Staging Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Alan C. Dessen

Staging Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Alan C. Dessen

Staging Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Alan C. Dessen

Staging Shakespeare: Essays in Honor of Alan C. Dessen

Synopsis

Features twelve essays that explore the relationships between Shakespearean pedagogy, performance, and scholarship. This volume consists of four sections, entitled Acts of Recovery; Performing the Moment; Recordings; and Extensions and Explorations.

Excerpt

Alan Dessen is an actor's academic. A teacher who combines scholarship and study with a love for live theater and an understanding of the problems that confront an actor performing or preparing to perform a classical text. I have sat with him in theaters in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and America and been radiated by his excitement for the anticipated performance. Don’t sit next to him if he is enjoying a production. He will squirm and fidget and mutter and sigh. Few others so physically demonstrate their delight in excitingly performed Shakespeare; yet Alan can also communicate murderous hostility if he doesn’t like what he sees.

I wish I had spent more time in the classroom with Alan. I have seen him teach, and they were blessed and fortunate students who sat in his classes. He could unlock puzzling complexity with clarity and vision, and I shall for all time be indebted to him for the lucidity with which he helped me go beyond the obvious in performing Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew …” speech.

Now retirement is on him, and theaters here in England, I am sure, will be seeing much, much more of him. I hope to be back with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford in 2006. I can’t wait to welcome Alan into my dressing room for speedy first reactions and then off to the pub for deeper analysis.

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