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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: New York CYMBELINE
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0773  Friday, 21 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Carl Fortunato <
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        Date:   Sunday, 16 Aug 1998 11:13:27 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0766  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[2]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Sunday, 16 Aug 1998 14:54:47 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0766  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[3]     From:   Valerie Wayne <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Aug 1998 11:16:24 -1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[4]     From:   Diane Grecco <
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        Date:   Thursday, 20 Aug 1998 11:21:48 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <
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Date:           Sunday, 16 Aug 1998 11:13:27 EDT
Subject: 9.0766  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0766  Re: New York CYMBELINE

> Thanks for the other comments on CYMBELINE (NY)....  In response to
> those who raised the issue of Imogen's pregnancy. First time I saw the
> play I sat too far away to even notice it, second time I noticed it. My
> hunch is that it was the actress who was pregnant more than the
> character, but I too am not sure....

> In response to the doubling of Iachimo and Jupiter. Again, the first
> time I saw the play, I didn't realize it was the same actor.  I think
> the costumes were different enough to not make it obtrusive.  Then,
> again, it's not a bad plot doubling thematically- since Jupiter's most
> famous line is probably "who I love I cross" and Iachimo, as the one who
> TESTS the deeply affianced quality of Posthumus' and Imogen's
> love---have certain similarities...

There is an article about it in this morning's New York Times (August
16), in which it says that Stephanie Roth Haberle - who plays Imogen -
is *7 1/2 months* pregnant (she really doesn't look it), and the
doubling of Iachimo/Jupiter (which I didn't notice either) was
intentional.  Serban, the director says, "Stephanie carries life inside
her.  It is very touching.  It's not a metaphor; it's real.  From night
to night, you don't know.  She could give birth."   He apparently cast
her because he felt that, pregnant or not, she's right for it.
"Stephanie is very much like what I feel Imogen is in the play - like
Dante's Beatrice, a symbol of the soul."

As for Iachimo, he says, "Usually, Iachimo is portrayed as a conniver
and manipulator, an Iago, a villian.  But I think he is Jupiter, who
takes a human form in order to challenge Posthumus to see himself, to
see his limitations, to see his own vanity, so that he can suffer and
mature.  From the very beginning, Imogen is ready for Posthumus, but he
is not ready for her.  So Iachimo is a very positive devil, a holy devil
- we need that in life."  This last delivered with a laugh.

On a slightly less elevated note, my wife wonders if some night there
will be a small mishap, and some lucky audience member in the front row
will catch the head.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Sunday, 16 Aug 1998 14:54:47 -0700
Subject: 9.0766  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0766  Re: New York CYMBELINE

I saw a Serban production in some warehouse on the lower east side in
NYC back in the mid-60s. It was The Trojan Women, done in Greek, don't
remember whether ancient or modern. It was, literally, a nightmare. If
my memory has held up all these years; the audience stood for the entire
performance; there were periods when we were all in total darkness; and
although exactly what the unhappy Trojan women were saying was
unintelligible, it hardly mattered as everything they said was either
yelled or screamed.

At one point a huge cart rumbled out of a corner and threatened to run
over members of the "audience" that couldn't get out of the way fast
enough. Throughout the production I had three thoughts that chased each
other around in an endless cycle: where can I go where I won't get spit
on (by the screaming women above us on a sort of balcony)? where can I
go where I won't get run over by the cart? and: how soon will this be
over?

Of course I got the point. We were meant to suffer along with the
Trojans. This was the 60s, and off-off Broadway audiences had to wear
their high-heeled sneakers when they went out to be "entertained." After
awhile I was careful to avoid avant garde plays of this sort where the
directors seemed more interested in abusing the audience than in giving
them, God forbid, an evening of pleasure in exchange for their ten
bucks, or whatever it cost back then.

Still, there was one sublime moment in that show that has remained with
me as almost worth the experience. At one point a woman died, and fell
forward onto a very steep ramp that ran up from the floor (where the
poor audience huddled in panic) to the balcony where much of the action
took place. She slid and rolled down the ramp by degrees, her long black
hair and full black dress catching on the footholds of the ramp, as
though falling in slow motion. It was terrific!

Stephanie Hughes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Valerie Wayne <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Aug 1998 11:16:24 -1000
Subject: 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

I welcome any private communications on the current productions of
Cymbeline in New York and Ashland, since I'm in Hawai'i and unable to
see either one.  I am editing the play for Arden 3.

Valerie Wayne
University of Hawai'i at Manoa

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Diane Grecco <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 Aug 1998 11:21:48 -0400
Subject: 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

In the Sunday New York Times (8/16/98), Arts Section (page 4), there is
an article about CYMBELINE, and it mentions the fact that the actress
who plays Imogen, Stephanie Roth Haberle, is 7 1/2 months pregnant.

Just wanted to update everyone.

Diane Grecco
 

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