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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Re: Actors' Additions
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2412  Tuesday, 23 October 2001

From:           Marcus Dahl <
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Date:           Monday, 22 Oct 2001 10:34:21 EDT
Subject: 12.2405 Re: Actors' Additions
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2405 Re: Actors' Additions

RE: naive readings of character speeches:

Shakespeare's voice is not to be found in the voice of a fictional
character in a play attributed to him. Fiction is not autobiography.

RE Orlando Furioso:

I do not agree that because there is a discrepancy between the 'part' of
Orlando and the (pretty rough) quarto play that this a confirmation of
Bill Godshalk's theory of non-intervention. If an actor's part is
different to the published part (both additions and ommisions as I
remember) then we should conclude three key points:

(1) The actor may have amended his part:

(a) on his own
(b) from the advice of the playwright
(c) all of the above

(2) The playwright may have amended the part:

(a) on his own
(b) from the advice of the actors
(c) all of the above

(3) the published text is not always identical with:

(a) the performed text
(b) the manuscript text
(c) the prepared actors' parts

Renaissance theatrical practice is complex as are the documents by which
we derive information about it.

The only plain fact is that an actor's part exists which offers an
alternate version of the particular text. There is thus the possibility
that the amended part was not performed or that if it was performed it
is not derive from the same performance as that recorded in the
published text, or that the published text is perhaps based only upon
the play manuscript and has nothing to do with performance. Take your
pick. But the alternative actor's part exists...leading us to wonder WHO
amended it.

Remember Life is complex...

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