Theatre for Shakespeare

Theatre for Shakespeare

Theatre for Shakespeare

Theatre for Shakespeare

Excerpt

Knowledge of the Elizabethan theatre and its methods is garnered in the hope that modern producers of Shakespeare will seek to apply it. I was following in the steps of many distinguished garnerers in this field when I was honoured with the invitation to give the Alexander Lectures. I decided to abandon my plan to supply more knowledge, and to cope instead with the question of its application. If my lectures prove this decision to have been rash, they may still serve a useful purpose, in reducing the distress of those who lament that students emerge too infrequently from their studies. If any further effect is achieved, it is peculiarly appropriate that the University of Toronto should have given me my rostrum. The University and the city and province it serves are displaying a keen interest in Shakespearean production and in ways it may be improved. I wish to record my gratitude to my hosts for their cordiality and their tolerance.

My thanks go also to those who had consented to discuss my subject with me, chiefly persons long concerned with the application of Elizabethan staging methods: John C. Adams, Bernard Beckerman, Henry Wells, Angus L. Bowmer, Allardyce Nicoll, Richard Southern, and others. Tyrone Guthrie and Bernard Miles were generous of their time in London, and Frederic Halaman and Dimitrios Rondiris in Athens. Even those who differed most widely from me in point of view remained patient in spite of my somewhat inquisitorial approach. My debt to Mr. Rondiris is of a special kind. As . . .

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