The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2167  Wednesday, 30 October 2002

From:           Michael Shurgot <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 29 Oct 2002 12:00:42 -0800
Subject: 13.2148 Re: Julius Caesar in Oregon
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.2148 Re: Julius Caesar in Oregon

Dear Colleagues:

As one who reviews the Ashland season for The Upstart Crow, I am
becoming intrigued by the comments on this topic. Reviewers have to
choose, to praise or damn, for reasons they believe are inherent within
a production; as Jim Lusardi and June Schlueter (S. Bulletin editors)
say, the test is whether or not a production "works as theatre." I
believe that the OSF JC worked very well as theatre, and in my review I
praised especially the acting of Weeden (Brutus), Murphey (Cassius), and
Donohue, who I thought was absolutely brilliant as Antony. I didn't see
the director, Williamson, twisting the play to "fit" GW Bush, although
Williamson's program note indicated parallels that he saw between JC
(and perhaps also Antony) and Bush. I also thought the twisted metal
rectangles represented the debris and detritus of not only earlier wars
but also earlier civilizations, all of which (US included!) have been
severely damaged by violence and wars. (Vietnam included, though that
wasn't "on our shores," as one says.) So the "concept" I thought "worked
as theatre" and facilitated spectators' entrance into and grasp of the

At SAA in April there is a seminar in which I will participate that
focuses on Shakespeare and his audiences (sorry, I don't remember the
actual title), and many of the posts on this topic would be quite
relevant to this seminar. I will hope to see many of the writers on this
topic at this seminar.

Michael Shurgot

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