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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: August ::
Thirteenth Night
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1699  Friday, 29 August 2003

[1]     From:   Marc Honea <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 09:34:07 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night

[2]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 08:58:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night

[3]     From:   Marc Honea <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 12:14:14 -0400
        Subj:   Fw: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night

[4]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 10:15:35 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marc Honea <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 09:34:07 -0400
Subject: 14.1692 Thirteenth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night

As a theatre person and a jazz musician I must throw my towel into the
ring as well  (is that an appropriate sports metaphor, my Auburn tiger
enthusiast?).

In a classic jazz ensemble one hopes to experience a group of players
who know "the changes" of whatever tune has been called.  One also hopes
the tune has been living and growing in the soul, memory and muscles of
the players for many years.  If one is extremely fortunate one will hear
players who have played together, "trading choruses," often and in
mutual appreciation of all inventive variations offered.

Sounds like the Lord Chamberlain's Men to me...The rewards of playing
are the same for actor and audience...and playwright.  Jazz and
Shakespeare:  a ripe field for analogical indulgence.

PS: Sorry group.  The word frequently should appear after played
together in my last spontaneous emission.  Perhaps those who doubt the
jazz/Shakespeare connection can smile in satisfaction at a boggled
spontaneous riff.  Sorry.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 08:58:44 -0500
Subject: 14.1692 Thirteenth Night
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night

Lott W. Brantley offers this opinion

>Actually, I agree with the post about acting being jazz-like. I have
>worked with actors who are set like concrete each night in the
>interpretations of their roles and I can tell you,  consistency is the
>death of an actor.  (Acting 101)  In my opinion, rigidity suppresses
>inspiration.  An actor should be flexible in his performance and ready
>to accept those human moments that will eventually occur with focus and
>listening.

Well, you go to your church and I'll go to mine.

However, sneers of the "Acting 101" and "Community theatre directors"
sort aside, actors who go sailing off into flights of inspiration are
the death of good plays. Of course there is always certain amount of
latitude in interpretation, especially in soliloquies or in two-person
scenes where the actors know each other (professionally) quite well, but
you have to be very, very careful.

If I have a line (as I currently do) that begins "Please don't scream at
me," then the actress I'm working with had better have just been
screaming.  Otherwise the line sounds stupid.

Likewise, with stage movement you have to know not only where you're
going but why or you'll get yourself into all kinds of tangles. The more
people there are on stage the more important it is that everybody knows
what the other people are up to. As an actor, you can make adjustments
if somebody starts wheeling around out of position, but you aren't going
to like it -- and neither is the director. If he or she has carefully
built up a stage picture that keeps the scene from looking either
unbalanced or static, then a lot of unauthorized movement by the actors
is going to mess it up thoroughly.

As to the stage directions: these are written by the author and are part
of the play, part of the vision that he or she developed in the writing.
As with any performance art, you can and should offer an interpretation,
but when you start re-writing then you're getting into deep water
indeed.  Playwrights don't like it, and with good reason.

An old adage: "If you want to write, write. If you want to act, act. But
don't confuse the two."

Cheers,
 don

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marc Honea <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Aug 2003 12:14:14 -0400
Subject: 14.1692 Thirteenth Night
Comment:        Fw: SHK 14.1692 Thirteenth Night

Again on jazz/Shakespeare.  Clearly improvisation involves existential
risk.  In this case I have fumbled while laboring in our treasure trove
of political and sports clich

 

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