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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: September ::
Re: BBC tapes are nice, how about
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0950.  Wednesday, 24 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Jeffrey Myers <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 09:25:11 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?

[2]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 10:03:18 -0400
        Subj:   BBC and Beyond

[3]     From:   Ed Pixley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 11:10:48 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?

[4]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 12:43:18 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 8: 0949 Tapes

[5]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 18:14:08 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jeffrey Myers <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 09:25:11 -0400
Subject: 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?

>the New York Shakespeare Festival production
> of Much Ado About Nothing, starring Kathleen Widdoes and Sam Waterston,
> directed by A.J. Antoon. Both appeared on PBS stations, and Much Ado was
> also shown on CBS.

My favorite production of my favorite play, probably the reason I'm a
Shakespearean today (don't hold that against it).  When I tried to get
it from NYSF for my class, I was told there was only one print, in very
bad shape that could be rented for an outrageous fee, but they wouldn't
guarantee it would last an entire showing.  When I asked why they didn't
just sell it on videotape, I was told they were afraid of piracy.  They
really sounded like a bunch of paranoids that couldn't be bothered with
the public.

Jeff Myers

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tanya Gough <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 10:03:18 -0400
Subject:        BBC and Beyond

Abigail Quart wrote:

>Is it possible (I've been told it isn't, but I'm asking again) for
>regional theatres to eventually at least partially endow themselves with
>a library of their past productions (like MGM, for instance) available
>on tape?

This is precisely what I hope to accomplish.  I'm starting with the BBC
because their tapes represent what I consider to be the foundation of
modern Shakespeare classroom work and the series covers the largest
range of Shakespeare's plays.  I plan to work on the Papp (New York
Shakespeare Theatre) productions next.  Both of these projects require a
large support base to give the rights owners a reason to listen, but at
the same time, I have been and continue to solicit regional theatres for
their own videotaped productions for exactly the reason Ms. Quart
desires.  Anyone who can assist me or who has legal rights to videos of
their theatre productions should contact me directly.

>It's been explained to me that current union contracts prevent release
>because of compensation agreements, which were scaled for large
>broadcast release. Is there anyone working to redraw these contracts to
>include narrowcast release, small sales over longer periods of time?

I am beginning to investigate the legal ramifications of these deals
myself, and I would be happy, nay grateful, to set up correspondence
with anyone who wished to hash out these legal conflicts.

Tanya Gough <
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[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 11:10:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?

> While the petition is circulating to release some of the BBC treasures
> to videotape, there are some American ones I'd like to free as well: The
> American Conservatory Theatre production of Taming of  the Shrew,
> starring Marc Singer; and the New York Shakespeare Festival production
> of Much Ado About Nothing, starring Kathleen Widdoes and Sam Waterston,
> directed by A.J. Antoon. Both appeared on PBS stations, and Much Ado was
> also shown on CBS.

I can't help you, Abigail, but I would like to add to your list the New
York Shakespeare Festival "King Lear," which starred James Earl Jones as
Lear and also featured the late Raul Julia as Edmund.  I don't know who
directed it, but it had some of the most memorable staging of that show
that I have ever seen.

Ed Pixley

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 12:43:18 -0400
Subject: 0949 Tapes
Comment:        SHK 8: 0949 Tapes

Dear Abigail Quart: The characteristic -and often most welcome- feature
of so-called 'live' performance is that it is ephemeral. Why on earth
should 'we' (as you put it) wish to negate that redeeming quality by the
use of videotape?  Amnesia is discernment's best revenge. In respect of
most productions, stone dead hath no fellow. Moreover, I have always
assumed that one of the advantages of being a New Zealander is that one
cannot be expected to undergo Shakespearean renderings at what you call
'the Guthrie'.

Terence Hawkes

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 18:14:08 +0100
Subject: BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?
Comment:        SHK 8.0949  BBC tapes are nice, how about the others?

Abigail Quart's plea for regional theater productions to become
available to all interested, will probably remain unrealized for the
foreseeable future.

The reason I was given by theater professionals in Oregon, California,
and Utah, is that they do not want their work seen that way.  While most
regional theaters would love for PBS or CBS to properly tape and
broadcast their productions - if it could be done in the Live From
Lincoln Center style - that doesn't happen very often.  Many (most?)
theaters tape their productions for archival purposes only.  This is
usually done with one camera covering the entire stage.  It is not
aesthetically pleasing.  Nothing comes over well.

Theaters do not want tapes available to the public.  These tapes give a
false impression of their work and would make them look bad, or at least
worse.  Unless something unexpected changes, I suspect it will be a very
long time before reputable theaters want their archival work available
to the public.

Best,
Mike Jensen
 

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