Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0616.  Monday, 19 August 1996.

From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 17 Aug 96 17:59:29 GMT
Subject: 7.0615  Re: Folio as Acting Script
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0615  Re: Folio as Acting Script

Don Weingust wrote

>Patrick [Tucker's] work is very compelling, and his methods are
>particularly powerful in opening up student actors to the
>possibilities of the text.  His techniques give young actors
>both license and form within which they may explore.  I am
>particularly interested in hearing from editors and others
>the scholarly arguments against this set of techniques, as
>well as the results of John Senczuk's experiments.

There are, to my knowledge, two fundamentally flawed beliefs underlying
Tucker's work:

1. For each play in the Shakespeare F1, Heminges and Condell chose from amongst
the available documents the one that best represented how the play was
performed by the company. The process of printing preserved many of the acting
cues present in these documents, for example the capitalization of words the
actor has to stress.

2. There were no rehearsals and each actor turned up for the first performance
having learned the 'part' given to them. This 'part' was their own lines plus
the cues indicating when to speak.

Proposition 1 indicates that Tucker does not know the current scholarly
consensus on the editing and printing of F1. It's just plain ignorance.

Proposition 2 is an implausible theory and there is evidence against it. For
example the text of Henslowe's binding of Robert Dawes is extant and Chambers
reprints it (ES2:255-7). This contract specifies the penalties Dawes must pay
for missing rehearsals ("which shall be the night before the rehearsall be
given publickly out"). I know of no evidence supporting Tucker's claim.

Gabriel Egan

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