Costume Changes and Exits (Was Identity of Othello's Clown)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.149  Monday, 25 April 2016

 

[1] From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 23, 2016 at 6:19:55 AM EDT

     Subject:    Re: Costume Changes and Exits 

 

[2] From:        Alan Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 23, 2016 at 10:26:09 AM EDT

     Subject:    Othello's Clown 

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Pervez Rizvi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 23, 2016 at 6:19:55 AM EDT

Subject:    Re: Costume Changes and Exits

 

John Briggs asked: “Could an actor immediately re-enter in a different costume as a different character?”

 

I don’t think the change of costume would be an insuperable obstacle. With a little rehearsal a change of costume could be effected very quickly. Moreover, in a theatrical culture in which doubling was (we think) routine, audiences would have been used to seeing the same actor pop up in different roles without his appearance always being transformed. In cases when one character is disguised as another, audiences can also be expected to understand the convention that when someone is in disguise the other characters do not recognise him even if the disguise is just a token.

 

The main objection to the practice John wonders about is that it is not what you expect from a professional playwright. A professional would just write a few lines of dialogue by other characters, to allow time for a change of costume by the actor assuming the other role or the disguise. In cases of disguise, a professional playwright would also make sure the audience understood that they were watching actor A playing character X disguised as character Y, rather than actor A doubling the roles of character X and character Y, which is what they might otherwise think. That is just what happens in King Lear. When Kent first enters disguised as Caius he immediately lets the audience know what’s going on, by referring to himself as “banishd Kent”. 

 

As I said, it’s conventional for disguises to be just tokens. Another fictional Kent is not recognised by anyone as Superman when he puts on his glasses to become Clark Kent. In King Lear, none of the other characters recognise Kent when they see him as Caius at Gloucester’s castle. It’s an interesting question whether Cordelia recognises him at the moment when the two of them enter together in scene 4.7. We could suppose that Kent had revealed his identity to her offstage, but thematically a more interesting interpretation is to suppose that she is seeing him for the first time since they parted in scene 1.1. He is still disguised (she tells him to “Be better suited”) but she instantly recognises him because she begins by referring to him as “O, thou good Kent”. We could, if we like, take this as underlining the play’s point that, unlike her father, Cordelia can see people for who they really are, whether they are dressed in tattered clothes or furred gowns.

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Alan Dessen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 23, 2016 at 10:26:09 AM EDT

Subject:    Othello's Clown

 

Since I have not been reading through all the posts, I am not going to comment on the larger argument about Iago-Clown. I can, however, provide some context for the 3.3-3.4 exit of Iago (after one of his most powerful lines in the script) and the appearance of the Clown (and Desdemona). Years ago I had lunch with Fredson Bowers who, in discussion of a comparable problem, invoked what he termed “the Law of Re-Entry” whereby a figure who exits at the end of one scene cannot immediately appear in the next. I, for one, do not believe in such “laws” (Shakespeare and his colleagues were not that rigorous in following supposed rules) – and, without doing a lot of research, quickly found an obvious exception (look at the end of 5.6 and the opening s.d. of 5.7 of 3 Henry VI for Richard’s exit-reappearance). Elsewhere, to show a figure moving from one room in a house to another Heywood has Geraldine exit at one door and re-enter at another (The English Traveller). Both situations make good sense today (Richard has just had a big speech after killing Henry VI and can trail behind the processional entry).

 

Other kinds of evidence do survive about quick changes in costume, even within a single scene, but there is always a time allowed, especially if the change is from a male to a female character. The clearest examples are from the troupe moral plays from the 1560s and 1570s. E.g., the penultimate scene of Thomas Lupton’s All for Money (1578 - likely performed by four actors) provides a trial  in which two figures remain on stage and two other quick change artists alternate as different petitioners, but time is allowed for the switches. Then there is the s.d. in from George Wapull’s The Tide Tarrieth No Man (1576) where the Vice and another actor are directed to fight “to prolong the time while Wantonesse maketh her ready.”

 

The Iago-Clown exit-re-entry suggested here seems to me the kind of effect that would appeal to an inventive director or reader today but not one that fits with stage practice in the original performances.

 

Alan Dessen

 

 

 

FYI: “A new book argues that every other country is better at bringing Shakespeare’s plays to life”

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.147  Monday, 25 April 2016

 

From:        Jim Carroll <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 22, 2016 at 7:06:47 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: Book

 

“...in a play, The Tempest, that dwells at length on the costs and consequences of colonialism....”

 

Really? I thought it was a play about a magician who decides to let everyone who wronged him live.  It’s odd, given Dickson’s comment, that  in all the times I’ve read, re-read and viewed versions of “The Tempest”, I never once thought about colonialism. What about Prince? And high-heels? And Trump! There’s gotta be something about Trump in there! I would guess that foreign productions do the politically-correct versions of Shakespeare with more gusto, but that’s because they don’t understand Shakespeare’s life and culture as native Englishmen do (or should), and so they substitute real depth for a false topical “depth”. And if The Tempest is about colonialism, shouldn’t Twelfth Night also be about colonialism? After all, they both involve shipwrecks and foreign places. And why not As You Like It? Doesn’t that also involve travel to a strange place? And didn’t Imogen end up in strange place with exiles as well?

 

I let the Greenblatt nonsense pass because I was too busy, but honestly...someone’s got to say something. Am I the only one out here thinking? Surely far more interesting than some topical politically-correct nonsense would be to know what personal events in Shakespeare’s life prompted “King Lear” and “The Tempest”. Was he not wronged somehow? To me the Tempest-As-Colonialism schtick is the hey-let’s-smoke-some-weed-and-watch-cartoons version of Shakespearean scholarship.

 

Jim Carroll

 

 

 

What did Shakespeare understand about the human mind?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.146  Monday, 25 April 2016

 

From:        Neema Parvini<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 23, 2016 at 5:45:17 AM EDT

Subject:    What did Shakespeare understand about the human mind?

 

Article for #Shakespeare400 in This View of Life (Evolution Institute):

 https://evolution-institute.org/article/what-did-shakespeare-understand-about-the-human-mind/?source=tvol

 

What did Shakespeare understand about the human mind?

 

evolution-institute.org

 

Shakespeare understood, implicitly, what modern psychology has found: that human beings have a habit of making decisions based more on their intuitions and emotions than on their cognitive reasoning.

 

 

 

Maria and Sebastian in Twelfth Night

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.145  Monday, 25 April 2016

 

From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 22, 2016 at 6:45:31 PM EDT

Subject:    Maria and Sebastian in Twelfth Night

 

John Briggs wrote: “Arnie Perlstein wrote (in the “Othello’s Clown” thread) something which I believe should have wider discussion:

 

‘In short, it’s no accident that Shakespeare wrote the entrance of Iago to immediately follow the Clown’s exit, with no gap but also no overlap - it’s a giant hint and invitation to a creative director.’

 

Is this even possible? Could an actor immediately re-enter in a different costume as a different character? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the consensus of conventional wisdom (if that’s not a tautology...) was that this was not possible and did not happen?”

 

Well, first off, I’m sure you recognize that I’m not merely suggesting that the Clown and Iago could be played by the same actor, I’m going much further, and claiming that the Clown is Iago in disguise, and therefore of course the same actor would play both roles (which, in my reading, is actually one role, which includes a role-within-the-role).

 

In any event, even as to your limited suggestion, what conventional wisdom are you referring to, which mandates that an actor cannot exit as one character and then promptly enter as another, when that actor is playing both roles? As I’ve explained twice, it would make perfect sense, in terms of dramatic pacing, if the same actor leaves the stage dressed as the Clown, and then returns 30 seconds dressed as Iago.

 

John also wrote: “That is the only reason why I have not so far suggested that the actor who played Maria in Twelfth Night doubled the part of Sebastian. (Maria mysteriously does not appear in Act 5. The two do not appear together in the same scene, but there are instances where one character exits and the other immediately makes an entrance in the next scene.)”

 

Interesting! For just a second there, I misread what you wrote, and thought you were also suggesting something analogous to my claims about Iago and the Clown (and, for that matter, about Iago as a woman) in Othello. I.e., I thought you were suggesting that Maria assumed a cross-dressed disguise as “Sebastian”…..but then I realized you meant exactly what you wrote, and you were only talking about the viability of doubling of the roles of Maria and Sebastian.

 

As to that limited suggestion, I see no reason why it could not be done, other than that it would be a big challenge to have one actor convincingly appear to the audience to be a man in one costume, but a woman in another. Given the four centuries of performance history for Shakespeare’s plays, I would not be surprised to hear that it has been pulled off a few times.

 

But, if you don’t mind, let me hijack your suggestion for another few minutes, and play around with the idea of Maria in cross-dressed disguise as Sebastian.

 

For starters, the absence of Maria in Act 5, after she has played a major role in the play up till then, raises a question, or, at least, is less than satisfying.

 

Second, this is especially so, since Sir Toby (with whom she is last seen onstage, as they jointly exit in 4.2) returns in Act 5 without her, at which point we hear from Fabian that they have in the interim gotten married, as Toby suggested he might earlier in the play. It feels like an anticlimax, given how powerfully Maria and Sir Toby have dominated the action at crucial moments up till then, for us to hear a third hand report of their marriage, and not to get to see or hear Maria react to the exposure of her plotting, the way we do get to hear Iago’s memorable reaction in a comparable moment at the end of Othello.

 

Third, you’re correct, there is a succession of three different pairings of entrances and exits by Maria and Sebastian, who indeed never appear on stage together. I wonder if there is any example in the rest of Shakespeare’s plays where that sort of symmetrical movement occurs between two characters in a Shakespeare play, where those two roles have not historically been doubled?

 

And, fourth and finally, Maria is certainly a character who has already shown herself, several times over, to be ready, willing, and able to gull Malvolio with various forms of deception, including deploying the Clown as her agent, disguised as Sir Topas, as Malvolio’s exorcist/psychiatrist/torturer! So just as Iago in disguise as the Clown, and Iago as a woman disguised as a man, are both consistent with Iago’s character as otherwise seen onstage, so, too, would Maria in disguise as Sebastian be entirely consistent with Maria’s character as otherwise seen onstage.

 

However……how could Maria disguise herself as Sebastian, and then fool Viola, his fraternal twin who we know so closely resembles him, when they finally meet again, and speak to each other, at the end of the play? Unless Viola is in on the deception, and the two of them are performing a fictional scene of poignant reunion for an audience composed of the other characters, Maria-disguised-as-Sebastian falls apart at that crucial moment. Plus, there are Sebastian’s soliloquys, especially his last one, in which he expresses bewilderment at what is going on with Olivia, who has taken him for “Cesario”. No, that reading doesn’t work, as much as I would have loved it to.

 

As is evident, I love outside-the-box interpretations, but only when they cohere all the way down the line, and don’t break up on the rocks of an inconsistency. And, in the present thread, it’s Iago as the Clown, and also Iago as a woman disguised as a man, which both do cohere in that way.

 

Cheers, 

ARNIE

 

 

 

Identity of the Clown in Othello

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 27.144  Friday, 22 April 2016

 

[1] From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 20, 2016 at 7:54:16 PM EDT

     Subject:    Othello's Clown 

 

[2] From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

     Date:         April 21, 2016 at 10:58:13 AM EDT

     Subject:    SHAKSPER: Costume Changes and Exits (was Othello's Clown)

 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Arnie Perlstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 20, 2016 at 7:54:16 PM EDT

Subject:    Othello's Clown

 

Laurie, let me start by thanking you very much for your considered, respectful, and probing disagreements with my (admittedly radical and unprecedented) claim that Iago is disguised as the Clown in 3.1 and 3.4 of /Othello/. It’s exactly the kind of reply I hope to receive, whether in agreement or disagreement, because I must sharpen my argument to keep it viable.

 

Laurie wrote: “I recall that something very like this was posted in response to Larry Weiss. I admit at the time that I was in transit from Australia to New Orleans for SAA, so I skimmed it, but my memory served me well in thinking that you had not yet addressed 3.1, Arnie”

 

Laurie, as you discerned, in my early reply to Larry, I wrote “3.4” when I meant to write “3.1”, and I only became aware of the typo when reading, and responding to, your previous reply to me—hence my (silent) correction of that typo in that reply. I apologize for any confusion, and I’m glad you went on to reply to my claim as I originally intended it.

 

That confusion has an inadvertent silver lining, as it suggests to me another line of rebuttal to your critique of my argument re Iago’s wearing a disguise as a Clown that Iago could readily remove and re-don in a very short time period. I.e., while it appears that the situation in 3.4 is different from that in 3.1 in terms of time lapse, upon examination it is not materially different at all, as I’ll now explain:

 

On the one hand, in 3.4 there’s clearly plenty of time between the Clown’s exit and Iago’s entrance, to allow Iago to discreetly remove and stow away his disguise as Clown. I imagine that disguise to have consisted of a face-concealing beard—like the one Iago specifically directs Roderigo to wear while in Cyprus—together with some appropriate loose-fitting Clown garb, which Iago could’ve worn right on top of his usual clothing. Such a disguise would have been very easily and quickly removed, and would also have provided an additional benefit—it would’ve concealed Iago’s actual trim soldier’s body shape, making his build appear huskier. And the rest of Iago’s disguise, such as change of voice and gait, would obviously have been instantaneously shed.

 

In 3.1, on the other hand, it might seem at first glance that there’s not enough time for Iago to pull off the same quick-change, when we read this sequence:

 

CASSIO Prithee, keep up thy quillets. There's a poor piece of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech:

wilt thou do this?

 

CLOWN She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I shall seem to notify unto her.

 

CASSIO Do, good my friend.

 

/Exit CLOWN/

 

/Enter IAGO/

 

In happy time, Iago.

 

IAGO You have not been a-bed, then?

 

CASSIO

 

Why, no; the day had broke

Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,

To send in to your wife: my suit to her

Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona

Procure me some access.

 

It’s easy to take the path of least resistance, and read “Exit Clown Enter Iago”, as if only a few seconds elapse between these two stage events. However, I suggest that would be an assumption based on no actual evidence. Going further, if we study the above passage, I say it’s more plausible and realistic if there’s a gap of about 30 seconds between that exit and entry. Why?

 

On the upper side, a gap of more than 30 seconds without spoken dialog or significant action would begin to feel like dead air on the radio—but for 30 seconds, I think it would be dramatically quite effective if, after the Clown enters the castle, we watch Cassio nervously pacing back and forth a half dozen times. Cassio would not expect Emilia to appear instantaneously, because it would take time minutes for the Clown to get to her, to speak to her, and then for her to make her way down to the castle entrance. But Cassio would be very agitated, and every second would feel like a minute to him. That would make good theater, don’t you think? The absence of dialog for 30 seconds would work perfectly.

 

And then, when Iago suddenly shows up after only 30 seconds, instead of a few minutes, Cassio would be pleasantly surprised, which neatly explains why he says “In happy time, Iago”. This would translate today into “Even quicker than I expected, and just the guy I needed to talk to as well.”

 

And, in the same vein, there’s nothing in Iago’s “You have not been a-bed, then?” that suggests that Iago, who presumably emerged from Othello’s castle the same way the Clown entered, has encountered the Clown, or that suggests that Iago has any idea that Cassio was going to be there when he walked outside. Yet if Iago and the Clown had bumped into each other, you’d think that the Clown would’ve immediately passed Cassio’s message on to Iago, to in turn pass on to Iago’s own wife, Emilia, right?

 

And, getting to my main point, if 30 seconds have elapsed between the Clown’s exit and Iago’s entrance, that gives Iago plenty of time to shed his Clown disguise and stow it away safely in a dark hall corner near the castle entrance, where he can quickly get at it again (which he will need to do so after he leaves Othello’s room at the castle at the end of 3.3). And so Iago can then bolster his disguise as the Clown by speaking to Cassio as if he did not bump into the (imaginary) Clown in the hall inside.

 

Laurie also wrote: “You begin the revised comment with “What if…,” which always concerns me when it is offered for an explanation of what is supposed to be true for the play (in this case, that the Clown’s true identity /is/ Iago). The moment we have to supplement the explicit content of the play with a “what if” explanation to cover what isn’t there, we are moving away from the play, I suggest.”

 

As I think I’ve already made clear in the first part of this reply, above, when I wrote “What if”, I wasn’t suggesting a departure from what is written in the text of the play, so much as I’m suggesting a departure from reading the stage directions too passively, and assuming Shakespeare always wrote them to be as complete and clear as possible.

 

I’d also like to answer by presenting my specific claim in larger context.

 

First, apropos my claim that it’s a normal part of Shakespearean stagecraft for performers to have to answer questions like “how much time to leave between exits and entrances”, correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe it was common for Shakespeare to micromanage so closely, as to specify time lapses between the exit of one character followed without intervening event by the exit of another character. My recollection is that Shakespeare did not do this, not because it is unimportant, but because he expected the performer to examine the context of the scene, and to determine what sort of time lapse would make sense. Just as the greatest musical composers left a great deal to the interpretive imagination of the performer in their musical notations.

 

Second, think about all the careful analysis that any actor must engage in, in order to determine how to deliver lines – again, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe there are many speeches in the Shakespeare canon in which he micromanages by, e.g., telling actors which lines are meant to be delivered ironically, and which are to be delivered straight. Why is that silence any different from the silence I see regarding time lapses and other similar issues pertaining to entrances and exits?

 

While it’s beyond the scope of this thread of posts, my research over the past decade has repeatedly suggested to me that, in some very significant aspects, Shakespeare /deliberately /wrote his stage directions with “significant silences”. By this I mean, he didn’t explicitly say there was an implicit gap in those directions to be filled in, but he was (like Iago at the end of /Othello/) going “to never speak word” about that, one way or the other. That leaves it up to the reader of the play to discern what is implicit.

 

This is the very same methodology that Iago often used, where, like the devil he was, he was happy to avoid outright lying if he could achieve his deceptions by letting his victims make their own false assumptions about what he was telling them. And it’s also the same methodology as is employed by many other Shakespearean characters, like Viola, who, while still in disguise as a man, speaks truthfully but cryptically to Olivia and Duke Orsino about her gender.

 

In other words, I see myself as extending an old and rich strand of Shakespearean criticism that has seen Shakespeare engaging in metafictional games with his readers. By this I mean, Shakespeare conceived the relationship between himself as playwright, and his readers, as involving the same Machiavellian manipulations of point of view as are employed by a number of his most memorable characters. And there is no character more that way than Iago, so therefore it is particularly fitting that Shakespeare should engage in such subtle misleading in the way Iago is presented to the audience.

 

In short, then, I attribute to Shakespeare a didactic motive in leaving silences and gaps in his play texts which invite the sort of inquiry I’ve made in this case, and which provide a great payoff in discovering major, surprising aspects of his greatest characters.

 

Laurie also wrote: “Yet let us go further. The explanation goes on to say that upon the direction to “exit,” the actor playing the Clown/Iago would not leave the stage, but would still be seen “at the extreme side of the stage, behind some sort of wall …” – I’d be curious to find out where else in the early modern dramatic canon a stage direction to “exit” was expected to be a direction to _not_ leave the stage. This would seem to be a significant departure from the practice of entrances and exits as they have been understood. Even where there have been debates about where an entrance or exit is to be made (Fitzpatrick vs Gurr and Ichikawa, for example), I’ve never heard it said that an exit was actually not an exit at all. I’m also unsure that “some sort of wall” might be built to erect on the Globe stage, or the Blackfriars’ stage, or at court, for the sole purpose of allowing this switch to be made on-stage: does the play offer other situations in which this set element would be used?”

 

I would guess that there have been such stagings and usage of props, and I ask anyone else reading this with knowledge of stage history (that I lack) to chime in if you know of any.

 

But let’s assume for purposes of argument that you are correct, Laurie, that my suggestion regarding an exit not being a full exit vis a vis the audience would be unprecedented in the staging of /Othello. /That doesn’t make it incorrect, it may just mean that no one who has previously staged /Othello /has read the stage directions of the Clown’s exit followed by Iago’s entrance from the metafictional perspective I put forward, above. I.e., perhaps my interpretation has always been implicit in the text, but has been hiding patiently in plain sight for four centuries, waiting to be recognized.

 

But, as I think about it further, my interpretation does not depend upon an exit of the Clown being a partial exit – I can also readily imagine, instead, that Iago (disguised as the Clown) makes his exit, then discards the disguise entirely offstage, and then enters within 30 seconds, appearing as himself. I believe that the actor playing Iago/Clown could easily do things gesturally that would clue the audience into that disguise. For example (and I imagine an experienced actor could think of several ways of pulling this off), Iago, while disguised as the Clown, might have walked with a limp (a fitting idea, given Othello’s later imagining he sees Iago’s hooves!) in order to further distance the Clown’s appearance from Iago’s. But then, as the Clown exits, and Cassio is not looking at him, he might instantly stop limping and give a significant look at the audience as he walks off.

 

But….I /still/ prefer the idea of the exit that is not entirely an exit, because I still believe it would be more dramatic.Speaking of which….

 

Laurie also wrote: “I’m sorry, Arnie, but I don’t think that the pause required for the shedding of a disguise (since nothing else happens on stage while this is supposed to take place) lends itself to an electrifying dramatic moment, but that’s a difference of opinion.”

 

Yes we do disagree, But I guess neither of us will really know unless and until my version is enacted before a real audience, and we observe their reaction!;)

 

Laurie also wrote: “Of more interpretive importance, I think, is the suggestion that a costume or at least mask and prop change constitutes the “same sort of duping” Iago inflicts on others. I simply don’t see this as anything like the sort of duping to which he subjects other characters in the play, where his arsenal is routinely verbal.”

 

But you forget—Iago deploys Roderigo in physical disguise as his secret agent! Doesn’t that totally rebut your point, since it shows that Iago’s “toolkit” of deception /does /include physical disguise? And then, it’s a distinction without a difference between Roderigo in disguise at Iago’s direction, and Iago in disguise at his own direction.

 

And even if it weren’t for that, I’d still aver that knowing Iago to be a master of deception in verbal ways does make it more likely that he’d also achieve deception in nonverbal ways as well.

 

Laurie also wrote: “The final concern I have relates to the added comment in response to my query: “it’s a giant hint to a creative director” = first, this suggests Shakespeare foresaw the advent of the director as a focus for creative oversight of a production….”

 

And I reply: that’s another distinction without a difference! In every staging of a Shakespeare play, going back to his own, someone, whether Shakespeare himself, or a director, or an actor, has to decide how to make performance questions like this one. So whether you want to think of it as a hint to a director, or to an actor, or to whomever else you like, it’s a hint. Sometimes silences can be deafening.

 

Laurie concluded with: “As I say, then, I’m yet to be convinced.”

 

If you will favor me with another substantive reply, addressing my further arguments, above, I will be honored. Perhaps I will nudge you a step or two closer to convincing. ;)

 

Cheers, 

ARNIE

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         April 21, 2016 at 10:58:13 AM EDT

Subject:    SHAKSPER: Costume Changes and Exits (was Othello's Clown)

 

Arnie Perlstein wrote (in the "Othello's Clown" thread) something which I believe should have wider discussion:

In short, it’s no accident that Shakespeare wrote the entrance of Iago to immediately follow the Clown’s exit, with no gap but also no overlap - it’s a giant hint and invitation to a creative director.

 

Is this even possible? Could an actor immediately re-enter in a different costume as a different character? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the consensus of conventional wisdom (if that’s not a tautology...) was that this was not possible and did not happen?

That is the only reason why I have not so far suggested that the actor who played Maria in Twelfth Night doubled the part of Sebastian. (Maria mysteriously does not appear in Act 5. The two do not appear together in the same scene, but there are instances where one character exits and the other immediately makes an entrance in the next scene.)

 

John Briggs

 

 

 

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