Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0515.  Wednesday, 8 June 1994.
From:           Steve Urkowitz <SURCC@CUNYVM>
Date:           Wednesday, 08 Jun 94 07:25:44 EDT
Subject: 5.0506  Re: Signed Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0506  Re: Signed Shakespeare
Two 17th century texts might be interesting to a student of signed Shakespeare,
Bulwer's CHIROLOGIA and CHIRONOMIA.  Briefly described by Bertram Joseph in
ELIZABETHAN ACTING, Bulwer went out into the streets with an accompanying
artist to draw images of how people "spoke" or augmented speech with hand
gestures.  The illustrations offer delicious reminders of the possibilities of
extra-lingual language.  For each of his drawings (several hundred, I recall),
Bulwer has a Latin title.  I've had most of these translated for me, but it is
fun to try to interpret the gesture without knowing the ascribed meaning.  Ah,
kinesthetics!  Also, there is a group that has been working at the Joseph Papp
NY Shakespeare Festival bringing three or four signers to a few performances at
the Delacort Theatre.  At one ill-directed production, the physically active
signers were much more interesting to watch than the players onstage. (The
signers were set off  in the audience close to one section reserved for the
Good luck on your gathering of signs.
                                               Steve Urkowitz

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