1997

Re: Helena's Entrance

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0941.  Monday, 22 September 1997.

[1]     From:   David M Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 1997 12:10:07 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0938  Q: Helena's Entrance

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 1997 16:34:17 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0939  Re: Helena


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David M Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 1997 12:10:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0938  Q: Helena's Entrance
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0938  Q: Helena's Entrance

"My legs are longer though to run away."  (Quoting from memory).  We
staged Helena as always running; always in pursuit, or pursued.  For her
first entrance, she was running in pursuit of Demetrius. (She didn't
know where he was.  Hermia's line stopped her.  There are, of course,
myriad ways to stage this entrance. Good luck. David Richman

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 1997 16:34:17 -0400
Subject: 8.0939  Re: Helena
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0939  Re: Helena

Roger Gross writes:

>There isn't enough textual info to compel any choice we might make.  My
>choice has always (in 3 productions) been to assume that Helena was
>looking for Hermia (or perhaps just looking for a good place to cry)
>when she stumbles upon Hermia and Lysander in the midst of a bit of
>coochie-coo.  She does an abrupt about face, hoping to escape without
>being seen.  But she fails.

In Q, though not in F, Helena enters with Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and
Demetrius in the play's first scene (TLN 24).  No exit is marked-which
isn't that unusual.  So she may exit almost anytime and then return.
But is it possible that she lurks around the borders of the scene until
she is spotted by Lysander and greeted by Hermia (TLN 190-192)?  Perhaps
she is leaving the scene when she is stopped.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

Calls for Papers

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0940.  Friday, 19 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Rachana Sachdev <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 22:11:26 -0400
        Subj:   CFP: Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference

[2]     From:   Michelle Haslem <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Friday, 19 Sep 1997 13:14:45 +0000
        Subj:   CFP: Nature and Artifice in Renaissance Poetry


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Rachana Sachdev <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 22:11:26 -0400
Subject:        CFP: Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference

Call for Papers

Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference: Cultural Performances

Susquehanna University invites you to send students from a Shakespeare/
Renaissance Drama / Early Modern Literature class to participate in the
Third Annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference to be held in
Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania  (about 50 miles north of Harrisburg) on
November 21 and 22.

Papers, workshop discussions and performances dealing with Romeo and
Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, The Merchant of
Venice, Othello, King Lear, and Richard III would be especially
welcome.  We solicit papers dealing with all aspects of these plays,
though the main focus of the conference is on live performances
(including opera) and films based on Shakespeare's plays. Papers should
be about 7-9 pages long (reading time about 15-20 minutes), and should
preferably have an interesting or original take on either the plays
themselves or the performances. Detailed abstracts of papers will be due
by November 7.

It is understood that the papers and performances will be largely works
in progress. Our main purpose for the conference is to create a greater
awareness of the seriousness of all intellectual enterprises. We also
hope to establish a community of undergraduate students who are able to
converse about academic subjects with increasing excitement, confidence,
and fluency. In past years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the
students' willingness to take themselves and their work seriously as a
consequence of the conference.

The conference will begin at 2:00 on Friday afternoon, and will include
a plenary speaker and some brief live performances by the Theater and
Music departments at Susquehanna University on Friday evening. On
Saturday, we hope to schedule both regular presentation sessions as well
as workshops on individual plays. Workshops will require about 5 minutes
of prepared materials by each participant. We will conclude with a
post-conference party early Saturday evening, though participants could
leave around 4:00 on Saturday.

Please announce the conference to your students. For further
information, contact

Dr. Rachana Sachdev
English Department
514 University Avenue
Susquehanna University
Selinsgrove, PA 17870-1001.
Ph: (717) 372-4200
Fax: (717) 372-4310
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michelle Haslem <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 19 Sep 1997 13:14:45 +0000
Subject:        CFP: Nature and Artifice in Renaissance Poetry

Dear Shakespereans,

The next meeting of the Northern Renaissance Seminar Group will be at
University College Chester on Sat 15th November.  Papers of 20-30 mins
reading time are still welcome on the subject of Nature and Artifice in
Renaissance Poetry - submit a short abstract by email or by post to the
address below.  Anyone wishing to attend can contact us for further
info.

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

or Graham Atkin
 c/o English Dept
University College Chester
Cheyney Road
CHESTER

Qs: Helena's Entrance; A Midsummer Night Night's Wet

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0938.  Thursday, 18 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Ed Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 12:45:05 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Helena's Entrance

[2]     From:   Richard A Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 15:38:44 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   A Midsummer Night Night's Wet Dream


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 12:45:05 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Helena's Entrance

Last night, as my cast and I began text work for our upcoming production
of MND, using the New Folger as our basic script, we were surprised by
the gloss on Helena's entrance (I.1.183).  Lysander announces the
entrance: "Look, here comes Helena."  Hermia has the next line,
"Godspeed, fair Helena. Whither away?"  The Folger glosses "Godspeed" as
"a conventional greeting."  Since Helena does make an entrance and since
Lysander even announces her entrance, a greeting would seem to be in
order.  One of my undergraduates, however, challenged that, pointing out
that "Godspeed" is usually a shortened way of saying "God speed you on
your way," a farewell rather than a greeting.  Moreover, "whither away?"
seems to ask "where are you going," not "where are you coming from?"
>From this, we concluded that Helena is not coming to join Hermia and Lysander, but is on her way to some other place, and Hermia's line interrupts her in her progress, giving an entirely different dynamic to Helena's first line, "Call you me fair?"  She must abandon whatever intention was carrying her to another destination so as to respond to Hermia's perhaps unwelcome adjective.

I've checked all the other editions I have on hand and none of them
gives any gloss to the line (except to identify Elizabethan perceptions
of "fair").  Nevertheless, I couldn't help wondering whether there is an
editorial assumption that Helena is making an entrance with the
intention of joining Lysander and Hermia.  There must be other directors
out there who have dealt with this.  Does anyone care to respond?  Or am
I just belaboring the obvious?

While I'm at it, Hermia's vow to join Lysander in the woods (in the
speech immediately preceding this) is sworn on a series of pretty
unreliable things, including "all the vows that men have ever broke."
Is she telling him that she is taking an incredible risk in promising to
join him-that she is, in fact, really trapped into a situation over
which she has no control?  Shakespeare's women, with good cause, do not
have a lot of confidence in their men's ability to hold up their ends of
bargains.  Yet over and over again they seem to have little choice but
to place themselves at risk on the promises their men have made.

Cheers,
Ed Pixley

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 15:38:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        A Midsummer Night Night's Wet Dream

Does anyone know anything about the director or production history of a
film (on video) called A Midsummer Night's Wet Dream?  Does anyone have
a copy?  Thanks

Richard

Re: Chambers; Helena; DC Tempest; Spinoffs

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0939.  Friday, 19 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Edna Z. Boris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 04:30:02 -0400
        Subj:   F. Owen Chambers

[2]     From:   Roger Gross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 16:23:24 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0938  Q: Helena's Entrance

[3]     From:   Harry Teplitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 16:39:26 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   DC Tempest -- another review

[4]     From:   Joanne Gates <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 13:55:06 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Queries on Other Shakespeare Spin-Off Films


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edna Z. Boris <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 04:30:02 -0400
Subject:        F. Owen Chambers

To answer Louis Swilley's question about F. Owen Chambers' handling of
"To be" and "nunnery," I must first explain that I've been looking for
evidence of stagings of Hamlet's monologue with Hamlet shown as aware of
the presence of Polonius and Claudius spying on him.  If anyone knows of
any such productions, PLEASE let me know.

Anyway, F. Owen Chambers has Polonius place Ophelia in an Oratory
upstage left where there is a book that is chained to a table, and that
is the book that she is to look at.  The King and Polonius then exit
right center and Hamlet immediately enters from left center with a
manuscript of the play scene.  After the first line, "To be, or not to
be, that is the question," the directions say that Hamlet "goes to
Curtains C & pulls them aside tosses Ms away to L & comes down to seat
R.C." ; then later just after Hamlet asks Ophelia where her father is
but before she answers, the directions say that he "looks up & sees
Polonius & king disappear behind curtains R. Entrance"-twice Hamlet
draws his sword and exits in pursuit of the King & Polonius, the first
time at "farewell" and the second time at "a nunnery, go"; his final "To
a nunnery go! go! go!" is said with Hamlet standing with sword drawn.

Chambers' making Hamlet so active in pulling the curtains aside and in
twice drawing his sword and running off stage is different from most
other productions I've looked at.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roger Gross <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 16:23:24 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 8.0938  Q: Helena's Entrance
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0938  Q: Helena's Entrance

Ed Pixley inquires about Helena's entrance in 1.1.

There isn't enough textual info to compel any choice we might make.  My
choice has always (in 3 productions) been to assume that Helena was
looking for Hermia (or perhaps just looking for a good place to cry)
when she stumbles upon Hermia and Lysander in the midst of a bit of
coochie-coo.  She does an abrupt about face, hoping to escape without
being seen.  But she fails.

Roger Gross
U. of Arkansas

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Teplitz <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 16:39:26 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        DC Tempest -- another review

I, too, saw both the recent version of the Tempest by the DC Shakespeare
theater and their production 7 years ago.  My memory of the previous
show is a little dim, but from what I recall the new one is much
improved.

For one thing, they now have the benefit of a much larger and more
modern space.  The old show was set on a raked stage where the floor had
the design of a clock.  The library setting this time seems to inform
the text more clearly.  In fact, the design elements are really the star
of the new show.  It is a beautiful production, from the sunset lighting
of the rear screen to the movable walls of the library.

The acting in the show is very good, as is usual for the company.  The
actor playing Prospero (in both shows) is strong and clear.  He is a
little reserved for my taste, however, showing only hints of an inner
struggle.  My major complaint with the show is that I found Prospero's
character arc difficult to follow.  The events of the play were clear,
but not their motivation.  Ariel was clever and physical; I agree he was
a "Puck-like" spirit.  Caliban was intense, though his accent seemed a
little unstable.  He also suffered from being the centerpiece of a
concept that was not fully realized.  Stephano and Trinulo steal the
show in each of their scenes.  The various lords (King of Naples, Duke
of Milan, etc. ) are well played but a little indistinct.  Their
costumes are very similar, as is their bearing, and I wonder if those
not familiar with the script can really tell them apart.

Conceptually, the show is in a bit of a muddle.  As another post
mentioned, most of the spirits are played by African-American actors.
Certainly the Caliban scenes suggest that this was intended to be an
important theme-Caliban is not monstrous, only "primitive". In his final
scene, Prospero describes him as deformed, though he is in perfect
shape; the scene is staged with Caliban surrounded by fancily dressed
white actors, while Ariel watches from the side.  I think the show would
have done better to go further with the concept or otherwise not
bother.

One final note-after the breaking of the staff, the stage lights are
turned off and the work lights are turned on, eliminating the "magic" or
the theater and illuminating some of the audience.  I was particularly
fond of this effect, having done a similar trick in a production of
Hamlet this summer.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Gates <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 13:55:06 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Queries on Other Shakespeare Spin-Off Films

The review of a new Verdi Macbeth in the Wall Street Journal reminded me
to ask:  PBS aired a spectacular Verdi Macbeth in the early '80s.  Scene
changes were done as erector-set constructions, magically dissolving and
growing, changing dimension.  Big duet between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
took place on a human size chess board with her knocking over chess
pieces.  Does anyone know if this film is available?

Also, a "cats" special, I think on A&E gave brief mention to an Italian
director who had filmed a Cat version of Romeo & Juliet.  He chose for
his animal cast a breed of cats that could swim, and there was a brief
clip of a white cat plunging into water (the balcony scene??).  I'm
interested to know if anyone else has heard of such a film.

Joanne Gates

Re: McKellen Mac; New Globe; Spinoffs; Web Crit

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0937.  Thursday, 18 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Terry Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 09:10:16 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Ian McKellen Macbeth

[2]     From:   Franklin J. Hildy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 18:13:07 -0400
        Subj:   New Globe

[3]     From:   Matthew Gretzinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 10:41:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0935  Re: Spinoffs

[4]     From:   Ron Ward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 21:29:59 +1200 (NZST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0916  Re: Criticism on the Web


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terry Craig <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 09:10:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Ian McKellen Macbeth

Anyone interested in the Ian McKellen *Macbeth* might try The
Continental Shop in Santa Monica. Their catalog lists the film at $39.90
and I believe it's ready to play on American video systems (NTSC).

Address and Phone:

  The Continental Shop
  1619 Wilshire Boulevard
  Santa Monica, CA  90403

  (310)-453-8655

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Franklin J. Hildy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 18:13:07 -0400
Subject:        New Globe

It seems that many of us saw the same production at the new Globe this
summer. For those of you who could not make it over there, do check out
"Henry V at the Globe" which will be broadcast on PBS on Nov 5th as part
of the Great Performances series.

Let me add my voice to those who have noted that Mark Rylance did not
direct the shows done at the Globe and is not directly responsible for
their short comings.  He did select the directors but his choices were
rather limited for a variety of reasons.  Like many of you on the list I
was more impressed with the theatre than the productions this summer
(enjoyed Henry V very much, found Winter's Tale embarrassing) but as one
of those who worked on this project for the last 13 years I must say
this was only to be expected. William Poel and Nugent Monck, the two men
who blazed the trail in rediscovering Elizabethan staging conventions
early in this century, always said they worked with armatures because
professional actors were too set in their ways to be able to quickly
adapt to the demands of this very different approach to performance.  We
saw this in the workshop season of 1995,  in the prologue season last
year, and in the shows this summer.  But the more experienced the actors
get with this space the better they are at using it and I understand
from those who saw the productions in the final week of the run that
they were much better by that time than they had been in June.

Ironically there are probably a lot more actors in America who would
understand how to use the Globe than there are in England but the real
problem is the directors who still think in terms of proscenium arch
theatre and TV frames and still refuse to allow anyone to help them with
understanding the special qualities of that dynamic building.  If you
saw Damon and Pythias last year you know how successful a show can be
when the director(Gaynor Macfarlane) consulted with someone who had a
solid understanding of the building-in this case Rosalind King, who had
been part of the 1995 Workshop Season.  I hope Ms Macfarlane will be
invited back again.  By contrast, the director of Two Gents last year
and the director of  Winter's Tale this year were not receptive to
assistance from those who understood the building and chose rather to
embark on  self indulgent rehearsal techniques that did not serve the
actors in preparing them to take the stage in this building.   They did
their actors a disservice and I hope they will not be asked to work at
the Globe again. The director of Henry V, Richard Olivier, did make an
honest effort to understand the unique characteristics of the Globe and
while I did not agree with his interpretation of the play there was
clearly a keen intelligence at work in this production.  Olivier seems
to have understood that this was a laboratory that needed to be
experimented with, not just another theatre like the Barbican or Drury
Lane. I hope he will be back in the future.

Modern designers are also a problem in this space.  They are not use to
factoring the decoration of a theatre when they conceive of their
design.  Henry V designer, Jenny Tiramani seems to really understand the
nature of the work being attempted at the Globe and she is Mark
Rylance's great find for the company.  They designer for Winter's Tale,
on the other hand,  just didn't get it.  He knew what the building would
look like but seem to have had no clue as to how that would impact his
design.  It would have looked great at the Barbican Pit but at the Globe
it just looked silly-one friend commented that the designer thought this
was "Leontes,Prince of Tires," but you had to see all the steel belted
radials on stage to get the joke.

All those involved are learning and the more they learn the better they
will get at using this stage-this was always the plan of the project.
Globe performances are very different form those in the West End but I
like the experience of going to the Globe and would not miss it.
Standing seems to be the best way to experience these shows and for
those who do not like the benches may I suggest the Gentlemen's
Rooms-there are chairs there.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Gretzinger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 17 Sep 1997 10:41:07 -0400
Subject: 8.0935  Re: Spinoffs
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0935  Re: Spinoffs

>In _Good Omens_, by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, reference is made to the
>rare "lost quartos" of Shakespeare, the three plays never reissued in
>folio and now lost to scholars:  _The Comedie of Robin Hoode, or, The
>Forest of Sherwoode_, _The Trapping of the Mouse_, and _Gold Diggers of
>1589_.

In reference to Gaiman, I'd like to add _The Tempest_ issue of Sandman
Comics, and an issue of the series "The Doll's House," in which
Shakespeare figures briefly as a character "who'd bargain, like Kit's
Faustus," for the "boon" of being able to write well.  There's also _A
Midsummer Night's Dream_, in which Oberon, Titania and the fairies watch
a performance of the play in which (I think) W. S. himself takes a part.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ron Ward <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Sep 1997 21:29:59 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: 8.0916  Re: Criticism on the Web
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0916  Re: Criticism on the Web

 Billy Houck says
>
>What we need to do is teach our students to know crap when they read it.

That requires thinking about. The expression is too loose to be sure
whether his intention is to tell student what crap is and make sure they
follow his guide lines. The faculty of good taste can not be taught. It
is a part of an adult awareness, but can be covered over by rubbish
acquired in many ways. So in a way you need to unlearn bad habits not
learn new ones.  That is an alternative view anyway.

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