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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Various Responses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0956  Tuesday, 8 June 1999.

[1]     From:   Tim Perfect <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Jun 1999 07:57:56 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0950 CLSF's Edward III

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Jun 1999 09:43:00 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0950 Assorted Responses to Recent Posts

[3]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 07 Jun 1999 09:56:54 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0950 Assorted Responses to Recent Posts

[4]     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Jun 1999 14:32:35 CST6CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0947 Shakespeare and Media Violence Connection

[5]     From:   Joe Conlon <
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        Date:   Monday, 7 Jun 1999 16:41:02 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0949 Shakespeare Credit Card


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tim Perfect <
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Date:           Monday, 7 Jun 1999 07:57:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 10.0950 CLSF's Edward III
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0950 CLSF's Edward III

>Incidentally, this is not the first full-text
>professional production of this play, as Elena
>(mis?)quotes Tim Perfect as saying.

Somewhat of a misquote, I would say.  I wanted to be very careful about
not claiming anything about our production that was not true, which is
why we billed our production as the "EASTERN US premiere", in addition
to the first full professional production SINCE its inclusion in the
canon last year.  I thought I had been clear, but alas...

In any case, the reason we chose to present this show is not to make a
great claim about finding a "lost work", but rather to explore the
possibility that Shakespeare did write "Edward III". From an actor's
perspective, the rehearsal process is the best way to explore any play,
in my humble opinion.  Edward III has been a difficult show up to this
point, the text is often rough and hard to work through, but our company
has made a good run at it, and with just 2 weeks before opening, it is
starting to come together.  It may turn out to be a total bomb, but at
least we'll know, won't we?

I apologize for any confusion, and hope those of you in the area can
make it up to see the production.

Best wishes,

Tim Perfect
Executive Director
Cleveland Shakespeare Festival
http://www.cleveshakes.org

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Jun 1999 09:43:00 -0700
Subject: 10.0950 Assorted Responses to Recent Posts
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0950 Assorted Responses to Recent Posts

Melissa D. Aaron first quoted me then asked (I have edited my part of
the message):

>>Othello in the same theater (the Shakespeare Memorial) has
>>simulated oral sex, and between men.  Heavens!  ... and Valpone,
>>in the Swan, opens with the title character in bed with his dwarf,
>>hermaphrodite, and eunuch, though everyone is clothed.

>I know the situation in *Volpone*--but what's the context in *Othello*?
>No one particular scene leaps to my mind for this kind of staging.

It was II.III.  The lads were singing and getting drunk.  One put a
bottle in his britches and another put his mouth on it.  Then the first
removed the bottle, but kept his knickers on.  The other faked oral
sex.  It was not "necessary" to the story, but it did explain Cassio's
self-righteous anger better than any production I have seen.  He was
disgusted by the action and went into, "Some souls must be saved..."
etc.  It worked.

The problem is that Cassio isn't the most moral person on the island
when it comes to heterosexual sex.  This inconsistancy didn't work for
me.  I have some other criticisms as well, but it is easily the best
production of the play I have seen on stage, very good in most ways.  It
also restores the balance to the Othello/Iago characters.  Neither
dominates the play and that is the first time I have seen that!

Best,
Mike Jensen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 07 Jun 1999 09:56:54 -0700
Subject: 10.0950 Assorted Responses to Recent Posts
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0950 Assorted Responses to Recent Posts

Judith Craig wrote:

>I would argue from the woman's point of view that Portia loves her
>father and respects his judgment:

And I agree from the play's point of view.  What no one seems to notice
is that the play is as absolutely about keeping your word and the
exceptions to that as The Odyssey is about the rules of hospitality.
Why else have the fifth act?  To a lesser extent, this is an obsession
of Shakespeare's most everywhere in his plays.  Try doing a word study
of the words forswear, lie, and their derivatives and synonyms sometime
throughout the canon.  It is very instructive.

This is why I am confident Portia does not tip off Bassanio as to which
casket to chose.  It is inconsistent with her character through the rest
of the play.  She absolutely believes of keeping your word, but also in
forgiveness.  From a stagecraft POV, there is not tension of she tips
him off.  This is a moment made for tension.

I know I'm swimming upstream having this opinion on this list, but I do
think a close and consistent reading bears this out.

Mike Jensen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <
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Date:           Monday, 7 Jun 1999 14:32:35 CST6CDT
Subject: 10.0947 Shakespeare and Media Violence Connection
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0947 Shakespeare and Media Violence Connection

You might want to contact the folks at Shakespeare & Company in Great
Barrington, Massachusetts (their website: http://www.shakespeare.org/),
who have done a lot of work on this topic. Professor James Gilligan
(author of Violence (Vintage paperback, 1997) works with them; he has
done a lot of research on contemporary violence. Another fine book,
_Shakespeare Comes to Broadmoor_, edited by Murray Cox looks at the
performance of Shakespearean tragedy in a secure psychiatric hospital.
Neither of these focus on the response to the plays in Shakespeare's own
time, but they might be of interest.

Chris Gordon

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joe Conlon <
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Date:           Monday, 7 Jun 1999 16:41:02 -0500
Subject: 10.0949 Shakespeare Credit Card
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0949 Shakespeare Credit Card

Note to all:

I also would like to know if anyone was successful.  I spent about three
days trying to track down someone who would send me an application and
got nothing but the big run-around.  I eventually gave up.  One
representative I talked to said they only market these kind of cards to
selected groups.  I suggested to them that a Shakespeare Newsgroup might
be a pretty responsive select group to market a card with Shakespeare's
picture on it, but the representative didn't take the hint.  Oh well, I
guess I'll just have to take Polonius' advice.... and neither a borrower
or......

Joe Conlon, Warsaw, IN, USA
 

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