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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Modern Dress Query
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0447  Monday, 6 March 2000.

From:           Alice Jane Cooley <
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Date:           Sunday, 5 Mar 2000 13:44:54 -0500
Subject:        Modern Dress Query

I have a query for any members of this list who have directed
productions of Shakespeare or other Renaissance plays, and chose to
place them in modern settings. The question, in a word, is: Why?

I should explain the context. I am working on a project on the use of
anachronism in several medieval and Renaissance texts, and as an
introduction to my paper I want to discuss the possible reasons for
using anachronism other than the straightforward, "They didn't know any
better" excuse. I'm trying to do a little primary research on the
subject. Obviously, the use of modern dress in Shakespearean productions
is one modern example of anachronism used for artistic effect, and one
which modern audiences seem to accept quite readily. I am less
interested in theoretical statements about the significance of this kind
of choice than in hearing directly from those who have made the choice,
why they made it. I would be greatly appreciative of any answers that
people have.

Alice Cooley

P.S. If my project strikes some as jejune or unoriginal, I must plead
that I am a mere undergraduate, working on a senior essay. Humour me...

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