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Shakespeare @LibertasU

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.194  Friday, 18 April 2014

 

From:        Lois Leveen < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 17, 2014 at 2:18:18 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Online Course

 

William Junker < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote,

 

>As someone who holds a BA from the University of Dallas, I 

>take exception to Appelbaum’s comment. While it is true that 

>incoming students are issued colt revolvers during orientation 

>week, the donning of cowboy hats is highly regulated. 

 

While I was in Turku, Finland, to speak at the Framing Premodern Desires Conference earlier this month, I learned that graduating doctoral students are indeed given hats, or rather expected to purchase them for rather extravagant sums (and they seem more suited to leprechauns than scholars). But even better: they get SWORDS!  Can you imagine how faculty meetings would go if your colleagues were all issued departmental swords? 

 

https://www.jyu.fi/en/academic-events/degrees-ceremony/instruct/doctoral-hats-and-sword

 

-Lois Leveen

 
 
My Life on Stage with Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.193  Friday, 18 April 2014

 

From:        Julia Crockett < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 17, 2014 at 8:12:08 PM EDT

Subject:    My Life on Stage with Shakespeare

 

[Editor’s Note: The following is an extract from the Independent’s extract of Rory Kinnear’s My Life on Stage with Shakespeare. –Hardy]

 

Rory Kinnear’s My Life on Stage with Shakespeare

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/features/rory-kinnear-my-life-on-stage-with-shakespeare-9267261.html

 

When I was very little I didn’t want to be an actor. I wanted to be a butcher. Or a goalkeeper. Early in my adolescent years I took the risk of appearing as Sir Epicure Mammon in The Alchemist and Pandarus in Troilus and Cressida and then, finding to my young astonishment that I was getting attention and some praise for my performances, I began to think that acting might be a better fit. My father had been an actor, but he had died when I was 10, and so in lots of ways I had to discover it all for myself.

 

One of the things that I discovered, and which became clear especially when I was at university and working on Buckingham in Richard III and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, was that what I got most excited by was the rehearsal process. It seemed to require identifying the particular conundrums that a play and character threw up, the various forks in the road ahead, examining them thoroughly, and then making a decision. There wasn’t necessarily a right decision – especially, as I discovered to my delight, with Shakespeare – but there had to be a decision. I tend to approach parts initially just by thinking about them, and then afterwards I try to figure out what works well in the doing – they’re two different disciplines really, for me – and then I try to marry them up to get a wholly successful and coherent performance, which then needs to fit in with the design, direction, other actors, and all the other aspects of a production which must combine so that everything is working together and everyone is trying to tell the same story.

 

One of my first professional jobs was as Caliban in The Tempest. I then worked at the RSC for a season, as Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew and Caius Lucius in Cymbeline, and then I did Laertes at the Old Vic in 2004 with Ben Whishaw in the role of Hamlet. There followed a Shakespeare- less break of six or seven years before I did Angelo in Measure for Measure at the Almeida in 2010.

 

Shakespeare wrote his characters precisely, and yet there is room for each actor to find his own Angelo, and also – as I was then to discover his own Hamlet, his own Bolingbroke and his own Iago, too. I had the opportunity to revisit Hamlet in the title role a little later that year at the National Theatre. I had already been quite familiar with the play, having encountered it at school and having taken the opportunity to write on it during my English degree. Acting, though, requires a different skill set than academia.

 

Shakespeare gives his actors quite a lot of open-endedness within which to work: you’re not often given much back-story, and you’re certainly never guided by him to any particular decision. You have to make your own.

 

Consequently, there’s a lot of thrashing about involved in figuring out how to create a character with a full life, including relationships that have already been formed and those parts of his life that have already been lived – and then connect that full life, largely of your creation, with Shakespeare’s creation, the character’s lines.

 

What surprised me most with Hamlet was that, having gone through that rehearsal process, it wasn’t until the first time I performed it in front of an audience that I realised that it’s only in relation to that body of witnesses that Hamlet discovers himself. If you’re rehearsing in a white room, doing those soliloquies to a wall, even though it’s quite self-reflective and leads to a number of important insights, you’re not really getting anything back.

 

To actually lead an audience of 1,200 people through those soliloquies and to be open-hearted in how you share them is incredibly moving, and I was surprised at the effect that had on me during the first week of performance. The rehearsal process had actually been quite isolating, since, as Hamlet, I’d spent seven weeks cut off from everyone: not only is Hamlet on stage most of the time and so excluded from the backstage experience, but the charting of the play is the deterioration of his relationships with everyone else (except for maybe Horatio, but even he gets it in the neck sometimes). Since they know the play so well, the audience tends to be ahead of him in terms of what he’s thinking; as a result a lot of the time Hamlet seems to be playing catch-up with what everybody else already knows.

 

As a result, although at times I would hear contented sighs – and frequently people saying Hamlet’s lines along with me – I also had people say to me afterwards that it was only after a while that they realised that I was doing such-and-such a speech. I suppose it can be surprising to discover these well- known words in the context of the narrative of a play, rather than as verbal set pieces. I suspect that secretly we might believe such great – and famous – outpourings of eloquence and wisdom should be heralded by a pause in the action and a suitable fanfare.

 

[ . . . ]

 

With each of Shakespeare’s plays, the same cast and the same director could sit down again mere months after they’ve done a production and come up with a totally different production: the readiness is all. I’m sure that for each role I would want to give a very different performance now. But however I did them, I would still want to focus on those moments when the characters become something they weren’t before. I would want to try to hold on to who they were, with all the weight of their histories, and yet follow them in the successive moments of becoming who they are, as they are faced with those big questions. They are questions we all face in our own lives: questions about beliefs, and trust, and power, and how to do the best we can with whatever unexpected circumstances life throws at us.

 
 
Proceedings of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2012-2013

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.192  Friday, 18 April 2014

 

From:        Sofia Novello < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 18, 2014 at 4:55:29 AM EDT

Subject:    Proceedings of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference 2012-2013

 

The British Institute of Florence is pleased to announce the online publication of the second volume of the Proceedings of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference on the theme Shakespeare and His Contemporaries: The Notion of Conflict (2012), The Italian Connection (2013). The volume, edited by the Coordinator of the Cultural Programme, Mark Roberts, is a selection of contributions of the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Graduate Conference. The volume can be read at http://www.britishinstitute.it/en/library/proceedings.asp.

 

Sofia Novello

Library Assistant & Co-ordinator of the Shakespeare Graduate Conference

The British Institute of Florence

Palazzo Lanfredini

Lungarno Guicciardini 9

50125 Firenze

Italia

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
Shakespeare @LibertasU

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.191  Thursday, 17 April 2014

 

[1] From:        Jim Carroll < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         April 16, 2014 at 3:57:24 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Online Course 

 

[2] From:        William Junker < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         April 16, 2014 at 6:17:17 PM EDT

     Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Online Course 

 

 

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

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

Date:         April 16, 2014 at 3:57:24 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Online Course

 

>It seems to me too that the idea of ‘great men’ is gratuitous.

>I do not doubt that Shakespeare believed in the Great Man theory

>of history, but why should we? Maybe we should find ourselves

>well beyond that idea . . .

 

I have to ask: why should we be beyond that idea? Should we subscribe to the “copycat men” idea of history, where all the copycats go round and round publishing/disseminating/acting out the same old tired ideas in order to look busy and appear to be intelligent? I don’t think we’d make much progress as a species if there were not ‘great (wo)men” (better term: iconoclasts) who force the social climbers into thinking a new way. If not for iconoclasts we’d still be subject to con artists hyping Galen’s medicine and waste our time and money trying find the dark energy . . . oops, excuse me . . . phlogiston that powers the RNA world as it flies up the chimney.

 

And it’s a good thing Shakespeare was smart enough and iconoclastic enough to make fun of the sonnet form, otherwise we men might have all ended up like those poor gentlemen in Love’s Labours Lost.

 

Jim Carroll

 

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

From:        William Junker < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         April 16, 2014 at 6:17:17 PM EDT

Subject:    Re: SHAKSPER: Online Course

 

As someone who holds a BA from the University of Dallas, I take exception to Appelbaum’s comment. While it is true that incoming students are issued colt revolvers during orientation week, the donning of cowboy hats is highly regulated. 

 
 
H(app)y 450th Birthday

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.191  Thursday, 17 April 2014

 

From:        Hardy M. Cook < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:        Thursday, April 17, 2014

Subject:    H(app)y 450th Birthday

 

The Folger Shakespeare Library

 

H(app)y 450th birthday, Will Shakespeare! 

 

In celebration, The Folger Shakespeare Library is offering the Folger Luminary Shakespeare apps for just $2.99, through April 27. Enjoy Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dreamhttp://ow.ly/vObiZ

 

Folger Luminary Shakespeare Apps

 

Designed to make great plays accessible to all readers in a lively digital format, the Folger Luminary Shakespeare Apps are an interactive reading experience that enriches the Folger Shakespeare Editions—the gold standard in modern edited Shakespeare texts—with

  • Full audio recordings by professional actors produced by Folger Theatre
     
  • Expert commentaries from leading scholars, teachers, and performers
     
  • Illuminating images from the Folger collections and video
     
  • Robust authoring and sharing tools 

From solitary reading to generative thinking, from the classroom to the theater, Folger Luminary Shakespeare apps offer an interactive reading experience to enhance our pleasure and understanding of Shakespeare’s extraordinary works.

 
 
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