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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: September ::
Mark Rylance
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1736  Thursday, 16 September 2004

From:           Franklin J. Hildy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Sep 2004 23:15:41 -0400
Subject:        Mark Rylance is leaving the Globe

I received notice today that Mark Rylance will step down as the Artistic
Director of the Globe at the end of the 2005 season, his 10th season at
the Globe. Any future work he does at the Globe he hopes to do as just
another member of the company.  He was among the few remaining
actor/managers in the country and has done an impossible task with great
artistic skill, a remarkable sensitivity,  real grace and honest
humility. It is going to be a tremendous challenge for the Shakespeare's
Globe Trust to find someone capable of picking up where Mr. Rylance
leaves off. .

Shakespeare's Globe was originally built as a laboratory for the study
of Shakespeare's play in performance and what was to distinguish it from
the hundreds of other Shakespeare companies in the world was its
occasional exploration of original staging practices and its continual
efforts to come to terms with the special dynamics of the unique
architectural form of the building.   Since no two scholars agree on
what original staging practices might be or how the building's dynamics
might work for classic or modern plays, the Artistic Director was bound
to be the continual object of criticism.  At the same time, the Globe is
the third largest venue in London and a highly visible professional
theatre that had to be a success on it own terms and had to overcome the
notion that it might be a museum theatre. This required it to take risks
and not to be afraid of failure. The Globe is not a subsidized theatre
so the courage that took was considerable as the entire project came to
depend on the financial success of the professional acting company. A
major error on Mr. Rylance's part could easily have put the
International Shakespeare Globe Center into bankruptcy.

Mr. Rylance has guided the Globe theatre through its first 10 seasons
with great skill and diplomacy and made it one of the most successful
theatres in London. He will be missed by all of us who have worked on
this project for so long (in my case, god forbid, 20 years this year.)

Franklin J. Hildy

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