Juliet is the Sun


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0418  Thursday, 18 October 2012


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

Date:         October 18, 2012 12:18:18 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: Juliet is the Sun


>I found Larry Weiss’s comment interesting


I am glad of it, . . .  (Ham, IV.ii.23-4)

Query: Winter’s Tale


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0417  Thursday, 18 October 2012


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

Date:         October 18, 2012 7:05:37 AM EDT

Subject:     Query: Winter’s Tale


Dear All:


I am studying the recent performance history of The Winter’s Tale, with a general interest in how the oracle scene is staged.


I am especially interested in one particular production, directed by David Farr in 2009, which played at the Courtyard Theatre, the Roundhouse, and an improvised theatre in NYC. In this play, apparently, when the oracle is pronounced a kind of earthquake shatters the scenery, including two towering bookcases which tumble – perhaps reminding the audience of the Twin Towers falling.


Has anyone out there seen one of these performances? Can anyone explain the exact sequence and effect of this scenery catastrophe? And does anyone know of similar or equally challenging staging effects from other productions?  I would be most interested to hear from you.


With regards,



Robert Appelbaum

Professor of English Literature

English Department

Uppsala University

Uppsala SE-751 20


Autumn Events and 2013 Theatre Season Announced


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0416  Thursday, 18 October 2012


From:        Shakespeare’s Globe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Date:         October 18, 2012 8:00:40 AM EDT

Subject:     Autumn Events and 2013 Theatre Season Announced


As the seasons change, so does life at the Globe. Following our theatre season playing out in the open we are turning our thoughts to playing indoors.


Building work has already begun on the indoor Jacobean-style theatre. The foyer will be closed from 20 October until 23 April 2013. Access to the site will now be through the Groundling Gates and Exhibition entrance on Bankside.


To complement this new chapter in the Globe story a season of special events in the series Shakespeare: Playing Indoors will explore plays and play-going in the indoor theatres of Jacobean London.



2013 Theatre Season announced


Join us in 2013 for a bold and vibrant theatre season, bringing you the supernatural, new writing, touring productions and Globe to Globe. 
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, and Macbeth will sit at the heart of the season, while three new plays will receive world premieres – The Lightning Child by Ché Walker, with music by Arthur Darvill, Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale, and Gabriel by Samuel Adamson, featuring English trumpet soloist, Alison Balsom. 


A mid-scale tour of Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 and 3 will visit venues around the UK, including a visit to the Globe in the summer, and there will be small-scale tours of King Lear and The Taming of the Shrew, playing at the Globe and across the UK, Europe and US.


Three ground-breaking, international companies which came to London for Globe to Globe will return for a limited number of performances as part of wider international tours. We will be welcoming back the Isango Ensemble from South Africa with their delightful Venus and Adonis; from Georgia, the Marjanishvili Theatre return with their wildly imaginative As You Like It; and the internationally recognised Belarus Free Theatre bring back their production of King Lear. One final international element of the theatre season will be Footsbarn, bringing Indian Tempest.

Juliet is the Sun


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0415  Wednesday, 17 October 2012


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

Date:         October 16, 2012 2:37:33 AM EDT

Subject:     Juliet is the Sun


I found Larry Weiss’s comment interesting because “natural philosophers” of the Renaissance such as Giordano Bruno were positing the existence of tiny sub-visible particles (building on the work of some ancient Greek philosophers). “Romeo and Juliet” also shows exquisite scientific awareness. Thus when Romeo returns to the Capulet house after the mask, he says (to himself) “Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out”. This is a reference to the contemporary debate surrounding heliocentrism, which Giordano Bruno was involved in as well. In fact, “ Romeo and Juliet” expresses the latest heliocentric science of the Renaissance, since people were just beginning to understand that the relationships and dependencies involved in the new cosmic framework implied that the sun and only the sun was available, ultimately, to power the earth. In other words, the heliocentric idea was starting to have a thermodynamic dimension.


Besides “atomi” we might also note that another word scientific word (“infinite”) (also associated with Giordano Bruno and his new conception of an infinite cosmos) of the Renaissance appears in “Romeo and Juliet” when Juliet says “My bounty is as boundless as the sea/My love as deep, the more I give to thee, /  the more I have, for both are infinite.” Of course, this imagery of a boundless bounty also fits in nicely with a non-depleting energy source.


The Thing’s the Plays: The Public Theater Gets a Shakespeare Machine


The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.0414  Wednesday, 17 October 2012


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

Date:         October 16, 2012 7:55:20 AM EDT

Subject:     The Thing’s the Plays


The Thing’s the Plays: The Public Theater Gets a Shakespeare Machine


Adorning the newly refurbished lobby of New York’s venerable Public Theater is a steel contraption loaded with 37 blades, 3,072 high-efficiency white LED emitters, and every word from Shakespeare’s plays. Ben Rubin’s Shakespeare Machine is at once artwork, chandelier, brain-teaser, and literary tourist attraction. Read more at artnews.com


[Editor’s Note: Below is the link to the interested article with many photographic illustrations. I have excerpted from the story following:




The Thing’s the Plays: Public Theater’s New Shakespeare Machine

BY Robin Cembalest POSTED 10/16/12


Brush up your Shakespeare—start quoting him now.


Or, have a machine do it for you.


You rogue. You knave. You leave. You villain. You rascal.


These are phrases you might encounter over your cocktail at the Public Theater, the Lafayette Street landmark, now that an elegant new bar has taken up residence in its lobby.


They won’t stay long, because other phrases, all selected by algorithms from each one of Shakespeare’s plays, soon take their place, passing in a manic, poetic, vaguely familiar, and increasingly hypnotic stream—37 streams, actually, because that’s the number of nearly four-foot-long blades, each embedded with 3,072 high-efficiency white LED emitters, dangling from the steel, elliptical-conic contraption at the center of the room. The effect is as if all the characters from Shakespeare’s plays were talking to each other at once.


The Shakespeare Machine is the creation of Ben Rubin, a local media artist with the spirit of a mad inventor and a passion for data. Commissioned by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs as part of the Percent for Art program, which funds site-specific pieces in city-funded construction projects, Rubin’s device is at once artwork, chandelier, brain-teaser, and literary tourist attraction.


[ . . . ]


The artwork has been in the works for almost five years; the building has been around since 1854. Originally a library funded by John Jacob Astor, it became a receiving station for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and then a theatrical success story when Joseph Papp restored it, staged the world premiere of Hair there in 1967, and made it the home base for the Shakespeare Workshop as well as for a roster of new plays and musicals. 


[ . . . ]


Each blade contains a whole play. Once a cycle, for about two minutes, the blade streams its play in its entirety. Then selections from its text will appear–terms selected for grammatical, contextual, rhythmic, or semantic attributes, like a verb followed by the word it, a noun phrase containing a part of the human body, and adjective-conjunction-adjective.


Rubin plans to add more categories this week, and to continue the process indefinitely. His fantasy is to have longer blades that will accommodate bursts of iambic pentameter and other complex phrasings.


Columbia University professor James Shapiro, one of several Shakespeare experts (including scholar Stephen Greenblatt and theater director Barry Edelstein) who advised Rubin on the project, pronounced himself transfixed–with the unfamiliar combinations of familiar words, the patterns within each blade, the challenge of looking at the blades in progression. “The word that came to my mind was mesmerizing,” he says.


“I think Shakespeare absolutely would have enjoyed this,” Shapiro adds. During the quarter century the author was writing, “these words were swimming around in his head.”]


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