1999

CSF The Tempest

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1600  Thursday, 23 September 1999.

From:           W. L. Godshalk
Sent:           Tuesday, September 21, 1999 1:33 PM
Subject:        CSF The Tempest

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's production of The Tempest,
directed by Jasson Minadakis, opened on September 16 and runs until
October 10.  The costuming is eclectic. At the back of the stage is a
central, curtained door (i.e., Prospero's cell), flanked by two low
parallel walls at right angles to the rear of the stage.  Above is a
platform upon which Prospero stands when he is observing and directing
the action, and from which Ariel frequently exits the stage.

There is a pre-play dumb show as the sailors (in yellow slickers) hang
white sails at the rear of the stage and the royal party comes on board
as from a wedding.  As the ship leaves port, the boatswain (Jeremy Dubin
who also doubles as Trinculo) uses a staff to steer, as he grins and
waves goodbye. (Later this staff becomes Prospero's magic wand, with
which he "steers" the play's action.)  To indicate the storm, the
sailors flap the sails and stagger about the stage.  It's very well
done.

The second scene begins with Prospero (Paul Riopelle) emerging from the
center of the white sails that appear like gigantic white wings from his
shoulders.  (I was impressed by this stroke.)  As Prospero says, "pluck
my magic garment from me" (1.2.24), Miranda (Corinne Mohlenhoff) helps
Prospero detach himself from the sails, which are then ready for their
next function.  As Prospero recounts his misadventures as Duke of Milan,
the main characters in his story magically appear (in dumb show) from
the sails. In this production, Prospero has an evil sister, Antonia
(Lesley Bevan), a real dragon lady with a long, black split dress and a
burgundy stole.  Alonso (Sylvester Little, Jr.) is apparently of African
descent  -- a fact which, I suppose, accounts for his marrying his
daughter Claribel to the King of Tunis.  Keland Grant Scher plays a
weasel-like Sebastian, and Nick Rose a hardy Gonzalo.  So, in this
scene, Prospero acts as the presenter much as Vindice does in the
opening scene of The Revenger's Tragedy.  Purists, of course, will cry
foul, but I thought the dumb show worked well to enliven this
potentially boring scene.  (In some productions, Prospero has to work
hard to keep Miranda awake while he tediously delivers his exposition!)

Throughout, Riopelle's Prospero keeps aloof from the action and the
other characters.  When he addresses another character, he often turns
away, avoiding direct contact.  He is the unmoved mover, and Ariel his
demiurge.  This is nicely suggest in 3.3, where Prospero stands alone
directly behind Ariel, as Ariel takes food from the royal party.

In this production, Ariel (Joseph Verciglio) and Caliban (Giles Davies)
significantly resemble each other -- twins like love and hate.  Ariel
(in black and red) first appears from above Prospero's cave, while
Caliban (in ragged blue) emerges from the trapdoor in the center of the
stage.  Davies's Caliban is excellent in his ape-like chatter and
movements.  Caliban's metaphorical relationship to Ferdinand (Brian
Isaac Phillips) is suggested when Ferdinand crouchs over the trapdoor,
much as Caliban had crouched before him. Both characters, of course,
carry wood for Prospero and find Miranda pretty special.

Phillips's Ferdinand enters smiling, and seems not too upset by his
father's putative death by drowning.  When Prospero commands him to
follow, Ferdinand's "no" (1.2.467) is comic, as he brushes past Prospero
on his way to Miranda.  Miranda is the perfect ingenue.

In 2.1, the sex change from Antonio to Antonia has some interesting
payoffs. The audience sees Antonia as the object of Gonzalo's comment on
"our garments," and the line gets a laugh.  Later when Antonia exclaims
"whores and knaves" (162), she appears to be identifying herself and
Sebastian.  Later, in an obvious but effective gesture, she uses her
burgundy stole to cover Alonso and Gonzalo as they sleep.

R. Chris Reeder (surely the tallest actor on this stage) doubles as
Boatmaster and Stephano who finds Caliban and Trinculo (dressed as Early
Modern jester with phallic bauble) under a sheet in a comic parody of a
certain sexual position (2.2).  No surprises here, but the scene is
genuinely funny, well acted and well received.

Act IV is severely cut.  Iris does not enter, nor does Juno descend.
But one moment in this scene is extremely effective.  When Ariel asks
Prospero, "Do you love me, master? no? (48), he is looking at Ferdinand
and Miranda embracing.  Prospero's answer, "Dearly, my delicate Ariel"
(49), is strangely disquieting in this production.

Perhaps the most interesting moment in the final scene is the entrance
of the royal party because it reflects the interpolated dumb show of 1.2
where we are introduced to their collective guilt.  Now, all is
forgiveness.

This is an excellent production, and I recommend it.

CSF is on the web at: http://www.cincyshakes.com/csf_homex.html
Administrative email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Box Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 513-381-BARD

Re: SHAKSPER is Back!

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1599  Thursday, 23 September 1999.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, September 23, 1999
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER is Back!

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

Again, I thank all who have written such kind words of support for the
work I do with SHAKSPER, and it is indeed work, averaging two hours a
day, five to six days a week. Your support and appreciation are the
principal reasons for my efforts.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I would have to modify some of my procedures
as a consequence of having the security problem I had fixed.

What this means is that I cannot no longer use the reply function when I
am using the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. account. This is the account to
which all messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. are forwarded and the
only account that can be used to send digests to the SHAKSPER members
through the listserv software.

So if you now what to send me personal mail or pose a question that you
would like me to respond to, the best method would be to send that mail
to either my University account This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (also known as
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or my personal account This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I do have a work-around for messages that require a response that are
sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., but it involves much more effort that
simply hitting the reply function. Thus messages sent to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. that in the past may have received a reply from
me will probably go without a response unless there is an urgent need
for one.

Thanks for your patience and support and now to the digests.

Hardy

SHAKSPER is Back!

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1598  Wednesday, 22 September 1999.

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Subject:        SHAKSPER is Back!


Dear SHAKSPEReans,

SHAKSPER is up and running. We are now using the latest listserv
software (release 1.8d). The security problem with my SPAC 4 work
station has been fixed, and I am now Y2K compliant. I also have
permission to order a smart UPS and backup system.

However, fixing these problems means that I have to make a few
adjustments to the way I operate. I will not longer be able to respond
to you directly. I will have to use either my university or private
account to do so. A bit of extra work for me, but undoubtedly worth the
peace of mind of having a secure system.

I have also learned of a SUN program for which I might be eligible to
get a much bigger and better server to run this list.

I will soon move forward with establishing the SHAKSPER web site;
however, disk space may require me to wait until I can see if I can get
the better server.

I appreciate all of the kind messages that were sent to me during the
hiatus. It is so good to know that so many care about the work I do with
SHAKSPER, as much of a labor of love as it is.

I have class now and will probably not catch up until tomorrow.

Best wishes,
Hardy

Newly-discovered Ben Jonson-Inigo Jones Masques

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1597  Thursday, 16 September 1999.

From:           Daniel Traister <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 15 Sep 1999 22:31:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Newly-discovered Ben Jonson-Inigo Jones Masques

SHAKSPERians might find the following report of some interest:

        Old stagers confound stately home researchers

        Geoffrey Gibbs
        The Guardian [London], Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Researchers looking for material to support an exhibition of 17th
century portraits at one of Britain's leading stately homes have been
stunned to discover a long hidden volume of dramatic works by two of the
most celebrated artistic figures of that age.

The two short plays, or masques, co-written by the dramatist Ben Jonson
and Inigo Jones, the architect and stage designer, were performed at
court for King Charles I almost 370 years ago. They were unearthed by
chance in the archives of Wilton House, ancient seat of the earls of
Pembroke, during research for an exhibition to mark the 400th
anniversary of the birth of the Flemish artist Sir Anthony van Dyck,
nine of whose paintings hang in the Inigo Jones designed property.

Alun Williams, who discovered the hessian bound volume, said experts
from Christies had examined the works. They had confirmed they were
definitely from the period and were probably part of a larger
collection.

"We were surprised and delighted with this extraordinary find," he said
yesterday.

"We had no idea it was there and my heart started thumping when I found
it.

"The manuscripts lay untouched for centuries and we are very excited to
have rediscovered them."

The masques, entitled The Fortunate Isles and Love's Triumph through
Callipolis, were performed at court in 1626 and 1630.

According to notes on the back cover of the second play, the fourth earl
of Pembroke, lord chamberlain to the king and a noted patron of the
arts, was among the players.

Steve Hobbs, who oversees the Wilton House archive at the Wiltshire
county record office in Trowbridge, described the discovery of the two
short plays as significant.

"These are two masques written in contemporary hand in the early 17th
century. The discovery of their authors as Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones is
particularly exciting as Jones was not known as a playwright."

Archivists are particularly pleased at the discovery as much of the
Herbert family's literature was lost in a fire that destroyed large
parts of the interior in 1647.

According to Mr Williams, Inigo Jones spent almost 20 years at Wilton
after being asked to draw up plans to rebuilt the Tudor house in the
Palladian style that he had introduced to England.

The house, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, had long played host to leading
men of letters-Shakespeare among them.

"This must have been a little bit of fun which he and the various
participants enjoyed in their leisure time," said Mr Williams.

They are at present on display at Wilton House as part of the Van Dyck
exhibition. Van Dyck, who was born 400 years ago this year, was court
painter to Charles I who recommended him to the fourth earl.

In his designs for Wilton, Inigo Jones created what is known as the
double cube room-a room 60ft long by 30ft high and 30ft wide- around the
huge Van Dyck canvases.

The nine portraits housed at Wilton include what is thought to be the
largest Van Dyck in existence-a 17ft high portrait of the 4th earl with
his children.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Search

Make a Gift to SHAKSPER

Consider making a gift to support SHAKSPER.