Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 225. Wednesday, 7 April 1993.
Date: Tuesday, 06 Apr 93 08:08:01 -0400
Subject: Is this how Shakespeare felt?
Last weekend I had a wonderful experience: the first fully-staged
production of a play I wrote. PICK UP THE CUE played at Philadelphia
College of Textiles and Science for four nights, with about 50-60 people in
the audience each night. The actors were capable, the director was
unusually sensitive to the script, the audience laughed at the jokes and
got very, very quiet during the serious moments. Not only that, but they
actually applauded when it was over.
I sat there every night and watched the audience watch the play. What a
delight NOT to hear shuffling paper and harrumping and coughing. What a
strange and amazing thing to see this script I wrote, a map of terra
incognita, take on dimension and shape, attain a life of its own in a
series of evanescent contacts between actors and audience. How incredible
to sense people getting drawn along in directions I wanted them to go in,
feeling emotions I wanted them to feel, following with interest the
fortunes of a small group of characters they'd never met before and had no
prior reason to care about.
This is only tangentially related to the subject of the list, and I
apologize if it's inappropriate. Would it help if I pointed out that the
"accidentals" of the play structure are Shakespearean? The sets were simple
and bare, consisting on carry-on props and furniture, the action moved
quickly from scene to scene and location to location, the characters
frequently addressed the audience directly in my version of a soliloquy,
and the emphasis was on narrative momentum rather than gritty
The tradition lives on, in however debased a form...