2004

Question Concerning Measure for Measure

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1576  Tuesday, 24 August 2004

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 14:51:37 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1570 Question Concerning Measure for Measure

[2]     From:   Tom Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Aug 2004 00:09:57 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Question Concerning Measure for Measure


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 14:51:37 -0400
Subject: 15.1570 Question Concerning Measure for Measure
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1570 Question Concerning Measure for Measure

I am very grateful to Ms. Setari for taking the time to answer my
question.  The answer confirms that the history is, indeed, fascinating.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Krause <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Aug 2004 00:09:57 -0400
Subject:        Re: Question Concerning Measure for Measure

Peter Bridgman writes . . .

 >Are you at all related to the "credulous Krause" who appears in the
 >footnotes to Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman?  There is a certain
 >similarity in your thinking.

Peter - "Credulous Kraus" had no "e" -- no relation.  What we have in
common, however, is a critic (in my case you, and in his case the
narrator) who casts aspersions on our work without troubling to explain
the criticism and quite possibly without reading the work.  "Credulous"
is a particularly strange word to describe me, since my work shows me
skeptical of just about everything that has ever been written about
Measure for Measure.

When the paper is up, I hope you will read it and rethink your thinking
about my thinking, and provide some feedback that might give me a basis
to rethink my thinking about your thinking.

Here is some of my thinking, in case you don't get a chance to read the
paper.

1.  Juan de Mariana was a Spanish Jesuit who argued against debasement
of the currency.

2.  A character in Shakespeare's play, "Angelo", is clearly named (at
least in part) for the English Angel coin (based on plays on the name
about "testing" his "mettle", etc.; see the notes to Lever's Arden edition).

3.  Mariana saves the coin (Angelo) from becoming debased.

Facts 1-3 invite the hypothesis that Mariana is Juan de Mariana.  To
test this hypothesis, look to what might be the "identifying features"
of Mariana.  Apart from (1) her willingness to marry Angelo (the coin)
-- which in itself points to Juan de Mariana, there are two others:
(2) Mariana's brother the great soldier Frederick, who miscarried at
sea; (3) The moated grange near St. Luke's.

Federigo Spinola is by far the strongest candidate for the great soldier
"Frederick" (the only other one I have heard of is Frederick Barbarossa,
who died while crossing or swimming in a river, but nobody has explained
what Shakespeare might have meant by such a reference).  Spinola died at
sea in 1603, fighting for Spain, and would have been known to
Shakespeare's audience.  Spinola points to Spain and thus to Juan de
Mariana (Mariana's support of privateering, and Spinola's status as a
sort of glorified privateer is another connection).

As to the moated grange, I am not aware of any other attempts to
identify a "real" moated grange.  But "Lyford Grange" was a grange that
had a moat, and would have been well known to at least some members of
Shakespeare's audience as the site at which Jesuit Edmund Campion was
captured in 1581.  The "moated grange" thus points to Jesuits and thus
to Juan de Mariana.

To further test the hypothesis, consider how well it explains other
aspects of the play, including aspects that have been identified as
"problematic."

1.  Isabella's name:  Isabella is Spanish for Elizabeth.  That fact,
plus the presence of other Spanish elements in the play, points to
Isabella as Queen Elizabeth.

2.  Isabella's refusal to exchange her chastity for the life of her
brother: points to the Virgin Queen.

3.  Isabella's silence in the face of the Duke's proposal: points to the
Virgin Queen.

4.  Isabella's stand against debasement: points to Elizabeth's
restoration of coinage that had been debased by her father and brother.

5. Excision of the entire text of Measure for Measure in a 1632 Folio
version of Shakespeare's plays that was censored by the Spanish
Inquisition: points to Isabella as Elizabeth, in that references to
Elizabeth in other plays were removed.  Also points to Mariana as Juan
de Mariana, in that Mariana had fallen out of favor with the Inquisition
due to his views on debasement.

6. The Duke's role in the debasement allegory is also that of a monarch:
Points to King James; consistent with opinion of many if not most
scholars who see parallel between Duke and James.

7.  The Duke's requirement that Angelo marry Mariana: necessary to the
debasement allegory.

8.  Claudio's name:  resonates with debasement theme, given debased
and/or counterfeit coins in England of two Roman Claudians (Emperors
Claudius and Nero).

9.  The 19-year period that the laws have not been enforced:  matches
the period during which English coinage was debased (1542-1561).

10.  The 14-year period that the laws have not been enforced:  matches
the period during which debased coins bearing King Edward's image were
in circulation (1547-61).

11.    The 5-year period that Angelo has been apart from Mariana:
matches the period of time since Spain initiated a debasement.

12.  St. Luke's: points to Luke Kirby, who stood trial with Edmund Campion.

13.  Numerous references to debasement of the currency in Measure for
Measure:  points to larger debasement theme.

14.  Debasement themes in Troilus and Cressida and Hamlet:  point to
debasement theme in Measure for Measure.

15.  Debasement allegory not present in underlying sources:  points to
intentional insertion of theme by Shakespeare.

Thus, in addition to the choice of the name Mariana, and the three
identifying features of that character (the brother, the grange, and her
participation in saving the coin), there are at least 15 more "pointers"
that support the debasement theme, or can be explained by the debasement
theme.  For many of these 18 pointers (i.e. the listed 15 plus the
original 3), we can certainly come up with alternative explanations.
For example, St. Luke's:  it's quite possible that Shakespeare (1) had
the disease metaphor in mind, (2) was thinking of Padua, or (3) had read
something approaching the title of the play in Luke in the Bible (note
that the delayed publication of Measure for Measure gives you plenty of
room to argue that St. Luke's was added after the King James version of
the Bible came out, if you want to); or (4) chose St. Luke at random.
St. Luke's as Luke Kirby is not essential to the debasement theory,
although it fits in nicely with it.

But show me another theory that tells you who the brother Frederick is,
where the moated grange is, and why the Vallodolid copy is missing
Measure for Measure.  There is something attractive about having a
unified theory to explain just these three points, and it's all the more
attractive given how much else it explains.

The above is not a complete exposition of the paper or the theory, but
it has often sufficed to get thoughtful individuals to acknowledge that
there may be something there.  You should read the paper before
committing yourself to any further positions.

By an odd coincidence, I just this evening received my copy of the
Sept.-Oct. issue of Harvard Magazine, which has an article in it about
Stephen Greenblatt's new book "Will in the World."  Apparently,
Greenblatt subscribes to the "Shakespeare as Shakeshafte" theory and
thus has Shakespeare knowing Edmund Campion personally.  Perhaps you
consider me "credulous" because you think that my theory of Measure for
Measure derives from that theory.  Actually, I am undecided on
Shakespeare as Shakeshafte.  While the two theories happen to be
mutually reinforcing, neither depends on the other.

Tom

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1575  Tuesday, 24 August 2004

[1]     From:   L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 08:16:55 -0500
        Subj:   A 100-member class???

[2]     From:   Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 18:08:11 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1562 Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups

[3]     From:   Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 18:39:53 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1562 Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups

[4]     From:   Matthew Steggle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Aug 2004 10:14:58 +0100
        Subj:   Teaching Shakespeare to large group


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 08:16:55 -0500
Subject:        A 100-member class???

Katherine Scheil wrote,

 >I teach a large Shakespeare class (approx. 100 students)...[at the]

 >...University of Rhode Island

I can't answer your question about student (or other) performances in
your Shakespeare group, but I am astonished that the URI places more
than twenty or twenty-five students in their undergraduate classes.
Above that number, the teacher must abandon the Socratic method of
questioning his students and building on their answers with more
questions to have them "discover" what he wants them to see; instead, he
must lecture - and didn't the need and use of that properly go out with
the printing press? Teachers who are forced by such numbers to lecture
instead of converse with their students in class might as well print
what they have to say and deliver it in handouts to them, using class
time to answer their questions, quiz them and test them.

And anyone who has watched those mind-numbing university lectures
offered on television, where if the lecturer is not Lionel Trilling or
Sir Lawrence Olivier, he cannot expect the attention given the merest
television announcer, one who has established the now-expected degree of
performance.  "Performance" is the word, here, for the teacher must see
himself as a performer, no matter whether he is lecturing or
socratically questioning his students - for some measures of his
excellence are his  a briskness of delivery, and the implied urgency of
his "message"; if he is not exhausted at the end of every class, he has
not done his work properly.

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 18:08:11 +0100
Subject: 15.1562 Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1562 Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups

Only a suggestion: select key scenes from whatever your key plays are
and divide the class into groups - say about 10 each, and get several of
them to target the SAME scene.

Qs: how would you play this scene?

What do you think are the pivotal moments in the scene?

By delivering the verse / accenting the lines in a key speech what
differences in meaning / relationship can be indicated?

THEN get them to deliver their scenes in their different ways, get the
rest of the class to offer evaluation - partic useful if some know the
scenes(s) being done and some don't: i.e. some will come at it from a
textual angle anyway, and the others from the theatrical angle? Also,
try to gert them to give out the parts regardless of gender i.e. a
female Lear, or a female Hamlet etc serendipitously, so that they have
to concentrate on verse / images etc to get at what is being said. Some
might write an answer / directors' notes etc some weeks, while the rest
act / read, then swap round so that by the end of a month perhaps,
almost everybody has done something.

Over a semester, everyone gets a shot at quite a lot - I hope!! Seems a
huge class.

Just a thought

Big Q for you: do you have enough space for this kind of practical option??

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 18:39:53 -0700
Subject: 15.1562 Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1562 Teaching Shakespeare to Large Groups

This would take some time outside of class, but perhaps, after you get
your list of volunteers you could have them "audition" for you.  This
way you could hear their delivery style and then you might know who
would be best to call on for various readings in class, in front of the
full group.

As to getting more students to participate, perhaps you could have
students prepare short scenes in advance and present them on a
particular day, rather than doing cold readings.  As an actor I find the
strongest understanding of the text comes when I am working to memorize it!

Best of luck!
Susan St. John

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Steggle <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 24 Aug 2004 10:14:58 +0100
Subject:        Teaching Shakespeare to large groups

Katherine Scheil raises the topic of read-throughs - I'm biased, but let
me plug the following article anyway:

Matthew C. Hansen, "Learning to Read Shakespeare: Using Read-Throughs as
a Teaching and Learning Strategy", _Teaching Renaissance
Texts_, a special issue of _Working Papers on the Web_ 4 (2002):
http://www.shu.ac.uk/wpw/renaissance/hansen.htm
http://www.shu.ac.uk/wpw/renaissance/index.htm

All the best,
Matt

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1573  Tuesday, 24 August 2004

[1]     From:   L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 08:19:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

[2]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 11:11:50 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

[3]     From:   David Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 12:21:13 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

[4]     From:   Carey Upton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 11:32:34 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

[5]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, August 24, 2004
        Subj:   "Reformatting Hamlet: Creating a Q1 Hamlet for Television"


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 08:19:41 -0500
Subject: 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

Roy Flannagan wrote,

 >When you are a director and have to cut the play to two hours or a little
 >more, where is your best guide to making the cuts?

In your mind; in your own careful reading and interpretation of the
whole play.

L. Swilley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 11:11:50 -0400
Subject: 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

I would tell the young director to stop looking for someone else to do
his job for him. One of the important functions of a director is to
guide rewrites and cuts. What does he want to emphasize with HIS
production? Mel Gibson removed Fortinbras and gutted the urgency. And,
since Shakespeare's imagery is tightly woven throughout his plays, if
the young director cuts a line that uses those references, he might want
to pull on the broken thread till nothing is left protruding.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Richman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 12:21:13 -0400
Subject: 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

As a rule, I wouldn't trust any directors' cuts other than my own.  When
I must cut a play (I have had to make 90-minute versions of R. and J.,
Merry Wives, among others), I have begun with Q and F, and taken my own
way.  If I have to cut "Hamlet," I will begin with Q1.  I wrote a paper
on implications for staging in Q1 "Hamlet."  If it doesn't come out in
the book that may or may not be proceeding from the conference for which
the paper was written, I'll post it to the SHAKSPER file-server.  (Is
there still such a thing?)

Cheers,
David Richman

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carey Upton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 11:32:34 -0700
Subject: 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1561 Hamlet: Who Cuts It Best?

HAMLET weighs in at approx. 3800 lines, more if you combine the Second
Quarto and Folio.   Getting it to a playable weight of around 2100 lines
is an arduous chore.  [The '2100 lines' is based on a brisk playing of
18 lines per minute, not for the faint of heart. It comes out to two
hours w/o intermission providing you don't dally with too many fights,
dances or inexplicable dumb shows.]

When I've cut HAMLET, I found some help in looking at the First Quarto,
often called the bad Quarto. I believe it is an early Shakespearean
draft of the more "true and perfect copie."  At around 2400 lines, it
streamlines the story in a way that clarifies the longer work.  In
rewriting, Shakespeare complicated the play.  He made every clear choice
in Q1 full of possibilities in Q2, such as Gertrude's decision to
support Hamlet after the Closet scene which is clear in Q1 and
ambivalent in Q2, or in moving the 'To be or not to be' speech from Act
II in Q1 to Act III in Q2.  A scene by scene comparison of Q1 and Q2
supplies some interesting ideas for cuts. [Or, if you like, I can make
an argument for doing Q1 with students. I have.]

Kevin Coleman of Shakespeare & Company teaches a great plan to cut a
play.  His idea is to go through the play three times highlighting lines
you must have. The first 'cut' highlights the bare bones story, only
lines needed to forward the plot.  This is a brutal 500-1000 line cut.
The second 'cut' highlights lines necessary to communicate essential
elements of the characters, what is said about and by them that explains
their actions.  This adds another 500 to 1000 lines.  The third 'cut'
allows you, the director, to include lines that create the texture and
feel of the play. This is also the cut where you get to add in your
favorites or what you consider essential. This is where you might be
able to include speeches like "To be or not to be."  If at the end of
these three passes, you have exceeded your maximum line count, you must
go back and cut some from the third pass.

Cutting the play is an unrivaled preparation for the director. It helps
to compare other cut scripts to aid you in your cut, like Zefferelli's
(his are some of the best) or Orson Welles.  However, there is no
substitute for the director doing his/her own cut.

Carey Upton
WAGING THEATRE
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Subject:        "Reformatting Hamlet: Creating a Q1 Hamlet for Television"

I too have explored the performance implications of basing a Hamlet
production on the Q1 scene structure: "Reformatting Hamlet: Creating a
Q1 Hamlet for Television" for the "Reformatting the Bard" Seminar at
Sixth World Shakespeare Congress in LA. The piece was published in The
Shakespeare Yearbook volume on Hamlet [8 (1997): 370-382] and can be
found on the SHAKSPER web site at
http://www.shaksper.net/archives/files/reformat.hamlet.html

Interestingly, to my taste the best of the RSC Shakespeare plays I saw
in Stratford a few weeks ago was a Hamlet also highly indebted to Q1.


_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

The Globes Audience in the Future

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1574  Tuesday, 24 August 2004

[1]     From:   Douglas Brooks <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 07:46:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

[2]     From:   R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 08:33:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

[3]     From:   Scott Sharplin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 09:24:02 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

[4]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 12:35:58 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

[5]     From:   Carey Upton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 10:28:25 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

[6]     From:   D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 13:34:51 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

[7]     From:   Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 23 Aug 2004 19:04:43 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas Brooks <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 07:46:23 -0500
Subject: 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

One of the biggest differences between an Elizabethan audience and
today's at the Globe is the smell: the majority of the audience
attending a production at the Globe now have bathed in the past day or
two, are wearing clothes that have been recently laundered, and probably
brushed their teeth on the morning of the performance.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           R. A. Cantrell <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 08:33:26 -0500
Subject: 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

 >If our greatest playwright created plays that interacted with
 >his audience, why have we become so distant from Shakespeare's audience
 >interaction

Great portions of the audience know the plays and attend as 'students'
of the work. We come not simply to be entertained, but to see if the
play is 'done right,' as we'd like it.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Scott Sharplin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 09:24:02 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

re: audience preferences, then and now

While the tendency for an audience to "hide in the dark" was certainly
encouraged by cinema, I think it started earlier, with the rise of the
proscenium stage in the 19th century. There may also have developed a
separation between "upper-class" theatre, which was costly and dignified
and therefore should not involve interaction (with its attendant risk of
humiliation or exposure), and "lower-class" theatre (puppet shows etc.)
which could still demand audience participation. Whereas in
Shakespeare's time, there was no distinction, by the 20th century, the
"proletariat" medium of cinema had relegated most theatre to an
"upper-class" status, which meant sit quietly and soak in the culture.

Mind you, there are still many types of theatre which enjoy audience
involvement: dinner theatre, improv, Fringe theatre, and Shakespeare at
the New Globe. I think that generally, if an audience knows they're in
for something different, then they will be prepared to accept a new
dynamic with the actors. But I have seen attempts at audience
involvement in larger, "A-house" theatres and watched the audiences
freeze right up--This wasn't what they paid for!--and refuse to play along.

All in all, it would be great to see that paradigm shift back. Theatre
is much more lively, unpredictable, and vital when the audience allows
themselves to participate.

Scott Sharplin

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 12:35:58 -0400
Subject: The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

Kate Pearce asks, 'why have we become so distant from Shakespeare's
audience interaction?'

Not in Britain we haven't. Forget the appalling Globe.  Try
working-men's clubs, stand-up comedy acts, the pantomimes that hold huge
audiences in thrall from December to March, or the terraces at local
soccer or rugby matches. Didn't you ever hear of Marie Lloyd, George
Robey, Frankie Howerd, Sid Field, Max Miller, Ken Dodd?

T. Hawkes

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carey Upton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 10:28:25 -0700
Subject: 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

Shakespeare and his fellow players knew that theatre lived in the
actor-audience connection.  This is evidenced by the very structures
they built for playing, the Globe and the BlackFriars.  Both playhouses
put the actor in direct relationship with the audience.  Our
reconstructions of these theaters in London and Staunton, Virginia
present us with experience. Standing on these stages and watching plays
in these theaters profoundly shifted my understanding of playing
Shakespeare. While I had always accepted the idea that Elizabethan
actors engaged the audience, these playhouses overwhelmingly confirmed
the vitality and fun in a direct actor-audience relationship.

Turning off the lights, building a fourth wall, and disconnecting the
actor-audience relationship have taken theatre away from one of its
unique sources of power. Even as theatre's hundred year exploration into
Realism has given us numerous benefits, we have given up a vital part of
what makes theatre unique.  As the new century turns, perhaps we can
explore returning this element to the playing of Shakespeare and all
theatre.

Audiences feel more engaged and entertained at the Globe, the
BlackFriars and other theatres where they pursue an active
actor-audience relationship. For theatre to thrive in the 21st century,
it needs to return this element that made Shakespeare's theatre
successful: actors creating a play in direct relationship with an audience.

Carey Upton
WAGING THEATRE
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 13:34:51 -0500
Subject: 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

Kate Pearce asks

 >"[D]o today's audience prefer to be
 >secluded from the actor and his tale, or prefer to be included? We are
 >an audience that seems to sit in the dark (in cinema and theatre) and be
 >entertained by untouchable, limelight actors. Watching the response of
 >the audience at The Globe it made me question if we should take a leaf
 >out its books and break down the audience/actor barrier, or do we prefer
 >to watch the performer from a distance, making the actor a distant
 >illusion? If our greatest playwright created plays that interacted with
 >his audience, why have we become so distant from Shakespeare's audience
 >interaction?"

I don't think we necessarily have become so distant. Leaving aside
cinema (a very different artistic medium), a great deal of theatrical
experiment of the past century consisted of breaking down this barrier.
  Now it is not particularly experimental but just one possibility among
many.

In a technical sense, however, interaction with the audience creates
special burdens for the actors. Either they have to react as the
characters would, which breaks the continuity of the play, or they have
to drop the character and react as themselves, which breaks the
continuity of both play and character. Restoring the progress of the
play becomes that much more difficult.

Audience interaction is really in the purview of entertainment rather
than drama, and many talented actors are not especially good
entertainers. Even those that have some gifts in that direction
frequently need training and experience to provide interaction without
losing the play.

In the long run the most important thing in any production is the skill
of the actors in grasping and portraying the characters. Directors who
want to do interactive versions must find actors who can handle it, and
then lead them into making that kind of production work. The difficulty
of interactive production causes many directors to stick with the old
Fourth Wall approach, but these latter aren't innately better or worse
-- just less tricky.

Cheers,
don

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 19:04:43 -0700
Subject: 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1563 The Globes Audience in the Future

Kate, I can only share my personal experience in a high school setting:
  We have an enormous auditorium (seats 1300) and a large stage (45'
deep x 65' wide) that creates a great chasm between actors and audience.
  We usually use this setting because it is what we have.  The audience
is remote and distant and it is difficult for the actors to feel their
responses. Especially since we never come close to filling the place up.

Last year we decided to create an intimate performance space for
Moliere's "Would-Be Gentleman" by placing both the set AND the audience
on our stage.  We built an entire interior box set on stage right
(facing toward center, complete with a false proscenium); and we built
platforms on stage left, facing stage right, which accommodated about 65
seats.  The front row of actors were practically in the Jourdain's
household!

I gave a curtain speech to remind the audience how much any noise would
distract the actors.  It worked beautifully...the actors LOVED having
the audience so close...they had to be extra focused and 'in character'
and they could hear every giggle.  And the audience didn't miss a word,
even from the inexperienced, too-quiet beginning actors.

I know there are some audience members who prefer the dark, anonymous
distance from the cathartic nature of theatre, but I think it is
imperative to get them 'up close and personal' whenever possible!

For this year's production ("Two Gentlemen of Verona") I am building a
raked platform that juts right out into the audience space like a thrust
stage.  I think I will block off the back sections of seats so that no
one is allowed to sit too far away!

Susan St. John

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
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Scene for Three

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1572  Tuesday, 24 August 2004

From:           Susan St. John <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 23 Aug 2004 07:55:49 -0700
Subject:        Scene for Three

I am looking for a Shakespeare scene for two boys and a girl to work on
in my acting class.  The girl is a rather strong presence on
stage...Lady M rather than Ophelia...the boys: one's a bit pudgy and
one's a bit effeminate.

I was thinking about the Nurse, Romeo and Mercutio ("a sail, a sail" but
without Benvolio), but neither of these boys is really a Romeo.  I can't
seem to think of any other scenes that might work for these three!

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Susan St. John

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.

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