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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: "most wonderful"--Twins
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2662  Monday, 26 November 2001

[1]     From:   Gigi Steyer <
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        Date:   Saturday, 24 Nov 2001 11:26:34 -0800
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2638 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

[2]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Sunday, 25 Nov 2001 23:53:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2638 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gigi Steyer <
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Date:           Saturday, 24 Nov 2001 11:26:34 -0800
Subject: 12.2638 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2638 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

I haven't contributed to this list before, but I do have a comment about
the issue of casting actual twins in "Comedy of Errors" (or any other
twin play).  I am an actress and a director, and I was in the S.F.
Shakespeare Festival's 1999 production of "Comedy", in which two actors
who happened to LOOK like identical twins (they were not) were cast in
the Dromio roles.  They looked so much alike that many of the cast
members would call them by the wrong names (I did it a few times).  In
addition, these two actors didn't differentiate their performances very
much at all.  The affect of this was that many audience members (who had
never seen or read the play) were fooled into thinking there was really
only one Dromio, thus they weren't "in" on the joke.  I talked to many
people who were simply confused.  I think the fun lies in watching the
confusion of the CHARACTERS; for that to happen, I believe the audience
must know more than they do.

Respectfully,
Gigi Schmuckal

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
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Date:           Sunday, 25 Nov 2001 23:53:00 -0500
Subject: 12.2638 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2638 Re: "most wonderful"--Twelfth Night

> What it does suggest is that if one wants to
> consider how twins are represented on stage, it might be a good idea to
> look to Plautus (as Jonson does) and consider MENAECHMI and AMPHITRUO.
> In both plays the text insists upon the identical appearance, although
> how one performs that feature is, of course, going to vary depending on
> the conventions of performance and the assumptions of the culture.
>
> Fran Teague

There are eight twin plays (none extant) from the period of Greek New
Comedy, when it would have been done with masks.  It's not clear whether
Plautus and his contemporaries used masks to pull off the twin joke, but
the absurdities that arise from trying to do it without masks can become
part of the joke.

Clifford

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