Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: January ::
Re: Drama/Theatre
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0091  Monday, 18 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Dale Lyles <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Sunday, 17 Jan 1999 12:33:44 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0070 Re: Literature, Music, Language

[2]     From:   Ed Pixley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Mon, 18 Jan 1999 13:06:07 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0070 Re: Literature, Music, Language


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dale Lyles <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Sunday, 17 Jan 1999 12:33:44 EST
Subject: 10.0070 Re: Literature, Music, Language
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0070 Re: Literature, Music, Language

T. Hawkes posits a dichotomy between theatre/drama...

At my less than stellar undergraduate school, "drama" was the
literature. "Theatre" is what we did.  My BFA, in fact, is in Drama and
Theatre.  And I'm the artistic director of a theatre company, not a
drama company.

Hope this doesn't start a riot.

Dale Lyles
artistic director
Newnan Community Theatre Company

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Mon, 18 Jan 1999 13:06:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 10.0070 Re: Literature, Music, Language
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0070 Re: Literature, Music, Language

> Ed Pixley makes an interesting point: 'Theater is truly the most
> collaborative of the arts'. But theatre isn't a ART, is it?  Drama is
> the art. Theatre/theater is the building in which some forms of that art
> take place.

> T. Hawkes

Professor Hawkes:

Thank you for giving me the respect of this wonderfully provocative
response. I'm trying to get my syllabi ready for the semester and don't
have time to take up your bait fully, but would simply remind you of two
works with which I am sure you are familiar: Peter Brook's _The Empty
Space_, which calls attention to all the bad as well as the exciting
artistic creations which emerge in that ephemeral medium of the
theater/re, whether a building or a dancing circle at the center of an
amphitheatre; and Adolph Appia's Music and the Art of Theatre, probably
the most generative works of the past hundred years for the achievements
of theatre art as it embraces the dramatic art.

Professor Hill:

Thank you also for your illustrative supports for my soapbox.  I am
reminded, of course, of all the operas, ballets, and mimes I have seen,
some of which were in the best tradition of Peter Brook's "Deadly
Theatre," but many of which inspired me without benefit of understanding
any verbal language.  I won't reprint your lenthy letter, as I'm sure
that any interested parties have already saved it.

Ed Pixley

> >For the above reasons, a play can never be said to be complete until
> >it is in production before an audience.
>
> I do NOT mean to disagree with Pixley.  This is just to focus the issue
> from another angle by introducing Anthony B. Dawson's argument:
>
> It is a common place these days to say that Shakespeare's plays were
> written to be performed, but this too is an oversimplification.  In
> order to be performed, they first have to be read.  Besides, our current
> familiarity with ... [Shakespeare's plays] is generally a consequence of
> reading, and certainly our study of ... [them], as well as our judgment
> of performances, depends on reading, which is always what drives
> interpretation.  Because of the play's intense concern with
> theatricality and performance, we could even say that reading it IS
> performing it.
>
> This citation is from _Shakespeare in Performance: Hamlet_ (Manchester:
> Manchester UP, 1995).
>
> Takashi Kozuka

Dear Takashi Kozuka:

Thank you for your thoughtful addition to the dialogue.  I am happy to
report that I do not perceive you as disagreeing with me at all.
Dawson's assertion that the plays first must be read is one that my
soapbox statement assumed.  My comparison to the audience who is
unskilled at reading a symphonic score is based on that comparison.
Most play readers are also unskilled at reading scripts, as I suggested.
But the symphonic score is not the performed symphony; nor is the
Shakespeare text the performed play.  The theatre artists are the
collaborators who bring that script into its proper domain: performance.
To do so, they must be skilled at reading the script, but also skilled
at all the histrionic arts of time and space that will give it that life
to inspire the imaginations of audiences-for whom (I think it is safe to
say) most playwrights intend as the final recipients of their art.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.