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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: May ::
Re: Elizabethan Staging
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0432  Thursday, 7 May 1998.

[1]     From:   David M Richman <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 6 May 1998 12:30:46 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0419  Re: Elizabethan Staging

[2]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 May 1998 12:23:18 +0000 (HELP)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0426 Re: Elizabethan Staging

[3]     From:   Susanne Collier <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 06 May 1998 13:47:20 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9. "Elizabethan" Staging


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David M Richman <
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Date:           Wednesday, 6 May 1998 12:30:46 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0419  Re: Elizabethan Staging
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0419  Re: Elizabethan Staging

I would be grateful, and I suspect the list would benefit, if those of
you who have either seen performances of the Original Shakespeare
Company or other companies using similar techniques, or who have
participated in such performances, would furnish details.  How do these
performances compare with performances of Shakespeare compare with
performances produced in ways more familiar to modern theatrical
practice (a slippery term-I know.)?  I imagine, but my imagination may
be defective, that "sides-only" techniques would yield better results
with a repertory company-a group of actors that works together on many
plays in many styles-and whose members are familiar with each others'
strengths and techniques.  I would hesitate to use this technique with a
group of inexperienced actors-or as a one-time-only experiment.
However, I am delighted to be instructed by those who know better.
David Richman

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 May 1998 12:23:18 +0000 (HELP)
Subject: 9.0426 Re: Elizabethan Staging
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0426 Re: Elizabethan Staging

"Sides"( although rarely used in rehearsal today except in movies and
there they do have everyone's words written out on very small sheets
that may be kept in the pocket and referred to between takes) were still
in use in the sixties in Canada if a script had been rented, whether
Tams-Witmark's musicals or legit plays. I had to rehearse from them
twice, and it certainly brought forth a lively and frustrating form of
motivation.

I do think that to perform Shakespeare this way is rather silly and that
major actors would rightly ridicule it as an historical exercise and
view it as a marginal augmentation of actor-training in these plays
where too many performers have sufficient response even to their own
text and concentrate instead on what they imagine to be their own
feelings. Colm Fiore and Seanna McKenna, two extremely competent
Canadian actors, did try "The Original Shakespeare Company" in Toronto a
few years ago and declared it to have been useful to their own
technique. It was Much Ado, I think.

Most good actors know the plays more or less by heart in any case!

Patrick Tucker and Louis Hancock would probably agree that their method
is "interesting" [the word that damns in the theatre and is beloved in
the academy] and revelatory in dealing with problem moments that are
often best solved by what has come down to us as approximate metrical
and phonetic accuracy.

        Harry Hill

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susanne Collier <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 May 1998 13:47:20 -0700
Subject: 9. "Elizabethan" Staging
Comment:        Re: SHK 9. "Elizabethan" Staging

Fellow Shaksperians, the appearance of the "Elizabethan Staging" thread
reminded me of doing musicals at school.  When one mounts a production
of "My Fair Lady," for instance, one pays the copyright fee and receives
one or two copies of the entire play for the director and tech director
and a complete set of sides for all speaking characters, with their own
lines and one cue line.  The first rehearsal was always a group call
with a complete read through so that everyone did know what happened in
the rest of the play.  Plus ca change!!

Susanne Collier
 

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