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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: July ::
Re: Squeaking Cleopatras
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1760  Friday, 13 July 2001

[1]     From:   Fran Barasch <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 20:09:46 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1748 Re: Squeaking Cleopatras

[2]     From:   Judi Crane <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Jul 2001 10:31:28 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1748 Re: Squeaking Cleopatras


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Barasch <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jul 2001 20:09:46 EDT
Subject: 12.1748 Re: Squeaking Cleopatras
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1748 Re: Squeaking Cleopatras

To Stephen Dobbin: would you please look at Marvin Rosenberg's "The Myth
of Shakespeare's Squeaking Boy Actor, Or Who Played Cleopatra,"
Shakespeare Bulletin (Spring 2001), 5?

I'd be interested in your opinion.  Fran Barasch

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judi Crane <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Jul 2001 10:31:28 +1000
Subject: 12.1748 Re: Squeaking Cleopatras
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1748 Re: Squeaking Cleopatras

At the risk of stating 'the bleeding obvious' I ask if anyone has
considered workshopping scenes from A & C with variously aged males
playing Cleopatra, and OBSERVING the results.  Theatre is after all a
visual medium and actors male and female, are supposed to be versatile.
Olivier played Kate in 'The Shrew' at the age of 9, in what was a highly
regarded performance.  innumerable schools over innumerable years have
been unconsciously contributing to the colourblind casting debate by
inserting adolescents into roles well outside their chronological and
sexual parameters.  My own old all girls high school staged a couple of
memorable productions of Henry V in the late 50s- early 60s apart from
its TN, MSND, MofV.  As an actor I have always played roles which in
some way make me reach outside myself.  All actors do!  The actor who
can only play him/herself is subjecting the audience to a display of
self-indulgence non-talent.  My talented 17-year-old schoolboy actor son
has just finished a season of 'The Crucible' in which he played a
beautifully constructed Danforth.  He is possibly a trifle tall, but
otherwise more than capable of playing a woman, and with his build and
colouring would present few physiological problems.  Oh by the way, he
is also a trained chorister and finds no problem with speaking the
verse. He first played Shakespeare at the age of 12 and had no problems
then, either.

Cheers,
Judi Crane

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