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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: July ::
Texts for Production?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0399  Friday, 24 July 2009

From:       Jan Powell <
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Date:       Thursday, 23 Jul 2009 15:58:55 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:    Texts for Production?

I am doing research for my doctoral dissertation in theatre arts, 
focusing on the issues inherent in editing Shakespeare for theatrical 
production. I have some questions for the SHAKSPER list dramaturgs and 
theatre practitioners (directors and producers):

Where do you currently access your texts for production?

Have those sources changed over your professional life? Decades ago, 
physical properties were the primary factor for many practitioners' 
selections: Penguins were easiest to fold double and stick in a back 
pocket; Everyman and Folger were most affordable but tended to fall 
apart so the producer would have them bound, etc.

These days, I suspect that most companies customize their performance 
texts on computer; assuming so, where do you go for your sources, and why?

-- Do you have regular published editions that you always consult 
(Arden, New Cambridge, Oxford, etc.)

-- Do you consult Folio/Quarto facsimiles; do you find modern-type 
and/or modern-spelling versions more useful for any reason?

-- Do you ever use another company's cut text?

-- OR, do you give a published edition to the actors? Does your choice 
of edition change production by production, or do you have one publisher 
or editor that you always use?

Anything you can share with me about your practices would be helpful, 
and I would particularly like to know the reasons for your choices.

Also, I am interested in accessing any theatre company's prompt-books 
that may be viewed online (scanned facsimiles are most useful). The more 
recent the better, though they are useful to me as far back as mid-20th 
century. I have found some wonderful scanned promptbooks on, and would love to find any more like these. 
Catalogues of promptbook collections are not useful at this time, 

I truly appreciate any information you can offer.

Jan Powell

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