became a retaliatory gesture - the Jews
taking Marlowe's anti-Catholicism and turning it against the Nazis.  A
further Brechtian moment came at the end of this scene where the Barabas
Actor cued the lighting box to jump out of performance light to
"houselights up"(on stage) (akin to Mouse Trap in Hamlet?) to deliver
his "Now for this example I'll remain a Jew; bless me, a friar and a
murderer?" speech.

I appreciate the note about historical accuracy (and thanks for the tip
on the reference), and we did make it clear in the production programme
how much artistic license was being taken here.  Part of the inspiration
for staging the play as we did had been my own research into the use of
M of V as propaganda (off the top of my head, 23 productions in 1933,
and 30 more between 1939 & 1939).  May you never again complain about
the umpteenth revival of Hamlet in a year...

Sorry for length of post.  I'll keep further discussion for off-list,
and the article I'm working on.  Thanks to all those who have responded
privately to me already.

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

Re: *Kiss Me Kate*

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1244.  Saturday, 20 December 1997.

[1]     From:   Billy Houck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 11:49:30 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1241  Q: *Kiss Me Kate*

[2]     From:   Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 14:27:43 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.1241  Q: *Kiss Me Kate*


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 11:49:30 EST
Subject: 8.1241  Q: *Kiss Me Kate*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1241  Q: *Kiss Me Kate*

I did Kiss Me Kate in 1994 with very good results. Audiences love it,
especially the Brush Up Your Shakespeare number.

Billy Houck
Eagle Theatre

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Dec 1997 14:27:43 EST
Subject: 8.1241  Q: *Kiss Me Kate*
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.1241  Q: *Kiss Me Kate*

I have directed KISS ME KATE within the past three years and i don't
think it holds. It's cute but it's not really Shakespeare. Look at "Your
Own Thing" which I believe is a musical adapt of "12th night"(I'm sure
I'll be corrected if I'm wrong).....The RSC has a really cute musical
revue call THE SHAKESPEARE REVUE which might be fun..I thought it clever
and they have it in script form and the CD is available through their
shop  on the Internet )The best musical is probably "The Boys from
Syracuse" Comedy of Errors. It seems to hold and has some nice tunes in
it.

Virginia Byrne

MLA Convention Attendees: Please note this change

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1242.  Thursday, 18 December 1997.

From:           Ruth Elizabeth Feiertag <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Dec 1997 22:47:58 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        MLA Convention Attendees: Please note this change

I'm forwarding this for a friend who is just now applying to join
SHAKSPER. Rhonda wants to make sure as many interested people know about
the change as possible.

 (With apologies for cross-postings)

MLA Convention attendees, please note the scheduling change below:
Session 156: "A Local Habitation with a Name: Hospitality and Hostility
in the Renaissance City" has been rescheduled to 10:15-11:30 a. m. on
Sunday, December 28 (which is *earlier* than the Convention Program
listing) and will be held at the Toronto Convention Center 205B.

Please note this change in your program.  The papers in this session
investigate London's treatment of people of different classes, genders,
and nationalities in a variety of genres from prose tracts, to city
comedy, to mock wills, and coronation pageants.

The speakers and papers are correct as listed in the program:

"Queens and Paupers: Give and Take in London's Streets" Rhonda Lemke
Sanford, University of Colorado, Boulder

"'Of London is her race': Favored Neighbors and Unwanted Guests in
Renaissance London" Lloyd Edward Kermode, Rice University

"The City Stage: Satirizing Sumptuous Fabrics" Roze Hentschell,
University of California, Santa Barbara

"Regulating Traffic: Bodies and Urban Space in Jacobean City Comedy"
Jean E. Howard, Columbia University

Since corrections to the program will be distributed at the MLA rather
than mailed this year, and since this session is now *earlier* than
originally scheduled, I wanted to get the word out prior to the
Convention.  Please contact me if you have any questions about this
session.

For more information on this session, visit our website at
http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~sanfordr/mlaweb.htm

Rhonda Lemke Sanford
University of Colorado at Boulder
Department of English
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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