The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2150 Monday, 6 December 1999.
Date: Sunday, 05 Dec 1999 01:00:55 -0600
Subject: Age of Awareness
I was interested in Nancy Charlton's account of young girls at a
production of Tartuffe. In the music of the language and the force of
the emotions conveyed by the actors, very young children often get
meaning that cannot be congnitive. In 1977 when I was dramaturg of a
production of MM at a Shakespeare festival, I took my four-year-old
daughter who has since become a pretty good amateur actress to the dress
rehearsal of the play. My wife and I sat with her between us in the
empty theater while all went more or less as it was to go the next
night. She sat there enthralled by a play she could not possibly have
understood in cognitive ways. She laughed and wept quietly by turns as
the plot unfolded scene after scene. I am still bemused by this and
find help in my bemusement in Nancy's anecdote and her interpretation of
it. Thanks, Nancy.