Good afternoon and welcome to the final session of this year's conference! I'm Lauren Romagnano and I will be writing about this afternoon's session on Shakespeare in Argentina and in Translation. Ralph Cohen will be moderating this session and he starts by introducing Dr. Mercedes de la Torre and discussing the work she has done by bringing Shakespeare to the community with her work.
Dr. de la Torre begins by discussing her work through Fundación Shakespeare Argentina. This organization is a nonprofit working through cultural educational collaborations to bring Shakespeare to Argentina. Dr. de la Torre believes that Shakespeare helps us to understand society and she wants to make it accessible to everyone. Her organization has created several important global connections, such as that with the ASC through Cohen, and this is how she was led to the idea of translating Leopoldo Lugones's play, Dos ilustres lunáticos o La divergencia universal. She worked with Eugene Polisky to create the illustrated translation, which will be presented in both English and Spanish.
Rick Blunt and Ryan Odenbrett present the translated English play of H and Q's meeting for the audience. We even received a treat when Ralph Cohen made a guest appearance as the donkey offstage. The scene circulates around two men talking about the Argentine strike on a railroad platform. At the scenes end, the audience discovers that the interaction was between Hamlet and Quixote. Next, Polisky reads the stage directions at the start of the scene in translation so the audience hears the description of the two men. Polisky and Seth Michelson then read the same scene in Spanish.
Afterwards, everyone gathers on stage to discuss the process of translation undertaken for this work. Lugones used a high-sounding, antique language that resembles Cervantes own style, which led to some difficulties during translation. Polisky wanted to ensure that he incorporated the right amount of romantic language in the English text. Michelson remarks that this whole project is one of transhistorical, transcultural migration that has created an enriching experience. Michelson and Polisky next share their own work outside of this project and discuss their experiences working on this.
Finally, the session ended when Cohen opens the panel up to questions from the audience, which included questions on the dilemma of English speakers understanding the term strike as noted through the context of Argentina, how meaning is conveyed through this translation, and the process of translation as Polisky notes there are two methods: word for word and intent. The session ends with Cohen asking one final question: What is the Spanish translation for the sound a donkey makes?
Our final late-night show of the conference came to us courtesy of Sweet Wag Shakespeare, the Mary Baldwin University MFA company that graduated in 2016.
Written by Merlyn Sell and directed by Marshall Garrett, Sweet Are the Uses is a new play composed almost entirely of Shakespeare's text, but rearranged to create a new story. The play consists of language from about twenty plays, with some of the heavy hitters being As You Like It, Hamlet, Measure for Measure and Henry VI, Part 3. The cast consisted of Lia Wallace as Kate Percy, Aubrey Whitlock as the Princess, Merlyn Sell as the Clown and Paulina, Adrienne Johnson as Celia, current MFA member Mary Finch as Rosalind, Maria Hart as Isabelle, Molly Harper as Pheobe, and Jorden Zwick as the Queen. With only three days of rehearsal in the middle of conference week, the company had a prompter on hand, but she was rarely called upon.
The evil Duke Angelo has banished five women to the Forest of Arden, where they try to muster a force to counter the duke. But the biggest obstacle to overcome before that can be accomplished is the broken friendship between Celia and Rosalind, another casualty of Angelo's ambition. The characters adopt roles that recall other Shakespeare characters to create something that feels encompassing. Much of Rosalind's language comes from Jaques, allowing Finch to reprise her role from Motley's recently debuted education show, while Isabelle has been driven mad by her misfortunes, resulting in her becoming an Ophelia figure.
It's been a full week of joining together to further our scholarship. We've had incredible keynote speakers, brilliant plenary sessions, and engaging colloquies. But perhaps even better than that has been seeing such exciting new work being done in these late night shows, and Sweet Are the Uses served as a perfect cap to the conference week.
Good morning and welcome to the last day of the 2017 Blackfriar's Conference! This is Lauren Romagnano and I will be writing about this morning's final plenary session.
We begin with Abigail Montgomery's "By a brother's hand": To Double or Not to Double Ghost and Claudius in Hamlet. Her paper focuses on the casting decisions made about who the Ghost of King Hamlet should be doubled with: Claudius or Fortinbras. While many companies choose to double the two kingly figures, Montgomery argues that this compromises the emotional alliances audience members make. She believes that the doubling of the Ghost and Fortinbras is a much stronger choice. Montgomery invites three actors to the stage to stage both depictions of doubling. While the familial relationships and brotherhood are more visible by the casting of one man, it changes the sympathies of the audience to either distrust the Ghost or empathize with Claudius.
By: Molly Harper
Chair: Maria Hart
Participants: Arthur Fergenson, Louis Martin, Katherine Clifford
People mispronounce Arthur's name often. It's Yiddish.
The papers for this colloquy ended up focusing on specific characters and their portrayal in productions over time.
First Paper: Loves Midsummer Battlefield by Martin
1982 production Theseus and Hippolyta have a developing relationship from the onset of the play. They are gentle with one another and cautious.
Hippolyta's sympathy for Hermia that changes his opinion through the play.
1966 film Hippolyta wears a low cut gown and is laughing and smiling.
Theseus apologizes to Hippolyta for wooing with a sword.
Angry Hippolyta slaps Theusus for his decision on Hermia dispute.
Doubled Hippolyta with Titania. Both women's strength is reinforced in the play.
Traditional feminine Hippolyta seems detached from the quarrel, she seems disappointed in Theusus decision.
At the hunt scene, the two reconcile in the hunting scene. She pulls him aside and changes in Theseus' decision. She quietly subverts male oppression.
Recent RSC play: Theseus defeats Hippolyta in the opening of the play. Hippolyta is a force to be reckoned with. She shares a tender moment with Hermia before exiting. Again, the production doubled Titania with Hippolyta, she seems superior to Oberon. In the hunt scene, Theusus and Hippolyta walk out as equals.
Ending argument: Women's roles can be reimagined.
Second paper: A/sexual Feste? Towards Performative Asexuality in Shakespeare’s Clowns By Clifford
Nunn's 1966 production of Twelfth a night has a Feste that is aloof and disconnected from the sexual mayhem. He sees Viola in her woman's weeds. He passively maintains power as an objective witness.
Feste is an unmasker and only engages to unmask other. Feste never serves as an object of desire, operates outside sexual ecosystem in play. Nunn effectively positions him as asexual within the text. Asexual is, according to AVIN, orientation of someone who doesn't experience sexual attraction, but can still seek romantic connections with others. Within spectrum of asexualism, Demisexual or gray sexual, it can be a passive lack of sexual attraction. Asexuality is very rarely discussed and very little research in Shakespearean text.
Another portrayal of an "asexual" character was in a production of Merry Wives (sorry I didn't hear the year or company), where the Falstaff was infertile. Falstafs can never succeed because inability to perform, decayed in lust. While this is the wrong view of asexuality, it does help start a conversation.
Asexuality remains the same throughout their lives. Action of celibacy. AVIN is developing a truth archive and vernacular archive of asexual experience. History, cultural performance, finding bridges between asexual of today and asexual contact past and present. Asexuals are often denied as a sexual identity throughout society troupes. Normalize asexual in spaces it hasn't been named. What about Shakespearean text? Feste is notable as having a lack of sexual desire for anyone in the play. Harmonic structure is dependent on future marriages of the play. Only Feste and Antonio only ones not to attach to other characters, but Feste has no one in his desires. Feste doesn't wear livery, he drifts between spaces as he pleases. He refuses to expose himself. Nun argues that Feste is a truth teller. He is unadorned, he acts in an asexual gaze, so what? 2012 study found asexuals are targets for bias and treated worse than other sexual orientations. Asexuals are stigmatized as . However, reading Feste as a asexual, neither the object or subject of desire, provide compelling asexual character to start conversation.
Third Paper: Unsafe theater by Fergenson
What is unsafe theater? What is it in classical theater? It is not smothering ourselves in self congratulations, no challenge for the audience. Jesse Greens reviewing in Building the Wall, prejudice of the audiences, result is smugness, a void. Most frighteningly, it is in Lear. Performance never lives up to the text.
Great production showed What is common in all of us: we will disappear. Old man loses everything in the face of death.
Most productions have Midlife crisis Lear. One production had Lear at the end marches with the army, Cordelia on his arms. Most productions have a Mad Lear. If Lear is mad, it's not universal. Then you have Hudson valley shakespeare festival did Lear with cut out the guts, cut the pc problems, when father and daughter reunited, they ballroom dance.
Chicago shakespeare theater, Brecht'a alienation with no feeling, urinals onstage. Like mother courage with no death of daughter. The tell is count to five. Almost every Lear he has seen the line "never,never,never, never" they cut the fifth never. Failure of the professional actor who runs from the fear.
Michael Kahn volunteered to say unsafe theater is Jacobean tragedies. Happy murder of innocents, Lear should break your heart and often productions do not. Don't use excuses, don't cop out. I want a Lear that embodies Robert Frost's "Trial by Exsistence". Make me feel unsafe. It is human, it is the end. Acknowledge my life and fullness of my life.
Fourth Paper: Thomas Moore by Hart
The beginning of this paper is a useful amount of dramaturgical information on Thomas Moore, the collaboration of the writers, people's opinions on Thomas Moore, and a small performance history since it is rarely performed.
Diverse source materials, balanced subversive divert attention away from relioigous and political dealings
Playwrights sanitized religious affiliation and thereby, emphasizes character and his actions to emphasis to martyrdom. Death of hero enigmatic. Moore hides behind his jokes. Resigns as lord chancellor, but never states his reason or his religious affiliations. The writers omitted his catholic ties. Adaptation process focus effort to prepare audience for Thomas' execution speech. Wisdom is reemphasized leading to execution, to dissuade audience from seeing him as possessed or crazy or dim witted. Moore's jokes increase as he gets closer to his execution. Using the jokes and wit to make Moore more relatable and martyr like, underplay his humor, enigmatic mask, actor must balance wit and seriousness, so not to alienate the audiences. Despite Thomas Moore is a powerhouse character, there were no early modern performances to note. 1964 was first performance with Sir Ian McKellen.
How would you stage Isabella at the end? Asexual shakespeare character. Staging her as an outsider, she has to be repulsed by offer.
Agreed. Worse and most effective staging was a Mussolini duke extending his power using a microphone and addressing as if in front of army.
Representation of asexual or androgynous? Androgyny has to be gender expression, the terms are not inter exchangeable.
How do we talk about Thomas Moore in different fictional portrayals? Tudors, Wolf hall, etc. promotes Moore as a certain serious character. You have to have an actor the nuisance of authority and humor balance, cautious with the dryness
Arthur asked if anyone has seen a powerful and moving Lear.
One person: McKellen's production of Lear moved an audience member to fear his humanity.
Good afternoon! This is Lauren Romagnano and I will be detailing the discussions within the colloquy panel about Single-Sex Performance. This panel features Eric Brinkman, Molly Hood, Niamh O'Leary, Lauren Carlton, Marshall Garrett, and Rebecca Bailey. The panelists will each discuss their paper in brief and other related work before opening up to questions from others.
We begin with Niamh O'Leary whose paper addresses the women of John Fletcher. O'Leary states she thinks that Fletcher wrote the best female characters of the early modern period. Her work focuses on these characters and single sex performances. She also, through that, examines cross-gender casting of early modern theatre. Recently, she has looked into color-blind casting in addition to her other theatrical lenses.
Marshall Garrett introduces his work next, which featured taking Shakespeare and rewriting it for female voices, not just female voices over male characters. He recently worked on a project where the War of the Roses trilogy was rewritten and performed by five women in 90 minutes. He says a lot of this grew from working in a school where he taught women from all backgrounds the original practices of Shakespeare and wanting to give them their own female voiced words.
Molly Hood focuses on reverse sex Shakespeare, or casting the women in the male roles and the men in the female roles. She is interested in the roles available to female actresses and wants to delve into this area. She is particularly focused on cross-gender casting and regendering completely.
Lauren Carlton is working on comparing two different operatic performances of Romeo and Juliet and understanding the differences in women in male roles between the two. Part of this stems from the distinction of a woman in a man's role seriously and the comic format of a woman playing a page role for comedy. Another facet of her work is studying the transformation of Shakespeare for singers.
Rebecca Bailey wants to look into the cross casting of minor roles, as many have already discussed the impact on larger roles. She hopes to discover the impact this has on how the audience perceives a story and what agency this gives to actors. She also is interested in the effect of masculinity in terms of cross-casting.
Eric Brinkman studies affect theory, but this particular work focuses on political identity in terms of stage kissing. His other works are focused on queer readings of Shakespeare and the manner in which they subvert and alter heteronormativity. He presents three actors to read the sonnet scene where Romeo and Juliet meet, but staged with no kiss.
The panel splits into groups to discuss their papers privately before coming back together. They then ask a series of questions and allow the audience to ask questions. However, due to the nature of this type of research, many questions cannot be answered or are left open ended for interpretation. Some questions that follow are as follows. What is the difference between adaptation and interpretation? How does changing genders of characters or cross-casting affect the patriarchal societies of these plays? Who are these changes being made for? Does the audience understand the gravity of gendered alterations?
Our final round of colloquy sessions has begun. This is Kyle again, from the R. R. Smith center on New St. bringing you our coverage of Colloquy #11: Immersive Classroom or Experiential Shakespeare Pedagogy. Unlike the last colloquy I covered (#1), this colloquy took the format of a roundtable discussion.
To begin with, each of the educators in the room introduced themselves. Attendees included Maya Mathur, Rebecca Olson, Douglas King, Gary Walton, Molly Barger, Alan Hickerson, Dan Lauby, David Landon, Stephanie Shirlan, Carmen Khan, and the colloquy's moderator Katie Wampler.
A primary concern in the roundtable was student confidence in performing and reading Shakespeare. Many of the projects were invested in empowering students as both scholars and performers. Such projects included Olson overseeing a student-edited text of Romeo and Juliet, Lauby conducting Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP) cue script exercises, and Wampler's role in the founding of Hoosier Shakes and its employment of undergraduate students from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Salutations from the Blackfriars stage! Allie Dawson again, live-blogging this twelfth colloquy session on the Blackfriars stage. Bill Gelber and Kelly Parker serve as the Chairs for this discussion, with Anne Gossage, Andrew Hartley, and Daniel Pollack-Pelsner as presenters.
Gelber and Parker begin by introducing a technique they have taught for the long time, which is, they say, a great shorthand for character creation. In a book by playwright Keith Johnston, he mentions that, when working with playwrights, they often asked why the dialogue didn't sound real. Johnston realized there was a missing element, and when he added this back in, he realized people used it all the time, and once they noticed it, they couldn't stop noticing it.
Gelber begins by portraying two different kinds of people, and Parker will ask the auditors to list the physical and vocal mannerisms that he, and Parker, affect. After they demonstrate, Gelber and Parker let the presenters try it for themselves, before applying it to early modern texts.
Gelber, as the first scholar, comes from backstage. Gelber, encumbered with a backpack, seems ill at ease, while Keeley intervenes officiously.
Now they ask the auditors to describe Gelber's comportment. The auditors list a variety of traits: small steps, little eye contact, covering his mouth, furrowed brow, with no deliberate actions. Gelber and Parker than ask them to describe Parker. According to the auditors, he was leaning, walking behind Gelber with larger steps, questioning him, interrupting him, getting into his physical space, and looking directly at the audience. Also, Gelber points out his breathing was shallow, blinking a lot and peppering his speech with "ers" and "ums".
They repeat the demonstration, this time with Parker stumbling over his words, while Gelber marches on stage and interrupts him brusquely, before telling the meek, apologetic Kelley to put his notes together.
What, they ask, is Gelber doing now that he wasn't before? The auditors again offer a list of traits: looking at the audience, more stillness, his change of vocal patterns commanding and dismissing attention, larger strides, a deeper voice, and an underlying annoyance. Part of what you do, Gelber explains, whne are this sort of person, is to never lose your cool. Unlike before, he uses less gestures, employs more deliberate speech with less filler words, and exerts authority over the space. In contrast, Parker was cowering, making himself smaller, protecting himself from person higher on the food-chain. Johnston would say the first scholar was a "low" status scholar, while the second was a "high" status one. Johnson, though he used the terminology of high and low, also said you can mix these up, so as to survive in the world.
But, one auditor asks, is this really a proper way to speak of the distinction? Gelber and Parker explain that you need to make a distinction of some kind. Everyone has a status they are, as well as status they play, sometimes attempting to be a different status, with varying degrees of success. Now, they emphasize that the terms "high" and "low" are not pejorative, but describe a series of behaviors based on your place in the world, and not that you change your "status" depending on your company. All of these things, Gelber notes, are constantly shifting. In playing one of these, there's a seesaw. If you want to play the higher status, you might actually the lower the other person, and vice versa. When Johnston wrote his book, what he really wanted to say "dominate" and "submit". You find the leader and follower types, and variations within those. To try, have them mingle with each other, and try them out for themselves. Kelley gives on group instructions, and Gelber gives the other group another set of instructions.
To illustrate this, Gelber and Parker set up a scenario in which these behaviors are most clear. Dividing the auditors into two groups, they give each group different instructions, and then have them mingle as if it a cocktail party. What they are looking for, Gelber and Parker note, is whether this behavior feels comfortable, and how it changes as they meet. After some mingling, the auditors end up all in a circle, with some seeming more dominant, and others more subservient. Afterwards, when asked to describe, one declares he "feels like an asshole". The group instructed to behave as of a lower status, one describes the experience as resembling "middle school", via a posture that made him feel uncertain and insecure. Others say they felt like a strangers in their own room. One asks, though, is it you or the others producing that feeling? Parker answers that it is both. Relationships are dependent on others.
The "higher status" group worried about eye contact. One said he was trying to have eye contact, but the others refused to make eye contact. One auditor says she tried to draw the others in, pulling them up to put them at ease. Parker notes they are discovering a phenomenon that nothing you say as it is: will be a high or low thing. It's not the words, but the content underneath. then they ask, did anyone get higher or lower depending on who they talk to? Generally avoiding being with another high status person, since there can only be one.
They repeated the exercise, with the high and low status groups switching statuses, in which there seemed to be little actual mingling. Once finished, Parker calls them back into the circle. How, he asks, did that feel for the lower status people? They express it feels more "normal", though not necessarily comfortable, admitting a cocktail party is a place some do not like to be. Another pointed out there was a rising vocal intonation depending on the status. Another expresses he used to feel this way in middle school as well. One in the high status group mentioned it made him recognize his height, and how he can take charge of a classroom. Parker notices some interesting status exchanges, spotlighting the minutiae that establishes or relinquishes domination.
Returning to the first demonstration, Gelber says its point is that this technique has nothing necessarily to do with where you are on the economic scale. Parker notes much comedy is built on this clarification, by having an authority person who is a buffoon. Audiences like to see someone who is in a higher position, yet is lower in his social interaction. After mentioning figures like Dogberry, he notes the entire series of Frasier is built on this principle.
The next question, says Gelber and Parker, is where do you find this and discover this in text? how do find these clues?
Another thing they wish to discuss variation. There are things in between high and low. We mix these behaviors. If you give them numbers, they explain, you can differentiate them pretty well. In essence, it gives you ten different characters to play.
So, the next exercise is to try to identify some numbers. They call for three people, who will wait in the doctor's office, each, secretly, getting a different number. They ask the auditors to put them in order and figure out the number. Each will come in from offstage, and Gelber will tell them what to do. The others are instructed to look for behavioral and vocal clues.
The first one comes out, and seems unexceptional, if a little wary. The second comes in, seeming trepidatious and timid. The third one comes in, walking slowly and deliberately, avoiding eye contact with the others. When they learn the doctor running behind, they all react differently. The third one leaves in a huff, while the first one wanders, and the second sits looking dejected. The second one asks to reschedule, and leaves as soon as he learns the doctor is not coming in. Second one leaves very sad, first one slams door. The first one slams the door on his way out, as the second one exits looking disappointing, but resigned.
Which order are they in, Gelber and Parker ask, from high to low? After ordering them Third, first, second (from highest to lowest) they ask, what are their numbers? The auditors offer a number of guesses, before learning the third was a nine, second a three, and first a five (but mentions he became more assertive once the third guy left). If you pick a certain number, Gelber and Parker ask, are you doing a mix of these things?
An auditor asks if, during a performance, can you go from six or four and average out to a five? Gelber answers that is absolutely possible, because your status changes depending on who your talking to. You really can't codify these things with numbers (for example, Costard's status in Love's Labour's Lost varies wildly depending on his scene partner). The status exercise, Gelber and Parker explain, is the basis of character we are trying to get at.
Now, they work on a scene from Henry V, with Henry, undercover, speaking with Michael Williams. The presenters begin with reading the scene. Afterwards, Gelber gives them each an undisclosed number. He says it's an interesting scene since Henry is supposed to be undercover. So, while his real number is probably a ten, he's playing a different number, thus forcing him, the King, to act deferential towards Williams, a common soldier.
They read the scene again, with Williams acting as the dominant one, while Henry is more deferential. Afterwards, they again discuss the scene with Gelber and Parker, noting it changed significantly. Williams, when left to himself ,is an eight or a nine, and Henry affects a seven till Williams raises his ire. One auditor points out that those pretending to be powerful often rant and rave, but those with real power are often more quiet and deliberate.
They do two more scenes, beginning with the second Lafew and Parolles scene from All's Well that End's Well, and, again, the auditors are not told the actors' "numbers". The auditors then try to guess the numbers. The scene raises the question, how low does Parolles get once proved as a traitor and a coward? To clarify context, Gelber and Parker have the presenters play the first scene Lafew and Parolles have together.
In this scene, Gelber mentions Parolles is pretending to be of the Count Rossillion's rank, while Lafew never believes the act for a second. As Gelber puts it, Parolles comes to a gunfight with a knife. Lafew throughout the scene continually lowers Parolles in asserting his own status. Lafew's actor finds, when he gets frustrated, he begins losing status. The calmer you are, Gelber explains, the better you can maintain status.
After further discussion, they try it again. Parker points out that you can see how powerful this technique is. It forces you to relate to the other characters, since your status is dependent on their status. We play status games all our lives, which is why Johnston included the status game in his book in the first place. After calling for questions one last time, the workshop concludes.
Good afternoon! This is Tiffany Waters for the last time at the Blackfrairs Conference 2017 detailing the Colloquy Session on Adaptation at the R.R. Smith Center Lecture Hall moderated by Celestine Woo with actors Jessi Scott and David Meldman of the Mary Baldwin University Shakespeare and Performance Program.
Woo begins with introductions from the speakers. The presenters are divided into two groups, with the first using actors. After breaking off into groups and discussing their p
4.) Moving on to her group, Woo: anthology weird tales from Shakespeare anthology Shakespeare themed sci-fi-fi stories. works with this book. romanticist by training. Jimmy uses Vice Principles and David uses West World. Issues include what counts as adaptation? taxonimize rhetorical strategies in adaptation. jazz riff for verse? adaptation most meaningful when actively imagines questions from WS play and critique. Want o move beyond plot and character in adaptation. leans into biography of WS. to dethrone Shakespeare places him on canonical pedastool. Co-presenters jimmy and David. Jimmy speaks: argue interested in text that adapt Othello beyond plot and character. speech famously collapsed in repetitive babbling. vice principles Rodrigo character speaks like that and makes claim to adaptation in that way. uses rhetoric for adaptive link in world. by making Othello into a comedy that is adapting the genre play that is tragedy, "supposed to be comic?" closest we will come to see language verses in play so closely aligned with racism in our current moment. language of white supremacist mvmt. recognize moment faithful to language of Shakespeare but not definitive if it is faithful to lines or white supremacy. happy to take more questions. informal presentation. David: West World. sci-fi natural descendent of Westerns in many ways. concern with occupying seemingly unoccupied space, conquest, manifest destiny, creating the old civilization. why we see a lot of sci-fi-fi westerns like Wynonna Earp and West World. manifest destiny geographic boundaries of theme park. think about it in terms of human consciousness and what humanity actually is. how does that consciousness work in west world? characters triggered by Shakespearean quotes. show feels influence by tempest. Robert Ford Prospero like character who exploits others in slave like to reconstitute identity. engages with gender and bodies in tempest in unique ways by positing idea that Ford by the end who seems like a villainous character comes across as a savior. uses exploitation of gender and race bodies to push them to limits of manifest destiny in sense of human consciousness to liberate them. what to do at political moment? not sure yet new show. started as sci-fi-westerrn with Shakespearean riffs and mid way through became documentary now in Trumpian-era. white authoritarian figure exploited gender and race bodies. Woo: back to anthology. one of many things that intrigues is collects stories from different authors some famous some not, it has a quasi-scholar critical apparatus. intro by Catherine Kur: cracks jokes at tones of criticism of Shakespeare out there. Menaechmi: cracks joke about the guy who wrote it (Plautus) compares Shakespeare scholar to Trekkies. Woo is trying to disseminate the strategies that these authors use to create these adaptations. some anthologies are adaptations through linguistics, some using recognizable shakespearean lines, plot line adaptation, merging of genres ex/ vampiric R&J, Shakespeare seen as ultimate human defined in various ways specifically people who travel between planets in future and someone discovers that in every culture there is a Shakespeare. What does it mean to universalize Shakespeare? Ends reading part of a Tempest adaptation. story about Miranda who leave for a man but comes back for Caliban. whole story is metrical, arguably iambic.
Jimmy Midlen works in Cleveland history and adaptation
David McAvoy Miami U regionals work focuses on cultural studies and use of culture in relation to Shakespeare and adaptation
Jess Hamlet U of AL. 19th century wartime studies of Shakespeare. paper on novels in 19th cent.
1.) Ashley Pierce: Penn State. focuses on actor gender in Shakespeare and casting practices. MLitt thesis on regendering Shakespeare. Has put into practice with preteens because gender fluid age group. Near and dear to heart and prevalent in theatre currently. Using Jessi and David. Identifies as performer. Two Genders Both Alike in Dignity: The Rendering of Three of Shakespeare's Villains. What makes a villain? Tybalt, Shylock, Iago. Casting practices: cross gender casting, gives definition. Moves on to definition of re-gendering moves to gender of performer playing role. Of particular interest to women working in Shakespeare. why is this so against what we are allowed to do? Not saying it should, but why is this option never considered? villains had least amount of re-gendered history most controversial was Shylock. Most people will argue about definition of villain. someone who was willing to kills someone else for own means at the end of play. Reading first monologues as themselves. audience reaction of practice is what helped worked. how does audience feel or think about what is seen? David starts the presentation . Play how you think it should be played as your gender. Reads Iago. "how am I then the villain" speech. Male Iago is what we typically see. Jesi then reads same monologue playing to her gender. She uses her high voice in delivery of it. Wanted to give idea of what could happen through demonstration.
5.) Molly Seremet visiting guest faculty. Director and theatre maker. cyborg theatre and in Shakespeare. As trio, all do Shakespeare without Shakespeare not concerned about preserving integrity of text. methods of removal are unique and group will individually focus on that. what can Shakespeare sound like when it speaks for itself. focusing closely on their work on Hamlet today. Jess: when they were talking earlier this week Molly mentioned Shakespeare without Shakespeare. Hamlet without Hamlet popped into Jess' mind. popular 19th century phrase when something weird of ineffective happens. writing about new Confederate flag, new states of America to articulate, lacks distinction its Hamlet without Hamlet. 3 weeks ago found phrase again at end o f5 hour session of parliamentary debate what should do in response to Indian mutiny, at end call for vote said this has been Hamlet without Hamlet. be better. Jess has worked over the last year on 19th cent novels that are using Shakes paratextually. Confessions of ? 1839 3 vol novel. standard novel Victorian model. British India before mutiny following fictional thug that has so many layers of narrative mediation stories accounted to reader through English speaker narrator who does not interject own voice very often translating for a character speaking Hindi. Middle of narrative expectation is a break chapter 25 is headed with HAmlet's elegy to his father which is followed by lengthy interjection of English narrator who gives physical description of the man he is translating for. at this place how does it influence questions of story> morality tale of adventure? does this interjection of Hamlet change it to dramatic soliloquy? Does this create dramatic tension that manipulates genre? questions struggling with not yet answer.
Merlyn: NB AS you Like IT 10 women not ross gendering one hour. wrote a new work. stolen and recontextualized text from Shakespeare, will smith lines, and own writings. using existing Shakespeare characters she wrote her own plot outline with lines in mind, patched worked in Shakespeare lines to fill spaces. features lines from 20 plays an 50 characters shared between 8 females. mostly Hamlet lines. Many actors at College of ST Mary most of their first experience. able to work through langauge without 400 year old sociopolitical ideas. say famous lines without anxiety. This is the play that is being performed tonight. conflict now between performers knowledge of course material and re-contextualizaion with scholars who know it. does the format have any benefit? educational benefit of this form?
Molly: surface of one meter wooden table top. focusing on uncanny ways reduced performance oeramters and object actors function, reduced Shakespeare's stage is literally set as objects. cyborg potential of objects. each 36 plays is 45-60 minutes feat. complete arc of Olay with household objects and one performer, can unlock life between objects. anthropomorphizing objects just allowed to be. characters come alive by occupying the space. the work is not: consider 1.2 Hamlet with objects pressed in to serve as humanized objects. uses lemon for Hamlet "citrus flesh would melt" objects are peppered and taking on human behaviors. used household kitchen materials. to correct this, using object grammar, not a recreation of table top Hamlet but further adaptation with her won practice. will discuss in more detail over beer, flips hamlet. doesn't need face. Molly tells story of Hamlet in third person narration, reveals thoughts of Hamlet. rethink the way we decide what constitutes as shakespearean performance. shift scale of performance inside of theatrical practice. human narrative in object bodies and small space to question humanity at the root of Shakespeare's play. objects people and people objects. expands ideas of what character is.
Merlyn Sell: Dakota playwright. graduate of MFA program. blame or credit for tonight's production
3.) Amy Bolis: PHD candidate U of MN dissertation adaptations of Othello in US. Othello the Remix focus
cut down paper lots for presentation. invites for questions after. most sets up text under examination. argument making in paper without a lot of evidence due to time constraints.
the black male body: title of paper. Olympics in London: 37 international playing companies in Globe: Londons culture diversity and Shakespeare's universality united by common interests. 90 min musical all male class. Q brothers. comp allusions. hip hop version of Othello that follows rappers in21st cent America. 5 person ensemble. theatrical debut not end of play circulation, positive reception. represented Untied States and deemed on of Globes greatest receptions. then toured through Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australia. extensive journey along with favorable reception of audience testament to see past comedy and looks at ideology that it perpetuates. critically and globally acclaimed. popularity with general public alarming because perpetuation of stereotypes. Othello hyper masculine and dangerous to perpetuate ideas of the black masculine Body. physical absence of Des. Othello alien at end of play. creators discomfort in tragedy. all actors doubled as female characters except Othello which lent itself to comedic effect. stage violence: only Othello's violence was threatening. everything else was highly stylized. Othello aggressive. biggest issue with production Des as disembodied voice. she only sings in decorative oooo and aaahhhh. no exchanges between these characters denies us of their tender relationship. Othello is highlighted by his hyper masculine nature. "an alien from another plant part of an ET race" problematic. Previously MAAN and CoE. Globe approached them and asked them to do Othello. Maybe less comfortable or familiar with tragedy? talking with aimed to use comedy of play. Missed opp. of social commentary. Conclusion: might argue unfair to critique for negativity. reducing problematic issues of Othello. apataiton maintains racial isolation he is still representative of entire population onstage. how do you we resolve racial insensitivity in adaptations of Othello? American contribution to Global festival. Responsibiliy to handle issues of race with care as a representative. why not hold them accountable? popularity of production suggests we can't ignore racial stereotypes? can this be done? don't know. better than this? absolutely.
2.) Madeleine Buttitta recent grad, paper focuses on apdatations focused on regendering in tempest. Maddies focuses on a female Caliban. Please don't hesitate to ask questions after. Timing herself as the SM in her. 1984 contemporary. Indian poets introduce Caliban with female pronouns. through adaptation as female she her invigorates a new identity. lesbian Caliban because of relationship with Miranda. mostly male Tempest. performativity of gender of what is or is not savage is called into question. aims to answer effect of gender in Shakespeare's tempest. re-gendered character: what is to learn form female Caliban? text defined as male by Shakespeare and depictions. female is not default but exception and require explanation. how does this exist within and outside character? poem sequence: 48 instances of feminine traits of Caliban vs Miranda 18. native human like and savage invader. Caliban's connection to island is most interconenctive tissue of a character. female actor interview relayed similar sentiments. physicality of character drives decision. used lower register for earthly not gendered. rock. influenced by physical and natural world low to the ground. more about lost of humanity and less about gender in actor opinion. focus is on natural world for sense of greater humanity. gender research: identifying performative acts of traditional gender (actor) "not a stable identity". questions: why couldn't there be a female? what could this bring to literature or production? how would it change the story of the tempest?
Opens conversation among presenters. Jess asks Molly about her focus of Q1 Hamlet and why? As performer it is the most perforable because emphasis on connection to characters and fast pace. in working with objects it provides delightful paradox: the more human a text is the more active and connected the characters are and the easier it is to replace them with objects. Shakespeare Retold BBC: four short films that are modernized Shakespeare read some negative reviews: any story with a man and woman who conspire to kill authority figure is not necessarily an adaptation of Macbeth. Woo brings up bedrock talk that she saw this morning. During monologue. she was thinking about this in monalogous lines. Considering how Iago as lady they'll fall into sex trap of women and David falls into manipulation. Jessi wants to show a woman who understands why Iago makes these choices. consideration of villainy of a masculine thing and femininity as creative instead of constructive. (?) women "unsex me here". Ashley comments that she staged three of the productions using pieces of work from all three of these different characters. Iago uses her body instead of her mind.
Concludes session, invites others to stay and talk since no other commitments. Mike Jensen has announcement: recently appointed as general editor of recreational Shakespeare series of books. new series. nothing to show yet. interested to sell more books to see how ti si defined. they think it is defined by 1.) recreation of Shakespeares text. creating responses to Shakespeare text in a performative medium. 2.) recreational: people willing to spend money and leisure enjoying the recreations in any medium. (TV, books, stage, etc.) Invites to talk about ideas for books with editor for this series. ADAPTATION!!!
Last comment from Patrick Harris on Iago performances: Jessi did and Patrick couldn't: impersonation of Desdemona. Thinking about the kind of understanding of the position that Iago is putting Desdemona in as a married woman. Is Iago a married woman when re-gendered? The way society works within the plays how does that exist within the play?Desdemona venting made more sense to ask Iago for help, helped rationalize that sense of female trust. (actor perspective). How are the politics of the entire play effected when gender is changed?
Thanks to all and goodbye.
Good afternoon! Lauren Romagnano again and today's lunch and learn is focused on the partnerships and relationships between Shakespeare theatres and local educational institutions. We will be hearing from Ralph Cohen of both the American Shakespeare Center and Mary Baldwin's Shakespeare and Performance Program, Paul Menzer also from Mary Baldwin's Shakespeare and Performance Program, Hailey Bachrach representing the partnership between King's College and the Globe Theatre, Erica Whyman of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Michael Dobson of the Shakespeare Institute, and Chelsea Phillips from Villanova University, but also an alumna of Mary Baldwin's program and the partnership between Ohio State University and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
We begin with each partnership speaking about the balances and benefits of each program. Dobson and Whyman begin by discussing the summer school program between the RSC and the Shakespeare Institute, which includes seeing performances, lectures about the plays, and the development of the educative creativity from the RSC actors becoming teachers to these students. They remark this program sponsored the combination of practical work and research for both students and actors, ultimately bringing scholars on the stage. For both organizations, it assisted the discovery of finding new ways to address inquiries related to Shakespeare.
Cohen next speaks on his role within the collaboration between the ASC and Mary Baldwin. He finds that this development came out of a desire to work arm in arm together towards a common goal. This development was a process of learning the balance of actor's time as well as the benefits of bringing actors into the classroom to share their experiences to students. Cohen notes that this conference is the ultimate example of this partnership when one notices the students always attentive, always listening, and always soaking in the information offered by the scholars on this stage.
Bachrach speaks next about her experience as a student working between King's College and the Globe. She notes that the Globe appears to have always been a scholarly theatre, but this partnership blends the institutions in a way to benefit both parties. She sees the blending combination of performance and research, especially in times when faculty members are from the Globe and teaching students from an entirely different background than those from King's College.
The stage is next turned over to Phillips, someone who can speak on the experience of being educated by not one, but two different Shakespeare partnerships. She notes that the partnership in Staunton informed her own thoughts and choices when she moved to Ohio because of the strength between the two programs. Having the opportunity to work with both actors and educators, and even actor-educators, Phillips was able to take the variety of information into her own classes at Villanova, where she continues to stress the importance of performance and research as a singular unit and not two separate entities.
The panel unanimously agrees that the access to spaces is one of the things that makes these partnerships lasting experiences. Whyman remarks of the RSC/Shakespeare Institute partnership that some of the key components are equal time spent in the space, the relevance and resonance of working together in the space, and using this space encourages an alignment of mission statements. Cohen adds on that the slight differences between mission statements, as rare as it can be for a graduate program to have a mission statement, can be at odds at times, but ultimately keeps him honest with his students considering his roles between the two.
Menzer turns to open the conversation to audience members to either share their experiences within these programs or to ask questions about the partnerships. Several student alumni speak, from all different partnerships, to share how these collaborations both taught them the importance of growth and the importance of the access achievable only through organizations such as these. Many speak about the growth of both parties, actors and educators, taking on these new roles and working through these new facets and how this sponsors new ideas and development all around. These connections even sponsor not only trust between the groups, but also friendship as people learn to work in their new capacities and roles. Ultimately, what the panel members hope audience members can take away from this session is that these partnerships open doors for actors, educators, students, and even community members in developing and growing through research, performance, and love of Shakespeare.
Good afternoon, Blackfriars-ers; Tyler James Haggard again, bringing you the scoop from Saturday’s staging session on Staging the Politics of Wales: 1 Henry IV 3.1 186-239 featuring Beth Brown (University of Rio Grande) and Megan Lloyd (King’s College), Kevin Rich (University of Colorado- Boulder) moderating. I've abbreviated all the speakers in this transcript by their first and last initial. Let's get started!
Tyler Bruce Dale
11:26: I’m handed a sheet of paper for the coming session; the top of a large paragraph asks, “how do you stage a scene with no lines?” How, indeed…
11:30: KR: Hello, all
11:31: BB: How do you stage a scene with no lines? How do you stage a subversive voice challenging the state? How do you stage a scene with two opposing princes? We’re interested in seeing this scene three different ways.
11:32: ML: We’ll stage the scene with no Welsh lines, with Welsh lines treated comically, and the text treated more seriously.
11:35 : Obligatory attention drawn to Matt Davies.
11:36: Actor conversation: How do we perform Welsh if we don’t know it? It could be overblown and comedic, but how do we treat pronunciation? Answer: Exaggerate, but make sure it’s not unintelligible gibberish.
11:37: BB: There are scripted foreign language in Shakespeare’s plays, but this one doesn’t. Was there a boy that Shakespeare had that could speak Welsh? We don’t know. It could take the form of a whispered conversation.
11:38: First take on the scene: no Welsh spoken; dialogue carried out via on-stage whispering (inaudible). Lady Mortimer must tell her part of the story through gesture and blocking.
11:40: Thoughts? Reactions?
KL: If I’m inaudible, how is he translating when I’m talking to Mortimer? And if you hear the song in Welsh, surely you hear the lyrics?
TD: I felt a little bit more impatience; I can’t even attempt to understand if I can’t hear it at all… I just have to wait.
AB: How do you know that Glen.’s translation is accurate?
DM: The script establishes that this is a loving, passionate couple… we have to find a staging option that doesn’t create fear.
TD: I don’t know how long to let her go on.
KL: She’s distressed. Is she being talked over?
GB: Perhaps there was an actor in the company did speak Welsh, and the script assumes that.
BB: A lot of the Welsh nobility flocked to London during that time, so the language is definitely circulating.
DM: By introducing Welsh, Shakes is introducing a dangerous, subversive moment.
11:45- Take two; comic, audible Welsh- Matt Davies in stitches at attempted Welsh; big laugh from audience after switching from a long section of Welsh back to English.
“I understand thy LOOKS…” from Mort. gets a big laugh, as does “I understand thy kisses…”
Story can still be told through blocking and gesture; Lady Mort. takes Mort.’s hand and leads him to the ground; tender moment; song in Welsh; uses a guttural vocalization in the midst of the beautiful song to grab a laugh.
11:50: High spirits in the actors; scene went over well.
KR: Is that what you’re looking for in a comic interpretation
BB: The comedy comes out in that both Lady M and Glendower are sort of crazy, wild Welsh folks
KR: Were you imagining that the comedy comes out of miscommunication, or just making fun of Welsh people?
KL: If we can’t hear LM, her proximity to Glen has to be close all the time. I noticed how much it was on Mort. to pull the comedy out of the scene; your reactions sold it.
GB: Also, Mort. asks the dad to stay around too, this intrusive presence, which is funny as well.
11:54: BB: We’d like a serious version too. Is this just making fun of the Welsh, or is there more going on here?
BS: In the serious version, I assume the stakes are more, “my husband is going to war, etc.,” so how do we avoid the comedy?
TD: I think he has to show that he’s trying but failing to understand.
11:55: Third take; serious; it seems as though the serious interpretation with the Welsh lines spoken provides fewer opportunities for the actor; all comic moments from previous reading were absent.
11:59: BB: Thank you. That was good Welsh.
AB: I think it would be interesting to juxtapose Lady Percy/Hotspur and the Mort. scene and see how they react to one another
TD: No matter how it’s played by the 3 Welsh speakers, the Hotspur’s presence will change it and make it more serious.
DM: We know Glen. is also a magician; we know he has legitimate power over or through nature, and this is the most natural thing ever, two people in love being pulled apart; he seems to enchant them as they lay down on the ground together. Neither Hotspur nor Hal get such a natural rhythm in the play.
KL: Having learned the Welsh and not paying much attention to the stage directions, I felt she was robbed of her agency in this scene.
TD: I can’t understand her, but I can hear the distress in her voice, I attempt to comfort her even though I can’t speak her language.
GB: As Hotspur, when I heard “Percy” or “Mortimer,” my ears pricked up.
12:05: Audience: When Mortimer says, I’ll sit, when he’s already sitting; I wonder if there’s an interesting moment that can happen there between Mort. and Glen.?
Audience: This is one of my favorite scenes, because it is about comic miscommunication, but the mood changes so beautiful at the end with the song. I’ve seen that every time you’ve run it.
Audience: I think it could also lend itself to comedy without including the Welsh dialogue; running from place to place to whisper, the audience asking “who’s gonna answer that question?”
Audience: It’s interesting wether Lady Mort. looks to Mort. or Glen. to get her answers? To her father or the man she loves?
Matt Davies: The audience was utterly beguiled by the Welsh, so when it’s translated onstage, the power dynamics toward Glen. shift enormously.
12:12: Fourth take: Synthesized many of the notes and comments given; heartfelt, sorrowful; though the Percys were onstage, too, it felt quite intimate. Lady Mort. commanded the action of the scene. The Percys also sat on the ground when the Morts did.
Well done, all! Thanks for a great staging session!