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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: September ::
Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1818  Tuesday, 3 September 2002

[1]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Aug 2002 09:49:14 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1810 Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland

[2]     From:   Al Magary <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 28 Aug 2002 09:20:02 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1810 Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland

[3]     From:   Richard Nathan <
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        Date:   Friday, 30 Aug 2002 02:13:44 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1810  Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Aug 2002 09:49:14 -0400
Subject: 13.1810 Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1810 Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland

Mike Jensen <
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>Do you advocate returning to the Lyceum style of Shakespeare production?

And is there no via media but we must choose either the Lyceum style and
the style of the Nephelococcygian travelog that's been boring audiences
silly ever since Gordon Craig first got up on his hind legs?

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Al Magary <
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Date:           Wednesday, 28 Aug 2002 09:20:02 -0700
Subject: 13.1810 Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1810 Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland

Mike Jensen asked:

>I'm not sure I get Al Magary's point....
>Do you advocate returning to the Lyceum style of Shakespeare production?

No.  My complaint has to do with the anything-goes approach to
Shakespeare.  As he's definitely public-domain text and has been
performed longer than just about any playwright beyond Sophocles et al.,
the attitude of Sh.  producers (directors, designers, whoever is calling
the shots) seems to be along the lines of, Hey, we haven't tried wrecked
cars as sets for Julius Caesar!  There are many more plausible,
meaningful, enjoyable, and authentic stagings of JC possible between the
Lyceum and, eg, Ashland's.  (Thanks to Debra Murphy for her vivid
description of the puddle of red goo that features in the Macbeth at
Ashland.)

Along with the license that Sh. producers exercise comes the audience's
regrettable tendency to be uncritical (anything goes=anything is
acceptable), along the lines of, Gosh, that Laird Williamson sure knows
how to stage Julius Caesar!

Al Magary

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard Nathan <
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Date:           Friday, 30 Aug 2002 02:13:44 +0000
Subject: 13.1810  Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1810  Re: Jarring Experience at Ashland

My wife and I saw three productions at Ashland this year:  Macbeth,
Titus Andronicus and Winter's Tale.

Our biggest problem with Macbeth was that the actor playing Macbeth was
a tenor who we have usually seen in comedy parts.  I'm sorry if this
offends any tenors out there, but I strongly believe Macbeth should be
played by a baritone.  OSF played elements of the Banquo's ghost scene
for comedy; there was one line of Lady Macbeth's in that scene that was
hilarious - I can't remember what it was though.  Can anyone remind me?
Macbeth dropped his cup of wine when he saw Banquo's ghost, and for a
moment I expected him to do a spit take.  It reminded me of my parody
version, "Scots On The Rocks" (which can be read at
http://www.shakespeare-parodies.com)

The "Titus Andronicus" was okay, but not memorable.  I can't comment on
it, because I've already forgotten most of it.

Our favorite was "Winter's Tale," - which was set in the 1950's and
1960's.  I thought the period worked.  It was charming.

We also saw the "Route 66" revue at the cabaret theater a few blocks
away.  It had nothing to do with Shakespeare or the Festival, but it was
a terrific show.

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