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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: September ::
RSC Appeal to Educators
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0820  Wednesday, 20 September 2006

[1] 	From: 	Hannibal Hamlin <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 14:23:18 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators

[2] 	From: 	Anne Cuneo <
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	Date: 	Wednesday, 20 Sep 2006 14:38:35 +0200
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 14:23:18 -0400
Subject: 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators

I agree with the comments of Terence Hawkes and Peter Holland, but I'd 
add some further criticisms of the RSC appeal.  The comment about 
studying "scripts on a page" ignores the ongoing rich critical debate 
about the relative status of plays as performed and as printed.  The 
growing consensus seems to be that both are legitimate, and that 
Shakespeare seems to have written (perhaps at different times and in 
different ways) with both in mind.  Is the RSC really saying that a live 
performance is the only legitimate experience of Shakespeare?  Millions 
of readers can attest that the plays are powerful on the page as well as 
the stage (indeed some-from Bradley to Bloom-would argue they are more 
so).  Furthermore, the RSC attitude seems arrogant and self-centered.  I 
would love to be able to take my students to see the RSC regularly, but 
since I teach in North-Central Ohio, this would be rather difficult. 
Furthermore, though there are options for live performances within reach 
in Ohio, I wouldn't recommend these indiscriminately.  Many of my 
students have never seen a live play, but I've taken a few classes to 
see what turned out to be awful productions, and even the least 
experienced students could see they were terrible.  But that's about all 
they could see.  Bad theater can perhaps be instructive, but only if you 
have something good to measure it against.  If all that is available is 
a bad production, I'd much rather my students stuck to reading the 
plays.  Bad productions just turn them off theater, and the sort of 
delusional and self-aggrandizing productions Terence Hawkes no doubt has 
in mind only serve to confuse them and convince them that Shakespeare on 
his own terms is boring and out of date.

Hannibal Hamlin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Anne Cuneo <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date: 		Wednesday, 20 Sep 2006 14:38:35 +0200
Subject: 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators

I have hesitated on the thread this belongs to: Teaching English to ELS 
students? RSC Appeal to Educators? Well, I choose one.

I would like to share an experience which is just now coming to 
completion, and which I think might be of some interest.

Two years ago, I was asked by a group of people who live in a rather 
remote valley of French Switzerland, the Joux Valley, to help them put 
up a show around Shakespeare. They wanted to bring Shakespeare to the 
people of their valley: they are peasants, shepherds, watchmakers, civil 
servants in their small villages, primary teachers, etc, people 
generally speaking who don't dwell in literature, as a rule. The valley 
is covered in snow most of the winter, and relatively isolated, and 
these people had been putting up shows for several years. They had 
tackled Tchekov, Brecht, Moli

 

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