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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: October ::
Hamlet
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0726  Tuesday, 30 October 2007

[1] 	From:	Scott Shepherd <
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	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 14:33:55 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0712 Hamlet

[2] 	From:	David Frydrychowski <
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	Date:	Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 18:45:32 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0712 Hamlet


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Scott Shepherd <
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Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 14:33:55 -0400
Subject: 18.0712 Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0712 Hamlet

In his litany against Elizabeth LeCompte, Elliott Stone writes,

 >6. It seems that most of the actors that started out
 >with her at the "Garage" died of Aids in the 1990s

Well, now that would be a chilling item to include in a list of 
put-downs even if it were accurate. I thought it was at least 
unfashionable nowadays to openly regard dying of AIDS (or, in this case, 
simply being associated with someone who did) as cause for contempt.

Only one of the founding members of The Wooster Group died of AIDS: the 
sublime Ron Vawter, in 1994.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		David Frydrychowski <
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Date:		Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007 18:45:32 -0400
Subject: 18.0712 Hamlet
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0712 Hamlet

As a longtime list-lurker and actor/director who has both spent some 
time in Classical repertory and peregrinated through the sometimes 
strange worlds of more avant-garde theatrical tribes (one really hasn't 
lived until you've done street theatre and folk song in Transylvania), I 
have to say how impressed I was with this Wooster Group production when 
I saw it last week at the Public.

For the first time, I understood what the Wooster Group seems to be 
getting at with their sometimes off-puttingly dispassionate physical and 
vocal mimicry. It's a given that every performance is informed by a 
text, but the written form is certainly only one manifestation of that 
text. Customs, traditions, transmitted understandings of social roles, 
arts of creating and properly parsing gestures, and all manner of other 
social jots and tittles combine not so much as interpretive aids to the 
texts, but textual elements themselves, essential to the performer, 
without which the printed word has little effective meaning.

By making a previous performance their 'text', which is displayed to the 
actors at the instant of their performance, this 'Hamlet' confronts the 
entire matrix of the layered text directly - at the moment of 
performance.  The actor is receiving his cues directly from the previous 
production as he launches into 'To be or not to be...', and in that 
instant, we see the organism confronted with the layered impulse of 
classical text, which he must then immediately incarnate. Beautiful.

As a final note, I enjoyed very much the moment when 'Hamlet' described 
the aluminum trusswork on which the projections played as the "metal 
more attractive".

Good Fortune,
David Frydrychowski
NYC
aktorpoet.com

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