The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0773 Saturday, 24 November 2007
From: Austin SHAKESPEARE <
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.
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
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
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
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
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook,
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