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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: Actors v Scholars
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0947  Thursday, 15 May 2003

[1]     From:   Claude Caspar <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 May 2003 10:37:45 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0938 Actors v Scholars

[2]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 May 2003 15:18:18 +0000
        Subj:   Depressing Gap

[3]     From:   Kit Gordon <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 May 2003 19:41:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0938 Actors v Scholars


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Claude Caspar <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 May 2003 10:37:45 -0400
Subject: 14.0938 Actors v Scholars
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0938 Actors v Scholars

>It has been a constant source of disappointment to me, the bewildering
>'synaptic cleft' between scholar and thespian. What is the history of
>this conundrum? Can anyone elucidate?

Perhaps slicing the pie in a way you are not expecting, I am impressed
by Berger's "Imaginary Audition."

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 May 2003 15:18:18 +0000
Subject:        Depressing Gap

Colin Cox writes,

"It has been a constant source of disappointment to me, the bewildering
'synaptic cleft' between scholar and thespian. What is the history of
this conundrum? Can anyone elucidate?"

A false conclusion. There isn't one, except in the synaptic gaps of
those who wish it so. Eat more chocolate and build up your 5HT.

Yours,
Graham Hall

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kit Gordon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 May 2003 19:41:41 -0500
Subject: 14.0938 Actors v Scholars
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0938 Actors v Scholars

In my experience as both an academic and a theater person, the best
scholars respect actors and the best actors respect scholars. Both bring
valuable skills to the interpretation of Shakespeare's work, though they
often approach it from very different angles. Actors who care about
their work on Shakespeare's plays recognize how important such things as
the structure of the verse, the uses of imagery, a character's arc of
development, etc. are; scholars can illuminate many of these issues. In
a similar way, scholars may achieve new insights by working with actors
(or simply seeing their work): a particular line reading can open
amazing new vistas; a director's choices about setting, characters, and
meaning can provoke a re-thinking of assumptions. Shakespeare wrote
plays for the theater, but  scholars in their studies and classrooms,
who are engaged with the texts as dramas, can often take a much longer
term look at the play and provide insights that actors and directors may
not have time to discover in the rehearsal process.  When I do my best
work as a dramaturg, I draw on all possible resources; working in both
worlds is intellectually exciting and emotionally rewarding.

Chris Gordon

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