Beginnings, Part Two (individual scenes)

Yesterday, we talked a little about beginnings, specifically of the plays themselves, about how they could be either strong and loud (to grab the audience’s attention) or slow (building exposition at a more leisurely pace).

Today, let’s take a microcosmic look at this concept: what about the beginnings of scenes themselves.
Continue reading “Beginnings, Part Two (individual scenes)”

Beginnings, Part One (the play as a whole)

So how does the/this/a play begin?

Why is it important?

Well, riddle me this, Batman: what does the modern theater have that the Shakespearean Globe did not?  I’m not talking plush seats.  Or cocktails in the lobby.  Or validated parking.

I’m talking about house lights.

Huh?
Continue reading “Beginnings, Part One (the play as a whole)”

Numbers: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Before July started, I talked a little about a truly great Shakespeare professor at UCLA, David Rodes (and I still need to get around to writing more fully about him).

One of his many interesting insights concerned a little simple math.
Continue reading “Numbers: Getting to the Heart of the Matter”

Quick Hits: Scansion for Laughs

In Act Three, Scene One, Dromio of Ephesus is trying to get within the locked gates of his master’s home… but is tormented from inside by his twin who answers the question of identity with:

The power for this time, sir, and my name is Dromio

— III.i.43

Continue reading “Quick Hits: Scansion for Laughs”

Podcast 05: The Comedy of Errors Wrap-Up

This week’s podcast includes the discussions of production concepts and possible casts for The Comedy of Errors.  Also, this week: DVD reviews of the BBC’s production of The Comedy of Errors and the PBS documentary The Hobart Shakespeareans.
Continue reading “Podcast 05: The Comedy of Errors Wrap-Up”

Numbers: Genetics, Heredity, Nature vs. Nurture

I know what you’re thinking… [actually, I don’t… much to Lisa’s never-ending disappointment, but I digress] “What do you mean by numbers and genetics, etc. etc.?”

Let’s play with line counts to check some stuff…
Continue reading “Numbers: Genetics, Heredity, Nature vs. Nurture”

The Future Arrives, and it’s Foggy

A couple of weeks back, I said that we were going to discuss a close reading The Comedy of Errors‘ Act Two, Scene Two, from Adriana and Luciana’s entrance around lne 108.

So let’s begin. . .
Continue reading “The Future Arrives, and it’s Foggy”

The Last Scene (much wackiness then reunion)

Ah, yes, Comedy‘s last scene.  429 lines to set everything aright.

It is the model of economy.  It begins with a reiteration by Angelo about the high esteem Ephesus has for its Antipholus (as he apologizes yet again to the second merchant).  AS and DS arrive, deny Angelo his payment, and are seen by the two (plus “wife,” sister, and ho) fleeing arrest by entering the Priory/Abbey.
Continue reading “The Last Scene (much wackiness then reunion)”

Vowel Movement Irregularities

So we’ve spent the last week or so looking at textual technical matters (rhyme, prose, meter and the like), and using these cocepts to help drive acting and directing decisions.

But what if the clues (what we find in the technical minutae) are of no help?  What if the clues are… well, wrong?
Continue reading “Vowel Movement Irregularities”

Why Rhyme? Part II: The Answers–Episode Two: The Answers’ Answer

OK, yesterday, we discussed the different rationales for using rhyme in the verse of the plays.  Some of our purposes:

  • singling out an entire body or block of content
  • singling out a couplet of content (for emphasis, particularly at the end of a speech)
  • content from outside the play itself–poems, songs, even entire plays that are performed within the context of the scene
  • portrayal of other worldly-entities

Continue reading “Why Rhyme? Part II: The Answers–Episode Two: The Answers’ Answer”