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.

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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.
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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

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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.
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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…
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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. . .
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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.
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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?
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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

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Shakespeare: the Monster Mash-Up Edition

OK, don’t know how many of you have heard of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or his projected follow-up, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but now’s there’s another classic v. monster mash-up on the horizon:

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

So it’s got me to thinking:

What about a Shakespearean monster mash-up?

Which play?  What monster?

My wife Lisa’s vote is for vampires (she’s devoured the Twilight novels [though with less and less enthusiasm] as well was the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris (the source for HBO’s True Blood) and the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter books by Laurell K. Hamilton), with maybe Friar Laurence being a blood sucker himself (the potion he gives Juliet is just to incapacitate her before he turns her… and when he finds Romeo in the chamber, he is touched by their romanticism and turns them both)… it might just work.

In “all my spare time,” I might even play around with the idea… any others out there?