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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: June ::
Various Responses
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1006  Tuesday, 15 June 1999.

[1]     From:   R. Schmeeckle <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jun 1999 11:31:31 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0987 Future of the Classics

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jun 1999 17:22:58 -0400
        Subj:   CLSF Henry V

[3]     From:   Lawrence Guntner <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jun 1999 15:47:50 +0200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare

[4]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jun 1999 08:29:32 EDT
        Subj:   Hand Jive

[5]     From:   Jimmy Jung <
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        Date:   Monday, 14 Jun 1999 11:54:49 -0400
        Subj:   plagiarism.org


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. Schmeeckle <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Jun 1999 11:31:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 10.0987 Future of the Classics
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0987 Future of the Classics

> The future of the classics is quite debatable and I would like to read
> people's opinions on it as I'm writing a thesis on the subject.  Could
> you tell me what you think - will there be a future and why, won't there
> be a future and why?  My project is opinion based so the more in depth
> the responses are the better.

By my definition, a classic is a work that has survived the ravages of
time and changing fashion, retaining appeal to many generations and
serving as a stimulus and model for new acts of creation.

It might seem that there is a decreased interest in Shakespeare, the
prime example of an English classic, but it is not so clear that this is
the case when we consider such phenomena as this list and the many new
versions of Shakespeare that occur in the movies every year.  Does
anyone have any idea of how many Shakespeare-related movies have
occurred just this past year?  Granted, many of these productions are at
a far remove from the original play, but one generation's absurd
excesses will probably be pruned by the next.  The original work
survives as a core of continuing interest and appeal.

I am on a Byron list.  I doubt that most people, even supposedly
educated ones, even know who Byron is, unless they are fortunate enough
to have seen Ken Russell's GOTHIC.  But Byron lives on the internet.
Perhaps the classics will survive in the form of subcultural phenomena.

In my humble opinion,
     Roger Schmeeckle

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Jun 1999 17:22:58 -0400
Subject:        CLSF Henry V

Family affairs having kept me on the road a lot, I only last night got
around to the free outdoor Henry V of the Cleveland Shakespeare
Festival.  This mostly youthful group performs on and around the terrace
of a Perpendicular Gothic classroom building on the Case Western Reserve
University campus, one of the better venues I've seen for this kind of
performance-spacious, flexible, and with relatively decent acoustics.

The production is bare-bones-modern dress, with red armbands for the
English and blue for the French, olive sport coats for English
aristocrats, black suits for French, ordinary soldiers (incl. Fluellen
et al) in camouflage-pattern hunting outfits.

It's savagely cut-about 1 hr. 50 performance time, no intermission:
swift, lively, clear, generally well-spoken, with care for the verse.
But not much opportunity for sub-text: Henry (a very youthful Brian
Breth) is more passionate than usual-he throws his (female) Lord Scroop
to the ground and all but throttles him/her on the spot (Exeter's
reference to S. as H's bedfellow having been judiciously dropped)-a man
who commits himself wholly to an enterprise once his mind is made up.
He is clearly intended as a hero, though so much of the French scenes
are cut that the French actually emerge less ridiculous than usual.  In
place of subtlety there is swordplay-an egregiously extratextual fight
to the death between the Dauphin and Henry-and much running.  As
indicated, Breth is a little o'er-parted as Henry, but Allen Branstein
makes an effective Williams, John Lynch nicely differentiates Canterbury
from Nym, and Jay Kim does a good job with the bits and scraps of the
choruses the director, Tim Perfect, has left him.  Tonya Beckman is
touching as Dame Quickly and funny as Alice, and Erin Myers makes a
handsome, spirited Katherine.  The kids in the audience stayed alert
throughout, and while I'd have preferred a more complex approach this
one makes sense for an audience not familiar with the plays.

I have not yet seen the company's Midsummer Night's Dream, nor their
Eastern US premiere of Edward III, which opens next weekend.

Dave Evett

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lawrence Guntner <
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Date:           Monday, 14 Jun 1999 15:47:50 +0200
Subject: 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0976 Cultural Interpretations of Shakespeare

>I'm working on a project and was wondering if anyone could help me out.
>I'm attempting to research how productions of the same play done in
>different nations grants a much different perspective to the observer.
>I have chosen the plays of Macbeth and King Lear and I hope to gain
>incite into these.  I was wondering if anyone knew of any papers that
>have been written concerning productions of these plays done in other
>countries beside the US and Great Britain.  Also if anyone knows of any
>good foreign productions of these plays that would be helpful as well.

David,

For twentieth century productions in Germany, I recommend two volumes
which came out last year:

Wilhelm Hortmann, SHAKESPEARE ON THE GERMAN STAGE, Vol. 2 (with a
chapter by Maik Hamburger on Shakespeare in East Germany) (Cambridge
University Press, 1998)

J. Lawrence Guntner / Andrew McLean, ed. REDEFINING
SHAKESPEARE:LITERARY  THEORY AND THEATER PRACTICE IN THE GERMAN
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (Newark, NJ : U. of Delaware Press, 1998).

Both volumes read performances as expressions of cultural politics and
both contain many stills.

Sincerely,
Lawrence Guntner
Englisches Seminar
Technische Universit

 

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