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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: April ::
Re: Black Rosalind
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0919  Tuesday, 24 April 2001

[1]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Apr 2001 11:48:12 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0907 Re: Black Rosalind

[2]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Monday, 23 Apr 2001 10:35:41 -0700
        Subj:   SHK 12.0889 Re: Black Rosalind


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 11:48:12 -0400
Subject: 12.0907 Re: Black Rosalind
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0907 Re: Black Rosalind

>To my mind, the "cognitive dissonance"
>described as "disturbing in the extreme" need NOT necessarily mean that
>the color-blind casting, and the resultant paradoxical flavor lent to
>lines referring to "blackness," equals being "disruptive."   Some excellent productions ARE >intentionally *disturbing*,
>and may intentionally generate "dissonance,"

Yes, that was what I was pointing to.  Shakespeare and Co. is a very
"analytical" bunch: the dissonance cannot have been unintentional.
However, I implied that "our" ability to produce and respond to such
effects currently exceeds our" capacity to discuss and understand them,
and that for that reason the thread was of continuing interest -- and
not of idle interest, but of major importance in our time: at least it
seems so to me.  The degree of discomfort generated seems to me to be a
sign that there is matter here that needs to be brought out and looked
into, matter that would benefit from light and air.

Although the first impulse is to "save the play"-- keep the problem
below the level of consciousness-- I don't think that the millions of
heated but intelligent words poured onto the matter of "Jewishness" in
MOV have hurt either the play or the people whose minds have been
engaged in grappling with it, do you?

Geralyn Horton
Newton, Mass. 02460
<http://www.stagepage.org>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Apr 2001 10:35:41 -0700
Subject: Re: Black Rosalind
Comment:        SHK 12.0889 Re: Black Rosalind

>If a director casts a play with a mixed race cast
>and that play has lines that refer to someone as
>"black," you're saying that causes a break in the
>audience's ability to stick with the story. It's disruptive.

Which reminds me of something that ought to be on the record somewhere.

About a decade ago, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival mounted a
production of *Dream.*  The actor playing Wall was Asian-American.  The
reference to the *chink in the wall* was altered to *hole in the wall,*
presumably so no one would think a racial slur was involved.

All the best,
Mike Jensen

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