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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: April ::
First Folio Function
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0832  Friday, 29 April 2005

[1]     From:   Lott Whitt Brantley III <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Apr 2005 14:01:12 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0815 First Folio Function

[2]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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 >
        Date:   Thursday, 28 Apr 2005 14:08:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0815 First Folio Function


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lott Whitt Brantley III <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 28 Apr 2005 14:01:12 -0400
Subject: 16.0815 First Folio Function
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0815 First Folio Function

Some actors feel that modern stops placed in the text sometimes confuse
the delivery, leading the actor to breath at the wrong times. Also, some
actors believe in retaining the capitalization of words in the script.
Also, rehearsing from the folio, if it's done from a cue script, can
lead to some very interesting moments onstage.  Actually, cue script has
always been my favorite. You can learn more about it (and it's very
interesting results) by reading about Patrick Tucker's Original
Shakespeare Company.

Whitt Brantley

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[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 28 Apr 2005 14:08:26 -0500
Subject: 16.0815 First Folio Function
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0815 First Folio Function

Dear Mark,

I'm sure you'll get many replies on this score. The function of the
Folio for actors is presumably whatever they want it to be, but I have
the impression that it's often used rather as a fetish to get "closer"
to "the real" Shakespeare.  This is pretty much nonsense, as anyone
knows who's spent any time learning about the book's history. Sure its
spellings are often unfamiliar, but in most cases, they're as likely to
be a compositor's or a scribe's as Shakespeare's. Its punctuation is
certainly non-modern, but that doesn't mean it "more accurately"
represents Shakespearean or playhouse conventions, even if we could
interpret it effectively (sometimes it's impossible). At best, using the
Folio provides a defamiliarizing effect which may encourage actors to
explore a variety of possible moves and throw up connections that might
not otherwise come to the surface (are they "weyard" or "weyward"
sisters?; is it "what need we fear? Who knows it...?" or "what need we
fear who knows it...?"). In All's Well, for instance, the variety of
speech prefixes for the Countess (or Mother, or Old Cou, or Lady) may
indicate that her role is "relational" rather than "essential" in a
variety of ways scene by scene -- or it may merely indicate that there
weren't enough italic Capital Cs in the Compositor's Case to Cover
Countess, Count, and Clowne in Characteristic (one-liner) Conversation
on one side of a Folio printed sheet. The notion that the Folio is
somehow "authentic" to the playwright or the theater is mostly wishful
thinking. Sure, you can learn from looking at the Folio. But you can't
use it as a standard to beat other texts with.

Tom

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