The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1601  Monday, 25 June 2001

From:           Nancy Charlton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 24 Jun 2001 17:40:55 -0700
Subject:        Ashland Shakespeare

Today's Sunday Oregonian featured a big spread in its ArtsWeek section
on the Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2001, together with an
excellent review of the current plays by Bob Hicks, drama critic. The
review can be found on line, but alas sans pictures.

The featured plays this year include two that are recent subjects of
threads on SHAKSPER, "Merchant of Venice" and "Troilus and Cressida."
The other Shakespeare is "Merry Wives of Windsor"--which I don't recall
anyone ever discussing, and the season is rounded out with plays of
weird names:

"Oo-Bla-Dee" and "Fuddy Meers." The season's final two plays, Chekhov's
"Three Sisters" and Nilo Cruz's "Two Sisters and a Piano," open in July.

Hicks says some basic things about Merchant in particular that I think
the recent discussion here may be forgetting. E.g., "A lot of recent
productions have made Shylock the play's central, sympathetic character
and emphasized the spiritual baseness of the merchant and his friends.
Michael Donald Edwards, director of Ashland's "Merchant," has done
something perhaps more interesting.  He's pretty much played it as
Shakespeare wrote it, giving good men frightening attitudes and letting
Shylock stand out as a hard and bitter man, but a man who has his

In the section on T&C Hicks writes:

"You can laugh at all this foulness, but it's a bitter laugh, a laugh
that recognizes the deep dark places that despoil beneath the veneer of
civilization. Yet there is a stairway on this descent into hell, and few
people are fully in the fire: They are on the way, with steps still to

I wondered if he knew the lines from Chaucer:

O blinde world, O blinde entencioun!
How ofte falleth al the effect contraire
Of surquidrye and foul presumpcioun;
For caught is proud, and caught is debonaire.
This Troilus is clomben on the staire,
And litel weneth that he moot descenden.
But al-day falleth thing that foles ne wenden.

Oh -- the URL:

I don't think the online article has the Ashland contact into:
Tickets $14 - $56
Box office 541-482-4431, fax orders 541-482-8045. They can also send you
info about accommodations and the Jacksonville music festival up the
road a
piece. And you can go a little farther east and see Crater Lake (hurry
before it dries up) or south to the palindromic Yreka Bakery.

Nancy Charlton
Portland OR

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