Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shakespeare in the Park - New York Times

Shakespeare in the Park- New York Times

Those crazy Veronese lovebirds have scheduled a date in Central Park this summer.

"Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's tale of woe and badly mixed signals, will be the first presentation in the Public Theater's 2007 Shakespeare in the Park season. Performances of "Romeo," to be directed by Michael Greif ("Grey Gardens," "Rent"), will begin at the Delacorte Theater on June 5 and continue through July 8, a week longer than usual.

The season's second play, also scheduled for a five-week run, has not been announced.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Inspiring a collaborative spirit

By Catherine Foster, Boston Globe Staff January 29, 2007

CAMBRIDGE -- Bobbie Steinbach slips on a pair of kneepads and grouses, half-jesting, "I'm too old for this."

Then she joins a mass of growling actors on their knees, impersonating a single bear, who crawl as one toward their prey. The group, during a recent rehearsal at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center , is pursuing an ill-fated soul named Antigonus (played by Richard Snee ) in Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale."

As the bear, the actors corner Snee, rearing up to hide his exit from view. Then they split up, and falling back down on their hands and knees, transform themselves into a flock of bleating sheep. Snee returns to the stage, now as their shepherd.

Curt L. Tofteland , director of the Actors' Shakespeare Project production that opened officially over the weekend, rocks back and forth on his feet as he assesses the scene.

"Any problems, sheep people?" he asks. "That was almost perfect, bear." [more]

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Richard III, an Arab Tragedy

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s first Arabic production of a Shakespeare play will be presented next month.

Richard III – an Arab Tragedy’ will be presented by the Culture Project (Kuwait) and Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK.

The production was specially commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) for the Complete Works Festival, from February 8 to 17.

Lebanese actress Carole Abboud

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hamlet, the Manga

Emma Vieceli has informed us that she has created a Manga edition of a Hamlet, part of a series produced by Self Made Hero. In this manga, Hamlet is set in a dramatic futuristic world. The year is 2017. Global climate change has devastated the Earth. This is now a cyberworld in constant dread of war. The state of Denmark has grown prosperous and defended itself successfully against neighbouring states. But could it be that its greatest threat comes not from without, but from within the state itself? It is in this cyberworld that we find the young Hamlet. His grief over his father's recent death turns to something far darker when the ghost of his father appears to him. Hamlet is very soon to discover that something is rotten in the state of Denmark...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Manga Romeo and Juliet published by SelfMadeHero is a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's classic play in manga form. Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's most famous love story, unfurls in a dramatic manga setting, in which Verona becomes a street in the highly fashionable Shibuya district of Tokyo. The star-crossed lovers, touching in their youth and innocence, are caught up in a bitter feud between two Yakuza families (Japan's 'mafia') whose rivalry erupts into violence and killing on the streets. Romeo, a rock star, is a Montague who falls in love with Juliet, a Capulet.
They defy their parents and consummate their passion in secret. This is a story of love, revenge, violence and tragedy.

Amy Ulen, always at the leading edge in technology, has created a Podcast that can be used to enhance the study of Shakespeare. Her stated goal is to make the podcasting experience as interactive as possible, so she needs input from her listeners. You can get a free subscription and listen to it on an iPod or on a computer.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Macbeth shall never vanquished be until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill Shall come against him. Shakespeare

One of the world's most famous literary locations is under threat from a large-scale development which, it is feared, could devastate an invaluable piece of Perthshire's heritage.

Yorkshire-based Ventura Lodges has submitted plans to Perth and Kinross Council for a holiday park of 49 chalets with onsite washing, sewerage and car-parking facilities in the historic Birnam Wood.

The picturesque location made famous in Shakespeare's internationally renowned play, Macbeth, is currently home to ospreys, red kites, nesting swans and red squirrel. If this plan goes ahead it would jeopardise the wildlife as well as the unique atmosphere of the tranquil setting.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Books on the Rialto

"Kenneth Burke on Shakespeare" gathers and annotates all of the Shakespeare criticism, including previously unpublished lectures and notes, by the maverick American intellectual Kenneth Burke. Burke’s interpretations of Shakespeare have influenced important lines of contemporary scholarship; playwrights and directors have been stirred by his dramaturgical investigations; and many readers outside academia have enjoyed his ingenious dissections of what makes a play function.

Burke’s intellectual project continually engaged with Shakespeare’s works, and Burke’s writings on Shakespeare, in turn, have had an immense impact on generations of readers. Carefully edited and annotated, with helpful cross-references, Burke’s fascinating interpretations of Shakespeare remain challenging, provocative, and accessible. Read together, these pieces form an evolving argument about the nature of Shakespeare’s artistry. Included are thirteen analyses of individual plays and poems, an introductory lecture explaining his approach to reading Shakespeare, and a comprehensive appendix of scores of Burke’s other references to Shakespeare.

The editor, Scott L. Newstok, also provides a historical introduction and an account of Burke’s legacy.

This edition fulfils Burke’s own vision of collecting in one volume his Shakespeare criticism, portions of which had appeared in the many books he had published throughout his lengthy career. Here, Burke examines Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar,Venus and Adonis, Othello, Timon of Athens, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Falstaff, the Sonnets, and Shakespeare’s imagery.

Studying Shakespeare on Film by Maurice Hindle

A 'hands-on' introductory guide to analyzing and discussing Shakespeare on screen. Part One establishes the differences between Shakespeare on stage and film, with Part Two providing a historical introduction to Shakespeare on film. Part Three explores the key modes and genre conventions used in Shakespeare on film. Part Four contains a series of critical essays, while Part Five discusses Shakespeare on TV. At every stage students are provided with critical knowledge and vocabulary to analyze Shakespeare on screen.

(From the author's Introduction)
Shakespeare has always had an audience. Up to the beginning of the twentieth century, that audience, whether elite or popular, experienced Shakespeare exclusively in a theatrical space, and was relatively small. The invention of moving pictures changed all that. Not so noticeably in the silent era or in the 1930s, it has to be admitted, since it is only with the success of Laurence Olivier’s wartime production of Henry V (1944) that one can talk of a film adaptation having for the first time found favour with a mass moviegoing audience. Olivier’s achievement and popular success also went beyond issues of patriotism and propaganda, with at least two of the finest adapters of the Shakespeare play to the big screen being inspired by Olivier’s filmic example to produce Shakespeare movies of their own: Franco Zeffirelli and Ian McKellen. Enthused by Olivier’s Henry V, Zeffirelli went on to take Shakespeare to the mainstream movie audiences of the 1960s with his Burton/Taylor vehicle The Taming of the Shrew (1966) before bringing a large youth audience to the hugely popular Romeo and Juliet (1968), a success partly repeated with his Mel Gibson/Glenn Close Hamlet (1990). For McKellen it was a viewing of Olivier’s Richard III (1955) at the Bolton Odeon which inspired: ‘A spell was cast as I watched the shadows of great actors and had confirmed my juvenile sense that Shakespeare was for everybody’ (1995, 37).The experience of feeling that Shakespeare ‘is for everybody’ also drove Kenneth Branagh to produce a Henry V to rival in popularity Olivier’s 1944 production, a move that reinvigorated the Shakespeare film adaptation genre in 1989. Although in terms of output it is the prolific and committed Branagh who still dominates the continuing post-1989 era of Shakespeare movies, I would like to focus here a little on Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine’s fine adaptation of Richard III (1995).