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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: March ::
Variation in EME Performance
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0450  Thursday, 10 March 2005

[1]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Mar 2005 12:43:22 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 16.0435 Variation in EME Performance

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Mar 2005 14:30:42 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0435 Variation in EME Performance


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 Mar 2005 12:43:22 -0500
Subject: Variation in EME Performance
Comment:        SHK 16.0435 Variation in EME Performance

Marcia Eppich-Harris says that 'the words and the stories speak for
themselves'. No they don't.  We speak, we mean, by them. Shakespeare's a
very good example of the process. It's called 'art'.

T. Hawkes

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 09 Mar 2005 14:30:42 -0500
Subject: 16.0435 Variation in EME Performance
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0435 Variation in EME Performance

Marcia Eppich-Harris <
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 >Did the plays go through the kind of metamorphosis
 >that is sometimes out of control on the modern stage?

For the most part, we lack direct data. No-one concerned himself with
documenting such things at the time, and the living tradition was
shattered under the Commonwealth. (One of the reasons that the New Globe
Theatre has been built was to investigate what does and does not work.)

However, since remote-controlled lighting and realistic sets were not in
use, and since costumes appear to have been in only three general
families (contemporary, "Roman", and "savage"), there was far less
freedom to do that sort of thing. The repertory system also strongly
discourages it, as does the fact that there was no person taking the
position we now know as "director".

On the other hand, I doubt that a new actor going into a leading role
would be expected to duplicate the performance of his predecessor, as is
the usual practice in the modern professional theatre.

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