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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: June ::
Re: Small Cast Hamlets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1579  Thursday, 22 June 2001

From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Jun 2001 12:00:02 -0400
Subject: 12.1562 Re: Small Cast Hamlets
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1562 Re: Small Cast Hamlets

>Geralyn Horton's response to my comments re: Shakespeare & Company's
>6-actor/90-minute _Julius Caesar_ makes me <snip>
>believe that this Shakespeare & Co. production of
>Caesar, though also 90 minutes and also cast with 6 actors (this time, 4
>men and 2 women), is a newer production and not the same one seen by
>G.H. some years back.

I suspect that it is the same production re-cast.  If Epstein was in it,
surely you'd remember: he is one of the dozen great actors I have seen
in 50 years of theater going, and that 92 JC is about #4 on my lifetime
list of Best Productions.  About half of the really moving Shakespeare I
have ever seen has been at S&C, though of course they have some misses,
too.  But I always go to Lenox MA prepared to be astonished. I never
much cared for JC before I saw Tina Packer's version. 12th Night, which
I have always loved, was an opposite case.  I was in it 3 times in my
youth-- twice as Olivia, once as Maria-- and had strong opinions about
how it "should" be done. S&C's recent production, in which Epstein
played Feste, was "all wrong"-- casting, costumes, period, set.  Yet it
was a "perfect" 12th Night. Every "miscast" actor found a valid
character, and the relationships between these characters added up to a
world that was a truthful realization of the text-- filled with
surprises and discoveries and contemporary poignancies, yet sounding all
the notes of poetry and plot that I hope to hear in a good "traditional"
production.  It was like hearing a Brandenburg played on different
consort of instruments, whose blend turned out to be as beautiful as
that in a favorite recording.  The difference perked up my ears, and
enabled me to hear a text I know by heart as if for the first time.

>Which is why I second Paul's
>I recommend checking out the work of this innovative and
>energetic group.

I hope to see "Coriolanus" in their new Founder's Theatre this weekend:
Epstein is Aufidius, the title role's taken by Dan McCleary.  I played
bit parts in "Coriolanus" 35 years ago, in a rather wonderful production
at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival where Coriolanus was played by an
undergraduate named Barry Kraft. I understand Kraft went on to a
distinguished Shakespearean career at Ashland-- how I wish I could have
seen him perform at 40 or 50! Anyway, I have some strong opinions about
that play too, and will go prepared to be astonished once more.

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

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