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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: December ::
Taymor (and the Tempest) in DC
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2260  Thursday, 7 December 2000

From:           Jimmy Jung <
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Date:           Tuesday, 05 Dec 2000 15:39:41 -0500
Subject:        Taymor (and the Tempest) in DC

In the midst of all of this Taymor turmoil, let me add a few notes on
the exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington
DC.

It was interesting, and it made me very curious about one day seeing The
Lion King, but for the Shakespeare folks there really isn't that much
there.  Two masks, a few photos and an excerpt from what appeared to be
a PBS video represented her production of The Tempest, while the Titus
room only included some photos and another behind the scenes video.

The two mask from The Tempest were a stone looking head piece for
Caliban's inspired, by the lines: "... and here you sty me In this hard
rock, whiles you do keep from me The rest o' the island."  Ariel was
portrayed by a mask that was used as a hand puppet.  Both concepts sound
interesting and I was wondering if any of our crew saw it and had any
thoughts about this other Shakespeare/Taymor production.

Speaking of The Tempest and interesting choices.  I'm writing too late
to provide a timely review of The Tempest at the Folger Library in DC.
Joe Banno has once again stirred the text rather severely (last year he
split Hamlet into 4 players and inserted elements of the "bad folio.")
It makes for an entertaining, but confusing ending.  If anyone can
explain, or speculate on the wedding ending, I'd be grateful.  Was it a
dream? or is this actually the wedding of Miranda and Ferdinand
reconstructed from assorted text?

The other item that I found very interesting was casting Ariel and
Caliban as two women.  Ariel, hardly airy at all, is a big buxom lady in
green sequined jump suit.  Occasionally, she comes off as Prospero's sex
toy, hanging on him or wrapping him in her legs.  Her final line to him,
"do you love me?" I can't find in any of my editions.  Caliban's first
appearance is with a vacuum cleaner suggesting Caliban as the housewife
and Ariel as the woman on the side, but it is a theme that doesn't
really get much follow through.  Anyway, I thought Caliban as a woman
introduced a lot of possibilities, but I didn't really see any of them
explored. (They blew right through the "honor of my child" line.)

jimmy
 

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