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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: January ::
Re: Rushes on the Indoor Stage
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0290  Thursday, 31 January 2002

[1]     From:   Alan Dessen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:32:16 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0262 Re: Rushes on the Indoor Stage

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 10:33:34 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0239 Rushes on the Indoor Stage


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan Dessen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 12:32:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 13.0262 Re: Rushes on the Indoor Stage
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0262 Re: Rushes on the Indoor Stage

References to "rushes" in stage directions are either to the floor
covering or to the strewing of rushes as preparation for an onstage
procession and include: a signal for "strewers of rushes" (2 Henry IV,
K4r, 5.5.0), a figure who "sits on the rushes, and takes out a book to
read" (Fair Favourite, 251); Gentleman Usher provides "servants with
Rushes, and a carpet," a Rush-wench, a Rush-maid (2.1.71, 2.1.153,
2.2.47).

Alan Dessen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002 10:33:34 -0000
Subject: 13.0239 Rushes on the Indoor Stage
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0239 Rushes on the Indoor Stage

Will Sharpe writes,

> If anyone knows anything about the use of rushes onstage
> in the indoor theatres or of references which may be helpful,
> any information would be greatly appreciated.

Malvolio throws Olivia's ring at Viola-as-Cesario in Twelfth Night 2.2.
Rushes would make it difficult for Viola-as-Cesario to pick it up, but
there's nothing in the script to suggest such a problem.

The Chamberlain's/King's men repertory appears not to have been divided
into indoor and outdoor plays, even when they had an indoor and an
outdoor venue. This suggests that conditions were much the same at each,
so in this case there were rushes at neither. Alternatively, this sort
of business was altered according to venue.

Gabriel Egan

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