The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 22.0326  Wednesday, 7 December 2011


From:         Richard Waugaman <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         Tuesday, 6 Dec 2011 12:24:38 -0500

Subject:      Actors' Backstories


A recent presentation by two actors made me think a book of Shakespearean actors' backstories for their characters would be worthwhile. These actors did a scene from Richard III, after explaining their theory of why Anne gave in to Richard's charms so easily. It was a fascinating and seemingly original backstory. 


It reminded me of a presentation by a director of Titus, who said the actor playing Aaron found he had to write a long backstory to be able to bear playing that character. And I wonder what the backstory might be of the death of Lady Macbeth's child, which would help explain her character.


Such a book would enrich Shakespeare scholarship by offering a theatrical insiders' view of how characters are brought believably to life. I'm hoping someone on this listserv might wish to write such a book.


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