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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: Titus Warning
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0601  Tuesday, 28 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Mar 2000 10:52:31 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 11.0578 Re: Titus Warning

[2]     From:   John Ciccarelli <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Mar 2000 17:09:42 -0500
        Subj:   Re: Titus Warning


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Mar 2000 10:52:31 -0800
Subject: Re: Titus Warning
Comment:        SHK 11.0578 Re: Titus Warning

Dale,

I certainly did not mean to offend you, but I think that I did.  Please
accept my apology.  That, however, does not make anything in the
exploitation version of Titus Andronicus rise above excrement.  It is
truly awful, and not even entertainingly awful.  It is worse than an Ed
Wood movie.  Really.  There is no need to put you or your work in the
same category as this production.  Tell you what, if you do produce the
play, and I'm in the neighborhood, however unlikely that is, I promise
to attend.

And while I am on the subject, I want to again recommend Alan Dessin's
excellent book on the stage history of Titus Andronicus in the
Manchester University Press Shakespeare in Performance series.  I am
only about half way through, and again putting it aside as the spring
quarter begins today, but that half is worth the price.  I am
particularly impressed by the way Dessin identifies staging problems and
how different director's overcome them, or are defeated by them.  He
also points to two basic approaches to staging the play, with symbols,
streamers for blood, or realistically, blood for blood, and the effect
these choices have.

Those following the Taymor Titus thread will be interested as well.  The
book was written before the movie was made, yet I found several examples
of stage productions solving performance problems in the way that Taymor
later found to solve those same problems.

The material is well organized and presented, and written in a very
readable style.  It is a good book.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Ciccarelli <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Mar 2000 17:09:42 -0500
Subject:        Re: Titus Warning

Your assessment of the Titus movie maybe correct, but I, like Dale
Lyles, take some offence to your community theater comment.  A community
theater is, "A theater" and is subject to same artistic standards as is
a professional theater.  If its good, its good.  If its bad, its bad.
The size of a playhouse's budget does not dictate its artistic worth.
By that reasoning the most expensive play or movie ever produced is the
best acted, directed, etc., piece of all time.  And you're assessment of
a professionally acted Titus movie proves my point.

I have done several community theater Shakespeare shows that I have been
extremely proud of and I don't discount their value simply because they
weren't at the Delecourt or in D.C.  Furthermore, I would pit my talents
or any of my fellow actors against a graduate from the RADA or a
regional Shakespeare festival any day of the week.  We have simple sets,
appropriate costumes. and a dedication to fully realizing the material
and giving an audience the best show possible.  Sort of like another
theater group that started out entertaining its own community, known as
The Chamberlain's Men.
 

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