Shakespearean Stage Production: Then & Now: A Manual for the Scholar-Player

Shakespearean Stage Production: Then & Now: A Manual for the Scholar-Player

Shakespearean Stage Production: Then & Now: A Manual for the Scholar-Player

Shakespearean Stage Production: Then & Now: A Manual for the Scholar-Player

Excerpt

The conscientious amateur, starting with nothing but enthusiasm on his first production of a Shakespearean play, is quick to realize the need for information that will be of immediate and direct use to him. His first step in search of this will lead him, almost inevitably, to a library, and here, regrettably enough, he may experience his first setback. It is not failure to find the information he seeks, but the overwhelming abundance of it that gives him pause.

What follows? Will he give up all idea of putting on the play when, humbled and dismayed, he catches this first glimpse of how much he does not know? Or will he snap defiant fingers at the loaded shelves and decide to plunge into the job with the text of the play alone to guide him?

The first decision means a loss of valuable experience for himself and his prospective cast and, even more regrettable, supplies one more example of erudition killing inclination.

The second decision has this at least to recommend it, that an attempt will be made that cannot fail to bring a lively awareness of the worth-whileness of the undertaking to the actors and producer. If the results fail to meet the standard of that member of the audience whose censure, according to Hamlet, must in the actors' opinion "o'erweigh a whole theatre of others," there is always the hope that the "others" will, with Theseus, think that "never anything can be amiss when simpleness and duty tender it."

Our bewildered would-be producer is still in the stacks, but let us imagine that, while our backs were turned, he has been reading and has been lucky enough to come across these three facts: that the plays of Shakespeare were, for the most part, written (1) for one . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.