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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: October ::
Actors Connected with Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0887  Saturday, 7 October 2006

From: 		David Kathman <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 04 Oct 2006 10:30:45 -0500
Subject: 17.0868 Actors Connected with Shakespeare
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0868 Actors Connected with Shakespeare

Anne Cuneo wrote:

 >I strongly recommend:
 >
 >T.W. Baldwin The Organization and Personnel of the Shakespearean 
Company, 1927
 >
 >T.W.Baldwin has done a thorough job, and tries to answer precisely the 
questions asked by Roy Flannagan. I have used his research extensively. 
Unfortunately, I cannot remember which library I borrowed the book from, 
and have just as foolishly not registered where it was published, only 
when the book has been reprinted, or republished, in New York, in 1961, 
there is a copy in the Swiss Central Library, so I suppose there are 
copies in many American ones.


Actually, I wouldn't put too much stock in Baldwin's book.  For one 
thing, he was writing in the late 1920s, and a ton of new biographical 
information has been discovered about these players since then.  For 
another thing, almost all of the roles Baldwin assigned to specific 
players were based on speculation -- some of it reasonable, but much of 
it more dubious, and some of it now demonstrably wrong.  Baldwin's 
assumption that each actor had a "line" of very similar characters that 
he played over the years has often been challenged, most notably by 
Skiles Howard, "A Reconsideration of Baldwin's Theory of Acting Lines", 
Theatre Survey 26 (1985), 1.  There's some good stuff in Baldwin, but 
unless you know enough to separate the wheat from the chaff yourself, I 
would treat anything he says with a very large grain of salt unless you 
can confirm it elsewhere.

Dave Kathman

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