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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: November ::
Austin SHAKESPEARE: STAGED READING TAMBURLAINE
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0773  Saturday, 24 November 2007

From:		Austin SHAKESPEARE <
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Date:		Tuesday, 20 Nov 2007 15:34:57 -0800
Subject:	Austin SHAKESPEARE: STAGED READING TAMBURLAINE

Austin SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS A STAGED READING OF SCENES TAMBURLAINE Wed. 
7, pm Nov. 28, at Mercury Hall off S. 1st & Cardinal

How often do you get a couple of hours with Marlowe's TAMBURLAINE!? This 
play both enthralled and shocked Elizabethan audiences when it was first 
performed in 1587. Shakespeare's contemporary was enormously popular and 
influential... find out why!!!

Austin SHAKESPEARE PRESENTS A STAGED READING OF SCENES FROM Tamuburlaine 
parts 1 & 2.

FREE Concert Reading will be held November 28 at Mercury Hall, off of 
South 1st Street and Cardinal. Doors will open at 7:00 pm.
Refreshments and Shakespeare-related gifts will be available for purchase.

Performers include:
Liz Fisher, Chris Loveless, Rob Matney, Harvey Guion, Bridget Farias, 
Rommel Sulit, Laura Caslin, James Loehlin, Patricia Pearcy, Justin 
Scalise, Gwen Kelso, Robert Stevens, Chris Sykes, and Jud Farias

MORE
Director for this reading is Ian Manners who served as co-director of 
Austin Shakespeare's production of The Rivals. Austin Shakespeare's 
Artistic Director, Ann Ciccolella asked Manners to direct a reading of 
Marlowe's Tamburlaine, since Manners is eminently qualified as a UT 
professor for more than 33 years, former chair of UT's Middle Eastern 
Studies Dept. and active Austin Shakespeare actor and director. This 
event will feature a talk by Manners framing the story of the play, 
actors reading of key scenes from both of Marlowe's Tamburlaine plays 
and a discussion. Loosely based on the life of the fourteenth century 
Mongol leader, Timur Lang (Timur the Lame), Marlowe's play chronicles 
his protagonist's rise from humble origins as a nomadic shepherd to 
ruler of half of Asia.

EVEN MORE ON TAMBURLAINE

Claiming to be the 'scourge of God', Tumburlaine ruthlessly destroyed 
his enemies, harnessed captive kings to his chariot, and executed one of 
his sons who is absent from the battlefield. But increasingly he was 
forced to confront the limits of his power imposed by the weaknesses of 
those who surround him and by his own mortality. He can "strive and 
rail" against the gods, he can attempt to instruct his sons on how to 
rule and manage his empire, but eventually he must die, and his death is 
not heroic or tragic, but natural, reminiscing about his life and 
conquests, surrounded by companions.

Judging by the number of reported performances and references to 
Tamburlaine in the literature of the period, the play enjoyed 
considerable success. But it also attracted condemnation for what some 
thought were its atheistic and subversive sentiments. The plays are 
filled with events of horrifying cruelty even by the standards of the 
age, but while Marlowe doesn't hide his hero's brutality or ambition, he 
also seems reluctant to condemn Tamburlaine for his restless striving 
for power.

Perhaps this unwillingness to apply conventional moral judgments was 
part of the play's appeal. But for some, Marlowe's protagonist, rising 
above his humble origins, overthrowing the established order, must have 
seemed an unsettling (and dangerous) hero. To others, including  Marlowe 
perhaps, the Tamburlaine of the play embodied some of the virtues of the 
new age, a man of action and a man of words, to be  admired for his 
single-minded determination to rise beyond his station and make his own 
fortune.

 From the Prologue:
We'll lead you to the stately tent of war
Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine
Threat'ning the world with high astounding terms
And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword

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