Twitter Dialogues: ‘Soul of Shakespeare’ with Michael Kahn

January 20th, 2012 Comments Off on Twitter Dialogues: ‘Soul of Shakespeare’ with Michael Kahn

Peter Marks and I had already planned to renew the Twitter forums we began in 2011, but before we could even discuss a topic, one leapt out at us. Prompted by a blog in the education section of The Folger Library’s website, we were plunged one early January afternoon into a frenzied discussion about whether Shakespeare is still Shakespeare if his language is altered, be it simplified or modernized. After some 30 minutes of tweets whizzing about, I suggested we hold further conversation for a planned session, to allow for more participation. The resulting Twitter dialogue took place on Thursday, January 19, and participants included Michael Kahn, artistic director of The Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC (making his Twitter debut under @ShakespeareinDC and noted here as #mk), as well as Mike LoMonico (@mikelomo), the educator whose Folger blog started everything off.

As before with these transcripts, they are reconstructed to the best of my ability, relying upon participants’ use of the #pmdhes hashtag for tracking; some scofflaws resulted in a choppy start as you will read, but the hashtag did allow for tracking discussion that continued after the allotted time had run out. I have cleaned up some common Twitter abbreviations for ease of reading, and I spelled out Shakespeare’s often-abbreviated name in every case, but I was cautious about converting anything where I wasn’t absolutely sure about meaning; sticklers, as a result, will find some messages that exceed Twitter’s 140 character limit. Retweets of messages within the conversation have mostly been excised, unless accompanied by comments which expand upon them. In addition, many left the conversation with kind words for Michael, Peter and me, which are appreciated, but which have been removed so the transcript focuses on the main topic. Finally, the transcript is most expediently prepared (and trust me, it’s not an easy process) in reverse chronological order, so you’re advised to jump to the end of this post and then scroll upward for proper continuity.

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KristiCasey  5:09pm   I like to think of them as the first meta monologues, breaking the 4th wall RT @ASC_Amy: @ShakespeareinDC: @RivierePatrick Soliloquies

Whitneyje  4:30pm   “@ASC_Amy: @HESherman I think classical actor training varies WILDLY. ” And most isn’t in undergrad. I’d have loved more.

Tony_McGuinness  4:09pm   @charlenevsmith  – regarding all-male Shakespeare prods. Do you ever feel that a line you’re delivering misses what was originally a joke?

Whitneyje  3:58pm   @HESherman Not anti-Caesar. I just think it’s a little dense. Especially when so many others would better engage students.

RSTStatusReport  3:56pm   @kateddc But “just do the thing” can be taken different ways. Does it mean traditional dress, or contemporary? Both are “concepts”.

Whitneyje  3:56pm   I strongly believe in “planting the seeds” with kids. Not everyone will like #Shakespeare today but who knows about tomorrow.

RSTStatusReport  3:48pm   @kateddc What defines a “clean” production of Shakespeare?

Kateddc  3:44pm   @petermarksdrama @pommekoch Why can’t language win? I’d rather see a great, clean production than another concept for concept sake.

Doctorogres  3:38pm   @JHudsonDirect But all of the histories are very “rah rah Britannia!”

Doctorogres  3:38pm   @JHudsonDirect By many accounts Richard III was a pretty good guy– there’s a society devoted to restoring his rep.

Coug_ee  3:37pm  @reduced Perhaps what a Shakespearean character doesn’t say suggest more char’s priorities since s/he tends to share most thoughts w aud?

shakespeare_d  3:33pm   Food for his modern thought RT @reduced: Even a Shakespearean char chooses to NOT say things. What s/he doesn’t say is the subtext.

Petermarksdrama  3:33pm   @pommekoch I agree 100 percent. I think that sometimes, the effort exceeds the know-how regarding technique. And that can be painful.

Shakespeare_d  3:33pm   Food for his modern thought RT @Reduced: Even a Shakespearean character chooses to NOT say things. What s/he doesn’t say is the subtext.

Petermarksdrama  3:33pm   @pommekoch I agree 100 percent. I think that sometimes, the effort exceeds the know-how regarding technique. And that can b painful.

Raoulbhaneja3:32pm   @Klange @Linthenerd @Charlenevsmith @HESherman @The_Globe A chip that is understandable said the “ethnic” actor 😉 #hamletsolo

RebeccaMcBee  3:32pm   Me too! RT @bamoon:  I think it’s outrageous when Shakespeare is watered down. It’s outrageous when any author is paraphrased.

Linthenerd  3:31pm   @Charlenevsmith @Klange Ahhhh, merci. (sorry for misinterpreting)

Raoulbhaneja  3:30pm   @Klange @Charlenevsmith @HESherman @The_Globe unfortunate but perhaps the truth. I heard Vanessa Redgrave lead all female Tempest

Kingfinny  3:30pm   @Klange @Linthenerd @Raoulbhaneja @Charlenevsmith @HESherman @The_Globe Often switch-gender is gimmick and not tool. Should educate

Shakespeare_d  3:30pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC: @HESherman Many of Shakespeare’s plays revolve around the characters’ relation to his consciousness.  #mk

JHudsonDirect  3:29pm   @Doctorogres LOVE Richard III! Interesting… I’m sure we couldn’t say one way or another but I was interested to hear your posturing.

Klange  3:29pm   @Charlenevsmith @Linthenerd Also true.

Klange  3:29pm   @Linthenerd @Raoulbhaneja @Charlenevsmith @HESherman @The_Globe I’ll grant you that. I have a lady actor chip on my shoulder. 😉

Coug_ee  3:29pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC: @HESherman Many of Shakespeare’s plays revolve around the characters’ relation to his consciousness.  #mk

Charlenevsmith  3:28pm   @Linthenerd I think @Klange is speaking not to how she feels, but how these productions are perceived

Raoulbhaneja  3:28pm   @ShakespeareinDC Plummer wants to play Falstaff but needs fat suit that is hyper-cooling #saidatGoldenGlobes

Doctorogres 3:28pm   @JHudsonDirect Impossible to say, other than that it’s present. Richard III is pure propaganda, but also awesome. Same wrt racism in MV.

Petermarksdrama  3:28pm   Thanks Michael! @ShakespeareinDC hour whizzed by. Next time, how about a marathon session: through the night? #ANDTHENTHEREWERENONE

Reduced  3:28pm   Even a Shakespearean character chooses to NOT say things. What s/he doesn’t say is the subtext.

ASC_Amy  3:27pm   @Klange I don’t feel it any more of a “stunt” than other concepts and can be quite illuminating.

Linthenerd  3:27pm   @Klange @Raoulbhaneja @Charlenevsmith @HESherman @The_Globe no. can be v interesting in diff way.

JHudsonDirect 3:27pm  @ShakespeareinDC thanks for the words of wisdom!

HESherman  3:27pm   And to my partner in these convos, a big hand for @Petermarksdrama, the most accessible theatre critic in America!

ShakespeareinDC  3:27pm   Michael Kahn had to go to casting. Thanks so much, everybody! You’re now back to tweets from our Communications team.

HESherman  3:27pm   And to my partner in these condos, a big hand for @Petermarksdrama, the most accessible theatre critic in America!

Raoulbhaneja  3:26pm   @HESherman I’m north of the 49th and Grad of National Theatre School but I would say last 15 years focus more on self creation.

Klange  3:26pm   @Raoulbhaneja @Charlenevsmith @HESherman @The_Globe Anyone else get the feeling: All male prods=original, All female=stunt.

JHudsonDirect  3:26pm   @Doctorogres what role would you say Propaganda played for him? Did he believe these things, or just say it as a means for profit?

LindaInPhoenix  3:26pm   Yay for us geeks! RT @HESherman: To be truly geeky for a moment, the Latin roots of “entertain” = “to hold between.”

HESherman  3:26pm   Thanks to everyone and especially @ShakespeareinDC for today’s conversation.

Petermarksdrama  3:25pm   @ShakespeareinDC Woodcut?

HaleyAWard  3:25pm   @ShakespeareinDC Best of luck! Thanks for all the insight.

Mrs_Speck  3:25pm   @Petermarksdrama I saw the Cuban Much Ado with my students. Definitely helped some understand, but I didn’t love it or the changes.

HESherman  3:25pm   @LindaInPhoenix To be truly geeky for a moment, the Latin roots of “entertain” mean “to hold between.”

LeeLiebeskind  3:25pm   @ShakespeareinDC Thanks for the chat man…good to hear your insight.

Dloehr  3:24pm   @ShakespeareinDC Thanks for playing along with us today.

ASC_Amy  3:24pm   @ShakespeareinDC Thanks for participating!  #mk

Raoulbhaneja  3:24pm   @Klange @Charlenevsmith @HESherman Check out Mark Rylance @The_Globe this summer in 12th Night with all-male cast… Pretty incredible

ShakespeareinDC  3:24pm   This is great talking to you all, but I’ve got to go cast our next production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.  #mk

ASC_Amy  3:24pm   @Raoulbhaneja @RivierePatrick Yep.

Klange  3:24pm   @LeeLiebeskind @HESherman If you don’t act in a lot of Shakespeare, you get rusty.

Reduced  3:24pm   @HESherman @jesswinfield Shakespeare created it, actors/directors interpret it.

Jesswinfield  3:23pm   Wait, there’s graduate training in classical theater?

HESherman  3:23pm   I sense we’re running out of steam. Should we wrap up?

LindaInPhoenix  3:23pm   @HESherman Just this morning on @HowlRound: “We create meaning together.”

BankyHimself  3:23pm   In Supple’s Indian Dream, audience understood 10% of language but 100% of the play’s themes, story, ideas.

ASC_Amy  3:23pm   @Petermarksdrama What do you mean by “unknowable”?

ShakespeareinDC  3:23pm   @DCtheatre Expensive to produce. I would have loved to have taken my Love’s Labor’s Lost or my Othello. Or my Richard III.  #mk

Raoulbhaneja  3:23pm   @ASC_Amy @RivierePatrick I thought Stanislavski created subtext?

LeeLiebeskind  3:23pm   @HESherman Older trained actors seemed to have less of an issue with this

HESherman  3:22pm   @Reduced @jesswinfield But did Shakespeare write it, or do modern productions create it?

Linthenerd  3:22pm   RT @Klange: I think updated/new setting adaptations are fun. Shows how relatable the work/words are in any time.

Mikelomo  3:22pm   @Petermarksdrama I don’t know it, but I really have no problem with non-English additions. It’s the watered-down English I deplore.

Doctorogres  3:22pm   @JHudsonDirect And he was writing plays about the royal family: Banquo in Macbeth, all of the Henry‘s, Richard III. Propaganda is huge.

LeeLiebeskind  3:22pm   @HESherman where the classically trained actor can only do classics and has a hard time doing modern, or vice versa

Petermarksdrama  3:22pm   @ShakespeareinDC @RivierePatrick And yet there are unknowable characters who talk directly to us. Iago. (imo)

ASC_Amy  3:22pm   Indeed. RT @ShakespeareinDC: @RivierePatrick Soliloquies are subtext made verbal.  #mk

Klange  3:22pm   @LeeLiebeskind @Charlenevsmith @HESherman pbltttt.

LeeLiebeskind  3:21pm   @HESherman As a casting director…its a 50/50 split. With classical training I see it go not far enough or too far to come back

BankyHimself  3:21pm   Easy to land on concept should enhance side of the argument, but how many directors proceed with concept thinking theirs won’t?

Klange  3:21pm   I think updated/new setting adaptations are fun. Shows how relatable the work/words are in any time.

Raoulbhaneja  3:21pm   @LindaInPhoenix @kingfinny “Uh, Mister Director, am I in my light?” “Quiet we don’t open till tomorrow. I’m still “listening”!

ASC_Amy  3:21pm   @HESherman I think classical actor training varies WILDLY.

Charlenevsmith  3:21pm   @jesswinfield Or maybe she is, and that’s the tragedy.

JHudsonDirect  3:21pm   RT @Doctorogres: @JHudsonDirect Right on. Early Modern England was brutal and authoritarian and Shakespeare was the King’s playwright.

LindaInPhoenix  3:21pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC: @RivierePatrick Soliloquies are subtext made verbal.  #mk

ShakespeareinDC  3:21pm   @RivierePatrick Soliloquies are subtext made verbal.  #mk

Reduced  3:21pm   Agree with @jesswinfield: there must always be subtext in Shakespeare. When there isn’t you get boring recitation of ‘only’ text.

HESherman  3:20pm   Actor training today? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Charlenevsmith  3:20pm   @HESherman Not in America.

Petermarksdrama  3:20pm   @mikelomo Mike, you still there? How do you feel e.g. about word changes in Cuban Much Ado?

Productionkat  3:20pm   @HESherman from the new crop of actors I see I say no

Doctorogres  3:19pm   @JHudsonDirect Right on. Early Modern England was brutal and authoritarian and Shakes was the King’s playwright.

Mikelomo  3:19pm   @HESherman And how about a few words about teacher training at college and grad level on how to teach #Shakespeare?

Klange  3:19pm   @Charlenevsmith @HESherman Concur. Why not go back to all male actors if we want to be extra faithful? (said with a wink)

Charlenevsmith  3:19pm   Truth. RT @kingfinny: Many prods say they put language center. Alas, few really do

Raoulbhaneja  3:19pm   “@Petermarksdrama: @LindaInPhoenix Absolutely! Why is “Shrew” being set in 17th Century Antarctica? ” GENIUS!!

ASC_Amy  3:19pm   @RivierePatrick Funny, I actually think it is all in the TEXT with not a lot of subtext at all in #Shakespeare.

RivierePatrick  3:19pm   I recall Maurice Daniels saying it’s ALL in the subtext with #Shakespeare, especially if we are to relay the classic text today.

ShakespeareinDC  3:19pm   I believe directors can conceive the plays as they wish, if it helps illuminate the text in some way.  #mk

Linthenerd  3:18pm   @LindaInPhoenix @kingfinny as HM once saw people bring script with them to Maccers to compare and read along. Did not like.

Raoulbhaneja  3:18pm   @HESherman @ShakespeareinDC Better than reading Coles Notes as introduction to those plays for a young person (10 years and younger)

ASC_Amy  3:18pm   @kingfinny Indeed, but there are some who do. How to distinguish for potential audiences? @Petermarksdrama @ShakespeareinDC

JHudsonDirect  3:17pm   Really agree with most on  that concept should *enhance* Shakespeare language and story, not water it down.

Jesswinfield  3:17pm   @HESherman Mark Lamos is, in this case, wrong. What is Kate really thinking at the end of Shrew? Not her text, I hope.

Dloehr  3:17pm   @LeeLiebeskind @GwydionS @ASC_Amy I love some plays,   dislike others, avoid yet others entirely. But I don’t need to rewrite them.

BankyHimself  3:17pm  Best Shakes I ever saw was Tim Supple’s Dream at the RSC. Production was in 7 languages featuring an all Indian cast.

LindaInPhoenix  3:17pm   @kingfinny I knew director who watched all rehearsals from balcony w/ eyes closed to “listen to language. but it’s not a radio play

Charlenevsmith  3:17pm   @HESherman Many people say that. I think it’s a saying that has some truth, but has been overstated.

Doctorogres  3:16pm   Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s production of Romeo and Juliet cuts right to the core of this argument.

ShakespeareinDC  3:16pm   @Linthenerd Cool! Put the quote on your Facebook page. Thanks.  #mk

Linthenerd  3:16pm   @LeeLiebeskind @ShakespeareinDC both – saw play on Tuesday, seeing musical next Friday. Tell you which is more “Shakespeare” 😛

Raoulbhaneja  3:16pm   @Petermarksdrama @ASC_Amy @ShakespeareinDC I agree but think there’s a pressure on directors to deliver their take vs The Story

ShakespeareinDC  3:16pm   RT @Linthenerd: @ShakespeareinDC @LeeLiebeskind – you would like Two Gents, I think.  Really modern, fast-paced, young and furious.

JHudsonDirect 3:15pm   RT @Linthenerd: @JHudsonDirect BOOO on them!

JHudsonDirect  3:15pm   @ShakespeareHigh Me too! I feel like Shakespeare was anything but safe! How can you make commentary of society’s failings when safe?

Kingfinny  3:15pm   @Petermarksdrama @ASC_Amy @ShakespeareinDC Many prods say they put language center. Alas, few really do

Rosalind1600  3:15pm   @HaleyAWard @HESherman … Although doesn’t mean updated productions can’t fit with language.

ASC_Amy  3:15pm   @Kateddc Bingo.

ShakespeareinDC  3:15pm   @LeeLiebeskind If only I’d known it would sell a ticket, I’d have done that. 🙂  #mk

Charlenevsmith  3:15pm   @Linthenerd Or, feel free to distort the story! Make art however you see fit! Just be honest about the distortion.

LeeLiebeskind  3:15pm   @Linthenerd @ShakespeareinDC Is that the musical?

HESherman  3:15pm   @jesswinfield How do you mean transparency? Should altered text be noted in ads?

ASC_Amy  3:15pm   @Petermarksdrama @ShakespeareinDC That’s when the director doesn’t trust his/her actors and/or expects little from audience.

LeeLiebeskind  3:15pm   @Dloehr @GwydionS @ASC_Amy That’s me. I comprehend Shakespeare, just not a big fan. Need a modern bent to get me into the play.

Linthenerd  3:14pm   @ShakespeareinDC @LeeLiebeskind – you would like Two Gents, I think.  Really modern, fast-paced, young and furious.

Charlenevsmith  3:14pm   @HESherman In a market oversaturated with talented women, I don’t think it’s fair to always expect them to take a back seat.

Petermarksdrama  3:14pm   @GwydionS I’m sorry, sir, do you have a ticket to this event? 🙂

Kateddc  3:14pm   Make a good production & Shakespeare automatically is accessible. Concept should illuminate, not be used to “dumb down.”

LindaInPhoenix  3:14pm   @Petermarksdrama Shouldn’t “concept” illuminate, rather than obscure?

HESherman  3:14pm   @ShakespeareinDC I remember Mark Lamos once saying that there is no subtext to Shakespeare’s characters. They say what they think.

Dloehr  3:14pm   @GwydionS @ASC_Amy Nothing is for everyone. But liking is different from comprehending.

ASC_Amy  3:14pm   @GwydionS It doesn’t have to be FOR you for you to GET it. I disagree on the language barrier issue.

Raoulbhaneja  3:14pm   “@HESherman: My parents had Lambs’ Tales From Shakespeare.” Excellent place to start. Did with my five year old before seeing Tempest

ShakespeareHigh  3:13pm   This makes me sad. RT @JHudsonDirect: …we were discouraged from taking risks. Stick with the safe, they said.

LeeLiebeskind  3:13pm   @ShakespeareinDC Did you set it in modern day South Africa? Cause then I am there!

Petermarksdrama  3:13pm   @ASC_Amy @ShakespeareinDC Sometimes, it feels as if concept is meant to obscure fact that language can’t be conquered!

Jesswinfield  3:13pm   Sorry I’m late. Any and all textual changes are GAME ON. As long as there’s transparency.

ASC_Amy  3:13pm   @Petermarksdrama @ShakespeareinDC Agreed.

GwydionS  3:13pm   @ASC_Amy I just don’t think Shakespeare is FOR everyone. And I think there are (a few) language barriers that cannot be overcome.

Linthenerd  3:13pm   @HESherman (Prospera), only if you change the story (as in Taymor film). Cirque is “inspired by,” not textual, so has more freedom.

Dloehr  3:12pm   @LindaInPhoenix @HESherman @sleepnomorenyc Great minds tweet alike.

HESherman  3:12pm   @ShakespeareinDC I resisted the Lambs’ summaries completely. Stodgy, dull and I wanted to discover the stories for myself.

Mikelomo  3:12pm   @HESherman @Linthenerd @Cirque Non-traditional casting is not a problem for me, but it’s a whole different conversation.

LeeLiebeskind  3:12pm   @Linthenerd @playwrightsteve can rationalize textual support for any choice as a director  doesn’t mean all are good.

LindaInPhoenix  3:12pm   @HESherman @Dloehr It seems Sleep No More is its own thing.

Rosalind1600  3:12pm   @Dloehr @HESherman Agreed! Both. To a large extent, the characters are their language, I think.

Petermarksdrama  3:12pm   @ASC_Amy @ShakespeareinDC I’ve seen so many prods where I sit and think: just do the PLAY! Absolute best are when language is front & center

Buttercupples  3:12pm   Did for me. MT @HESherman: In high school…only a handful of the plays are in most curriculums? Does that limit appeal?

Karricatur  3:12pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC: I’m so glad everybody agrees. You’re all invited to see one of my shows.  #mk

Dloehr  3:12pm   @HESherman No doubt. It is its own experience.

Doctorogres  3:12pm   @Dloehr I actually had that reaction the second time I saw it, even though I had both seen it before and spent the week cutting Macbeth

Raoulbhaneja  3:12pm   @ShakespeareinDC Fair point. It’s easy for Purists to bemoan over conceptualized Shakespeare but I don’t have to sell tix to ninth Mackers

ASC_Amy  3:12pm   @GwydionS I believe that everyone can “get” Shakespeare. Not saying everyone will like/love it, but the can “get” it, if done right.

Linthenerd  3:12pm   @JHudsonDirect BOOO on them!

ShakespeareinDC  3:12pm   @HESherman Many of Shakespeare’s plays revolve around the characters’ relation to his consciousness.  #mk

LeeLiebeskind  3:11pm   @ShakespeareinDC You know I have never seen a show at Shakespeare Theater, except for The Liar. Need to see something soon….

Linthenerd  3:11pm   @playwrightsteve Don’t disagree. But any concept should have at least some textual support.

HESherman  3:11pm   @Dloehr If you watch Sleep No More specifically looking for the Shakespeare, you may be sorely disappointed in some scenes.

Klange  3:11pm   @Dloehr @Doctorogres I think if you went in expecting Macbeth in linear fashion, disappointed. But just for an experience? Awesome

Dloehr  3:11pm   @ShakespeareinDC Next time I’m in town, I’ll do my best, sir.

Linthenerd  3:11pm   @ShakespeareinDC @HESherman I had BBC Shakespeare: Animated Tales after finding R&J at 8 years old. Devotee ever since. All original language.

JHudsonDirect  3:11pm   In my Shakespeare class in college I felt like we were discouraged from taking risks. Stick with the safe, they said.

Dloehr  3:11pm   @HESherman I still think language & character are inextricable to a degree. So I’d say both.

HESherman  3:10pm   @Linthenerd Use of Prospera in Tempests now becoming common (even being used by @Cirque du Soleil). Does that violate the work?

ShakespeareinDC  3:10pm   I’m so glad everybody agrees. You’re all invited to see one of my shows.  #mk

ShakespeareinDC  3:10pm   @HESherman When I was 5, my Russian immigrant mother read me the real Shakespeare. I fell in love with it like you did with the Lambs.  #mk

HaleyAWard  3:09pm   @HESherman Outside of schools too. When productions modernize a play, etc., but keep the language – does the audience relate more?

HESherman  3:09pm   What about the idea that Shakespeare was the touchstone for “modern” thought? Is that language or character?

Petermarksdrama  3:09pm   My wife still talks about Michael Kahn’s Woodcut version of Merry Wives. So it can be great. I wonder if message is sent that words are fungible.

Mikelomo  3:09pm   @HESherman  Yes, good teachers allow that sort of higher-level thinking.

Linthenerd  3:09pm   @HESherman Always. “Where would you put this scene?” “What situation does this sound like to you?” imagination/relatability is key

Playwrightsteve  3:09pm   @Linthenerd Not language change I’m thinking of. Some concepts are so ridiculous that the play is smothered under them

ShakespeareinDC  3:09pm   @HESherman That’s what we do in schools. They produce their own scenes in any style they want, using the words.  #mk

LeeLiebeskind  3:08pm   @Dloehr @Doctorogres One of my top 5 shows ever

Raoulbhaneja  3:08pm   @HESherman I told kids at a university while on tour w #hamletsolo that if Shakespeare was alive today be half Jay-Z, half Spielberg

Dloehr  3:08pm   @Doctorogres I know lots of people who loved Sleep No More, but I know about as many people who hated it, were lost & confused.

HESherman  3:08pm   My parents had Lambs’ Tales from Shakespeare. Suggested I always read before going to see when I was young.

Linthenerd  3:08pm   @playwrightsteve correct. If you have to add/change too much of text (Prospero to Prospera, for example), then the concept’s a mistake

LeeLiebeskind  3:08pm   @ShakespeareinDC some do, but most do not…they want to see the world reinvented and re-envisioned and re-related to them

Playwrightsteve  3:08pm   @Doctorogres Synetic’s silent Romeo and Juliet was the 1st time I ever saw the heart of that play clearly portrayed. Why I defend changing language.

ShakespeareinDC  3:07pm   @Charlenevsmith Right. You don’t learn true English history from Shakespeare’s history plays.  #mk

ASC_Amy  3:07pm   @ShakespeareinDC But do you think it takes a concept to make it a different production?

Dloehr  3:07pm   @Doctorogres I’m down with that. But to someone who knows nothing of the story, it might not connect.

HESherman  3:07pm   In schools, are students given free rein to imagine different settings, concepts? Would that help them “relate” better?

Petermarksdrama  3:07pm   Word. MT @ShakespeareinDC Sometimes. But Shakespeare’s going to survive us all.  #mk

ShakespeareinDC  3:07pm   But I don’t think people go to Shakespeare to see the same production that they had seen at another time. At least I hope not.  #mk

Doctorogres  3:06pm   @Dloehr Not talking about a good production here, more that I think that there can be Shakespeare with no language at all, listed examples earlier.

Playwrightsteve  3:06pm   @Linthenerd @Petermarksdrama @ShakespeareinDC Except when those concepts actually obscure the story/meaning of the play

Charlenevsmith  3:06pm   @Petermarksdrama Conceptual liberties in Shakespeare — Richard III versus actual history. Clarence was an SOB in real life.

ShakespeareGeek  3:06pm   I do that so that, when given the text, they’ll be able to focus on the words. The actual Shakespeare words.

Mikelomo  3:06pm   RT @bamoon:  I think it’s outrageous when Shakespeare is watered down. It’s outrageous when any author is paraphrased.

ASC_Amy  3:05pm   “Ain’t that the truth! @ShakespeareinDC Shakespeare’s going to survive us all. ”  #mk

Linthenerd  3:05pm   @Petermarksdrama @ShakespeareinDC  One of beautiful things about Shakespeare is that new concepts keep it fresh without distorting story

Mrs_Speck  3:05pm   @HESherman  Introduce the plot with a few key lines and get the kids up and acting them out.

Petermarksdrama  3:05pm   @ShakespeareinDC lol

HESherman  3:05pm   RT @HaleyAWard: We wrote our own sonnets to help discover how the structure and language worked. It made the text easy.

Dloehr  3:05pm   @HESherman @mikelomo If it can help children master long words & complicated dialogue, it can help with Shakespeare.

ShakespeareinDC  3:05pm   @Petermarksdrama Sometimes. But Shakespeare’s going to survive us all.  #mk

Mikelomo  3:05pm   @Petermarksdrama @ShakespeareinDC  No, cuts and concepts are fine as long as the language stays. Check out

ShakespeareHigh  3:04pm   @HESherman  Kids need to get up on their feet and experience the language. Gives them ownership.

JHudsonDirect  3:04pm   @Linthenerd very much so! Recordings can really help students who can’t dissect the language and access it on their own.

Whitneyje  3:04pm   Greatest approach to teaching Shakespeare at any age and especially in high school – GET THEM ON THEIR FEET AS THEY READ!!

Dloehr  3:04pm   @HESherman @mikelomo We put on captions when our first child was born, have left them on, helped both kids learn to read quickly.

Dloehr  3:04pm   @HESherman –to which there were direct references (style, design, in jokes) was great fun. But that was extracurricular.

Linthenerd  3:04pm   @mikelomo @JHudsonDirect @HESherman Wouldn’t recordings at home be helpful to students afraid to read in class?

Petermarksdrama  3:03pm   @ShakespeareinDC I still want to know if Shakespeareland is guilty of too many conceptual liberties & thus encouraging language distortion

HESherman  3:03pm   @BankyHimself Now it’s just getting a bit surreal!

Dloehr  3:03pm   @HESherman The Moonlighting spoof of Shrew was first on when I was in high school. Comparing & contrasting to the Burton/Taylor film–

HESherman  3:02pm   What a great idea! RT @mikelomo: When showing Shakespeare films in class, turn on closed captions.

HaleyAWard  3:02pm   @JHudsonDirect @HESherman We wrote our own sonnets to help discover how the structure and language worked. It made the text easy.

Bamoon  3:02pm   I think it’s outrageous when Shakespeare is watered down. It’s outrageous when any author is paraphrased.

Mikelomo  3:02pm   @JHudsonDirect @HESherman  No recordings. They tend to be British and the kids should perform the words themselves.

Klange  3:02pm   @LeeLiebeskind @HESherman @Petermarksdrama Same, but a good production can be revelatory. And need it for referential understanding

JHudsonDirect  3:02pm   Loving @ShakespeareinDC in the  convo! Join us!

ShakespeareinDC  3:01pm   @Petermarksdrama Good! Then Dr. Phil will shut up.  #mk

HESherman  3:01pm   @whitneyje Why anti-Caesar? I think that was 1st or 2nd play I read (and saw dreadful production @yalerep)

Klange  3:01pm   @RSTStatusReport Yes! If you like the film, you might be more interested in making the leap to theater. Gotta work w/ what you have

LeeLiebeskind  3:00pm   @HESherman @Petermarksdrama yeah in all honestly I have never been a big Shakespeare fan, more of a modern drama guy.

Dloehr  3:00pm   @BankyHimself @HESherman @Petermarksdrama Suddenly having images of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, except in a theatre with Shakespeare’s bust.

Charlenevsmith  3:00pm  @Petermarksdrama I understand that frustration. As lover of the Bard I want to shout to the world “He’s for everybody!!!”

Petermarksdrama  3:00pm   @HESherman It just breaks my heart. But I adore her all the same. #greatkid

Dloehr  2:59pm   @HESherman @BankyHimself “Turn me to the left, I can’t see.” “Scratch my nose. No. Higher.” “ENUNCIATE!” #shxprbustnotes

Reduced  2:59pm   Excellent point. MT @ShakespeareinDC: @Petermarksdrama My mother didn’t like Shakespeare. It’s allowed.

JHudsonDirect  2:59pm   @HESherman Best tool I’ve seen was a teacher I had who played recordings of the plays while we read along Hearing it out loud helped!

RSTStatusReport  2:59pm   @Klange I still have a soft spot for Baz Luhrmann’s R&J. My first quality exposure to Shakespeare as a teenager.

BankyHimself  2:59pm   @HESherman @Petermarksdrama I can say from experience Rob will occasionally give notes through him, with a wonderful little Bill voice.

RivierePatrick  2:59pm   Greatest tools are well-designed assembly programs that integrate text, history and interaction w students…ACCESS SHAKESPEARE is 1

ASC_Amy  2:58pm   @playwrightsteve @ShakespeareinDC @Petermarksdrama Agreed! (but, knowing he’s been dismissed before given fair chance is sad)

Klange  2:58pm   @ASC_Amy @HESherman I think, also, teachers need to discuss the intention of the scene with students. Makes the language easier.

ShakespeareinDC  2:58pm   @HESherman Regarding high school: Connecting the characters to their lives, the ideas to their lives & the rhythm of the words to their music.  #mk

Linthenerd  2:58pm   @Reduced Number of novels, too, especially for Young Adults (The Third Witch, Romeo’s Ex, The Wednesday Wars…)

Whitneyje  2:58pm   “@Charlenevsmith: @mikelomo I believe that teachers using simplified Shsp texts are underestimating their students ” AGREED!!

Petermarksdrama  2:58pm   @ShakespeareinDC You’re now sounding like the Dr. Phil of the William Shakespeare world, Michael.

HESherman  2:58pm   @Petermarksdrama Not everything is for everyone, Peter. That absolutism can be why kids *don’t* like Shakespeare. The pressure.

Dloehr  2:58pm   @Doctorogres It’s essential on our end of things as we produce, but not for the audience coming to a show.

Mattcosper  2:58pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC: @HESherman The depth of character in Shakes comes from what they SAY about what they feel & do  #mk

Petermarksdrama  2:58pm   @ShakespeareinDC and @mikelomo: Have all the conceptual productions and severe cutting of text made it too ok to change language?

Reduced  2:58pm   Also have high hopes for Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus. It looks appropriately Shakespearean as well as badass.

Whitneyje  2:58pm   Regarding #Shakespeare in the classroom – you don’t need simplified texts if you choose the play correctly. #Caesar = bad choice.  #2amt

Imsarahmoore  2:57pm   @HESherman  Working scenes in the classroom with students on their feet always helps

Mattcosper  2:57pm   @HESherman Definitely cite depth of character (as would bloom) as part of his genius. That depth is revealed through language.

Playwrightsteve  2:57pm   @ShakespeareinDC @Petermarksdrama Nice! Liking Shakespeare is not a law.

ASC_Amy  2:57pm   @Dloehr You know @Charlenevsmith is studying out here, right? / @GwydionS @playwrightsteve @LePetomaneTE

Linthenerd  2:57pm   @Petermarksdrama Finally (sorry) best to see a play where the actors KNOW what they’re saying and the concept/design is engaging.

HESherman  2:57pm   @BankyHimself Does the bust of #Shakespeare give notes? 😉

_plainKate_  2:57pm   @HESherman I get the men at the prison up on their feet with the words. Shakespeare & Company has text lay-ups exercise, for example.

Reduced  2:57pm   Modern non-Shakespeare films can also serve as intro to Shakespeare for the nervous. 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s The Man, The Sopranos.

Imsarahmoore  2:57pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC You know I believe firmly that if audiences don’t understand a prod it’s usually director’s & actors’ fault.  #mk

ASC_Amy  2:56pm   @HESherman Always getting the kids on their feet & words into their mouths. #Shakespeare

ShakespeareinDC  2:56pm   @Petermarksdrama My mother didn’t like Shakespeare. It’s allowed. Give your 19-year-old a break.  #mk

Doctorogres  2:56pm   @Dloehr Totally. But that mythic quality and it’s context in 200 continuous yrs of performance history is essential to Shakespeare.

Klange  2:56pm   @_plainKate_ @Petermarksdrama @Linthenerd Themes are very relatable for teens. I’m going to be sacrilegious and suggest films as gateway

Dloehr  2:56pm   @GwydionS @playwrightsteve @Charlenevsmith Y’all should go to @ASC_Amy’s place or check out @LePetomaneTE when they do Shakespeare.

Linthenerd  2:56pm   @Petermarksdrama For classrooms, rec. activities with snippets/death lines/action rather than whole plays or scenes.

HESherman  2:56pm   Beyond seeing productions, what have been greatest approaches/tools you’ve seen used in teaching #Shakespeare at high school level?

Charlenevsmith  2:55pm   @Petermarksdrama Reclaim your daughter’s love of Shakespeare by bringing her to the @shakespearectr

LeeLiebeskind   2:55pm   @Charlenevsmith Having talked with many program planners I don’t think the public domain at major theaters is an issue

Linthenerd  2:55pm   @Petermarksdrama Some of the best/clearest interpretations are on film easily and readily available.

Shakespeare_d  2:55pm    Quite possible “@ASC_Amy: @LeeLiebeskind …At the American Shakespeare Center, we believe even Shakespeare cut his plays for performance. ”

BankyHimself  2:55pm   It’s a playful reminder to ask himself What would Bill think/do in this situation?

JHudsonDirect  2:55pm   @HESherman think it limits appeal very much! They drag out the same old war horses. Some good lesser known works could draw kids in!

Petermarksdrama  2:55pm   @Charlenevsmith I DO blame the teacher! But now I’ve got a 19 year old who’s convinced it’s not for her. And it IS for her.

ShakespeareinDC  2:54pm   @Charlenevsmith Please come back to DC and teach. We’ll bring you our TextAlive! workshops.  #mk

Shakespeare_d  2:54pm   @TheShakesForum We do note scripts available aren’t necessarily accurate. Nor is the Bard perfect. But he did use words with purpose

Rosalind1600  2:54pm   @Linthenerd @Reduced But doesn’t the language largely create the characters?

Charlenevsmith  2:54pm   @LeeLiebeskind Because the programs would get too long… 😉 again, it’s all in the public domain do legally no credit is required

BankyHimself  2:54pm   Regarding editing and adapting, Rob Clare of UK National Theatre/RSC often directs with a small Shakespeare statue near his seat.

JHudsonDirect  2:54pm   @Reduced True! his works were meant to be performed!

LeeLiebeskind  2:54pm   @JHudsonDirect beauty of any art. and the reason we can debate and all be correct.

Dloehr  2:53pm   @ShakespeareinDC @ASC_Amy Even Mamet is inert on the page compared to read aloud, re living things.  #mk

Rosalind1600  2:53pm   @HESherman @Mrs_Speck Love for Shakespeare as teen definitely increased by leaps & bounds after seeing plays/films. Think seeing important part of education.

Mrs_Speck  2:53pm   @HESherman  Our job as teachers is to draw them in–whatever preconceived notions they may have. @mikelomo has some great methods!

_plainKate_  2:53pm   @Petermarksdrama @Linthenerd Take her with you to American Shakespeare Center.

Linthenerd  2:53pm   @Reduced  I am in love with characters, plots, etc as well as lang

ShakespeareinDC  2:53pm   @HaleyAWard Absolutely.  #mk

Charlenevsmith  2:53pm   Education: I’ve taught middle school residences in the DC area, and kids will step up to the plate if you trust them to

RivierePatrick  2:53pm   I think it’s two things…making classic Shakespeare accessible to a modern audience and rethinking those stories in mod ways i.e. Bombitty of Errors

LeeLiebeskind  2:53pm   @ShakespeareinDC Haha! now that is something for PR department to deal with

Reduced  2:53pm   One could also say Shakespeare in classroom ‘not’ Shakespeare, only Shakespeare in performance.

Mikelomo  2:52pm   @Petermarksdrama @Charlenevsmith  If a student is hating #Shakespeare in school, the teacher is doing something wrong. Go to @folger

Petermarksdrama  2:52pm   So how do I reclaim her? MT @Linthenerd It’s supposed to be spoken, explored aloud

Tony_McGuinness  2:52pm   @HESherman  I think he is unique, but not sacred.

JHudsonDirect  2:52pm   @LeeLiebeskind I guess that’s the beauty of theatre… Subjectivity!

HESherman  2:52pm   In high school classrooms, is it also an issue that only a handful of the plays are in most curriculums? Does that limit appeal?

ShakespeareinDC  2:52pm   @LeeLiebeskind No we’d have to say ‘Original story by Ovid, adaptation by Shakespeare, additional words by whatever director monkeys with it now’  #mk

Klange  2:52pm   @ASC_Amy @HESherman I agree. I majored in English/Literary Criticism & Shakespeare never really came alive until I saw performances

BatfishLD  2:52pm   @playwrightsteve I’m into seeking to elevate ourselves & audience, not lowering Shakespeare to the least common denominator.

Reduced  2:51pm   Aren’t we talking ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ of Shakespeare? Yes, language was distinct, but so was his vision, scope, style collusion etc

Linthenerd  2:51pm   @Petermarksdrama @Charlenevsmith @mikelomo If she was just “reading” text then no wonder. It’s supposed to be spoken, explored aloud

HaleyAWard  2:51pm   @HESherman Should Shakespeare be seen before it is read? Especially by young students?

ASC_Amy  2:51pm   @ShakespeareHigh Agreed, wholeheartedly.

ShakespeareinDC  2:51pm   @ASC_Amy Absolutely. The play should be read out loud in class before students are asked to parse words. They’re living things  #mk

LeeLiebeskind  2:51pm   @ShakespeareinDC That’s a great point of view, can’t blame the user, problem lies in creation if not understood  love it!

Charlenevsmith  2:51pm   @playwrightsteve I disagree with this. Every great Shakespeare production I’ve seen had no barrier due to language

Dloehr  2:51pm   @ShakespeareinDC @Petermarksdrama Amen to that.  #mk

JHudsonDirect  2:51pm   @Petermarksdrama I think audiences are getting smarter when it comes to Shakespeare, esp. language.

Rosalind1600  2:51pm   @TheShakesForum Disagree. I may be wrong about what they mean. But think there is a meaning. Many right interpretations, some wrong.

Dloehr  2:50pm   @Doctorogres Having kids has made me watch a lot of things newly through their eyes, and it’s amazing.

ShakespeareHigh  2:50pm   Forcing kids to use simplified texts leads them to the belief they aren’t capable of understanding Shakespearean language.

ASC_Amy  2:50pm   MT @ShakespeareinDC: You know I believe firmly that if auds don’t understand a prod it’s usually director’s & actors’ fault.  #mk

Kellereno  2:50pm   @HESherman: I, thankfully, never had a course growing up where performance wasn’t incorporated into the classwork; but I’m lucky.

Raoulbhaneja  2:50pm   @JHudsonDirect @LeeLiebeskind @HESherman And one could debate what a full Hamlet really is… #quartos #folio  #hamletsolo

LeeLiebeskind  2:50pm   @Charlenevsmith If that is the case then why don’t we say a play by Ovid translated by Shakespeare, we create the idea of ownership

Dloehr  2:50pm   @Doctorogres We know Luke Skywalker will win in the end, it’s a classic construction, but we don’t know how he gets there.

ShakespeareinDC  2:50pm   Right on, @Rosalind1600!  #mk

_plainKate_  2:50pm   Yes! RT @ShakespeareinDC: I believe firmly that if audiences don’t understand a production it’s usually director’s & actors’ fault.  #mk

TheShakesForum  2:50pm   @HESherman I believe you cheat a class by looking at Shakespeare as precious literature.  #GetEmOnTheirFeet

ASC_Amy  2:49pm   @Mrs_Speck Not too easy an answer, you hit the nail on the head!

ShakespeareinDC  2:49pm   @Petermarksdrama They’ve let either too many disparate ideas or lack of technique get in the way.  #mk

HESherman  2:49pm   @Mrs_Speck I worry that young people are put off #Shakespeare by studying before seeing.

HaleyAWard  2:49pm   RT @hungerf9: To me, it’s often the language that makes the plays truly beautiful, the plot that makes them accessible.

Petermarksdrama  2:49pm   @Charlenevsmith @mikelomo But my daughter started on WS w/ reading in hs class in original language-hated it. Now won’t go. Period.

Charlenevsmith  2:49pm   @LeeLiebeskind Shakespeare had an eye for spotting already-existing stories that would make great drama.

ShakespeareinDC  2:49pm   @Petermarksdrama You know I believe firmly that if audiences don’t understand a production it’s usually director’s & actors’ fault.  #mk

ASC_Amy  2:49pm   @HESherman I think it is a disservice to leave Shakespeare on the page, even (especially) when teaching.

TheShakesForum  2:49pm   @Rosalind1600 These words can mean what you want them to. Maybe people will disagree….isn’t that art?

Dloehr  2:49pm   @Doctorogres Absolutely. But there’s a difference between knowing the mythic aspect & knowing the details.

LeeLiebeskind  2:49pm   @_plainKate_  Agreed, when I first did it, had to spend weeks dissecting lines and really learning another language

Charlenevsmith  2:49pm   @LeeLiebeskind But what is being translated – is it really Shakespeare, or do we just call it his because he wrote most famous versions?

Rosalind1600  2:48pm   I think archaic language overstated as barrier to Shakespeare. I fell in love with Shakespeare’s language long before I understood most of it.

Mrs_Speck  2:48pm   As a high school Drama teacher, I must say “the play’s the thing” — the words and story together in performance. Too easy an answer?

ShakespeareinDC  2:48pm   @JHudsonDirect If you’ve ever seen a full one, you’ve seen them all put together, which Shakes never saw.  #mk

Hungerf9  2:48pm   To me, it’s often the language that makes the plays truly beautiful, the plot that makes them accessible.

HESherman  2:48pm   Regarding classroom, is it fair to just explore #Shakespeare only as text? As a script, is it only complete in production?

Linthenerd  2:48pm   @HESherman @TheShakesForum “Inspired by Shakespeare” is what I’m all about

Tony_McGuinness  2:48pm   Shakespeare as Sacred Writer is expected to stand as a bulwark against the cultural degeneration.

ShakespeareinDC  2:48pm   @JHudsonDirect There are several versions of Hamlet all of which Shakespeare took part in.  #mk

Doctorogres  2:47pm   @Dloehr I would certainly not direct in that way. But don’t you think there’s a certain mythic quality to some of the “big ones?”

LeeLiebeskind  2:47pm   @JHudsonDirect yes, but I am just trying to see where line is. can change a few words, cut for time, but don’t adapt all the words

JHudsonDirect  2:47pm   @LeeLiebeskind Gotta adapt his plays to the modern day world of tired-behind and full bladder

TheShakesForum  2:47pm   @HESherman Reordered according to? Hamlet Q1 and Folio have different orders themselves. Evidence that traveling plays were altered.

_plainKate_  2:47pm   @playwrightsteve Some directors don’t trust that Shakespeare will be interesting, don’t take time to investigate language w/actors.

Petermarksdrama  2:47pm   @ShakespeareinDC But do actors still struggle with clarity and projection? I sense more confidence with language these days, but…

ASC_Amy  2:47pm   RT @Charlenevsmith: @mikelomo I believe that teachers using simplified Shakespeare texts are underestimating their students

HESherman  2:47pm   @Tony_McGuinness Do you think Shakespeare the writer was not so unique?

ShakespeareinDC  2:46pm   @HESherman Yes, in a way. And one should be very honest about it.  #mk

ASC_Amy  2:46pm   @HESherman @ShakespeareinDC Again, it depends. Diff original publications of the plays had diff scene orders.

Charlenevsmith  2:46pm   @mikelomo I believe that teachers using simplified Shakespeare texts are underestimating their students

playwrightsteve  2:46pm   I’ve seen a lot of great Shakespeare productions, but the language is still a huge barrier half the time

TheShakesForum  2:46pm   @ShakespeareinDC Because it gets people in the seats, and those that have closed-minds of what Shakespeare is can open them.

JHudsonDirect  2:46pm   @LeeLiebeskind Cutting scenes for time happens all the time to Shakespeare. I have only seen a full Hamlet once.

Hungerf9  2:46pm   @LeeLiebeskind That is: derivative, collaborative and possibly transformative work.

LeeLiebeskind  2:46pm   @hungerf9 oh I am in agreement, I am not purist…just posing questions to get clarification.

Dloehr  2:46pm   @HESherman Would depth of character go towards the language with which he reveals that depth?

_plainKate_  2:45pm   @Rosalind1600 Again, I’m not advocating for change. I leave it along; just making room for possibility, saying call it Shakespeare.

HESherman  2:45pm   @ShakespeareinDC  I’ve also seen productions where the scenes are reordered. Does that compromise the material?

Charlenevsmith  2:45pm   @LeeLiebeskind Sure.  But that’s beauty of theatre being a living art. Also, impossible to say which version of script is definitive

Rosalind1600  2:45pm   @ASC_Amy @LeeLiebeskind  Think still Shakespeare if cut well, but can be cut badly, so that undermine thrust/meaning of play/characters.

Playwrightsteve  2:45pm   “A lot of the language in Shakespeare’s plays put up a wall of incomprehension by virtue of its age alone.”

TheShakesForum  2:45pm   @HESherman But it may break the rhythm, and so you may just want to adapt it further than just language.

ShakespeareinDC  2:45pm   @HESherman The depth of character in Shakespeare comes from what they SAY about what they feel & do  #mk

BankyHimself  2:45pm   @ASC_Amy  Playwrights use their words for a different purpose than a poet or a writer. Evolution weighs heavily on that purpose.

LeeLiebeskind  2:45pm   @Charlenevsmith  You don’t think there is something that makes his work easily translatable to Dance, unlike other writers?

hungerf9  2:45pm   @LeeLiebeskind  Yes, it changes the play. That’s the beauty of the public domain & live performance: derivative, collaborative work.

Dloehr  2:44pm   @Doctorogres  But it’s always new to someone.

TheShakesForum  2:44pm   @HESherman  Not at all. #ShakespeareInAnyLanguageIsShakespeare

ShakespeareinDC  2:44pm   I agree that cutting scenes for time or other reasons is altering the structure of the play  #mk

Dloehr  2:44pm   @Doctorogres  I wouldn’t say that. Never assume everyone knows the story. They may know it’s a tragedy, to be sure.

Mikelomo  2:44pm   So could we just talk about the #Shakespeare classroom for a bit? Any thoughts about teachers using simplified texts?

TheShakesForum  2:44pm   RT @Charlenevsmith: I am not bothered by some language changes. Murder, instead of murther, for example.

JHudsonDirect  2:44pm   @TheShakesForum  I can’t help it… I must be too much of a purist. 🙂 

Tony_McGuinness  2:44pm   Interesting that the discussion is about the uniqueness of Shakespeare as a writer.

ASC_Amy  2:44pm   @LeeLiebeskind  That’s a whole other debate. At @shakespearectr we believe even Shakespeare cut his plays for performance.

Charlenevsmith  2:43pm   No reason other than name recognition for companies like Synetic to bill under Shakespeare – there’s no estate holds rights to those stories

HESherman  2:43pm   Many cite plot as being less important, because he borrowed so freely. But what about depth of character?

TheShakesForum  2:43pm   @HESherman  I’m not suggesting they HAVE to do that. I’m suggesting it’s okay to do.

LeeLiebeskind  2:43pm   So altering words is ok in context, but what about cutting scenes for time? Doesn’t that change the his play?

TheShakesForum  2:43pm   @JHudsonDirect  I don’t think you’re trying to do it better. It’s just how the words relate to you.

JHudsonDirect  2:43pm   RT @Charlenevsmith: I am not bothered by some language changes. Murder, instead of murther, for example.

Doctorogres  2:42pm   One of the biggest ones, and the reason that there are so many different takes on Macbeth, is that everyone already knows the story.

ASC_Amy  2:42pm   @BankyHimself  It is still a playwright’s words, regardless of when they were penned.

Doctorogres  2:42pm   I guess what I’m saying is there are a lot of elements apart from language that are essential to Shakespeare.

HESherman  2:42pm   @LeeLiebeskind That’s a really interesting perspective. That silent Shakespeare is word *translated* to movement.

BankyHimself  2:42pm   @ASC_Amy  I’d suspect that’d be a more appropriate question in 500 years.

ShakespeareinDC  2:42pm   @LeeLiebeskind yes it’s translation like “The Moor’s Pavane” is a dance version of Othello but it doesn’t have same impact  #mk

LeeLiebeskind  2:41pm   @ShakespeareinDC interesting comparison. But wouldn’t it be more accurate to say a cover in a different instrument?

Playwrightsteve  2:41pm   @_plainKate_ @BankyHimself  In which case plot and structure are as much a part of Shakespeare as his language. Even if he borrowed

Raoulbhaneja  2:41pm   @HESherman  I’m only bothered when performing #hamletsolo (in English) and I’m asked what “translation” I used to make it “clear”.

ASC_Amy  2:41pm   @BankyHimself  But, if you change Mamet’s words is it still Mamet? No one argues he’s a poet not a playwright.

HESherman  2:41pm   @TheShakesForum  “Inspired by Shakespeare” would fill shelves of libraries (and theaters) be it plays, novels, songs.

ShakespeareinDC  2:41pm   @_plainKate_  You don’t call Shakespeare ‘Ovid & Holinshead altered’ so why would you call very-much altered Shakespeare ‘Shakespeare’  #mk

Rosalind1600  2:40pm   @_plainKate_  True about changes to source material, but those changes have limited meaning outside context of play’s language

Dloehr  2:40pm   @Charlenevsmith  Very much so. The name is a brand in some sense, and it’s an easy sell.

_plainKate_  2:40pm   @BankyHimself  A playwright, a playwright!

LeeLiebeskind 2:40pm   @HESherman  They use the words of Shakespeare to create movement, so isn’t it just translation?

Kellereno  2:40pm   Gleefully following the  conversation. I’m in Shakespeare geek heaven.

Charlenevsmith  2:39pm   I am not bothered by some language changes. Murder, instead of murther, for example.

HESherman  2:39pm   If language is so essential to Shakespeare, does it cease being Shakespeare when translated from English?

TheShakesForum  2:39pm   @ShakespeareinDC  No, you wouldn’t say  Sleep No More by William Shakespeare. But you could say “Inspired by”.

Mikelomo  2:39pm   @Charlenevsmith  So Shakespeare still sells.

Doctorogres  2:39pm   Or Macbeth Without Words?  Or 500 Clown Macbeth? Many adptations with no language at all.

JHudsonDirect  2:39pm   It seems almost arrogant to me to think that I could arrange the words better than the Bard had intended!  #shakespearelanguage

Playwrightsteve  2:39pm   @ShakespeareinDC Have you had a chance to look at Akiva Fox’s recent piece on Shakespeare in production?

HESherman  2:39pm   @LeeLiebeskind If you see Synetic’s work, which I don’t, do you think it’s still Shakespeare, despite being wholly visual?

Petermarksdrama  2:39pm   How much responsibility does audience have to try to “meet” the language? And how well do u think actors do in giving it shape?  #mk

ShakespeareinDC  2:39pm  @LeeLiebeskind Synetic does wonderful dance drama but it’s no more Shakespeare than listening to a Bob Dylan song without words/lyrics  #mk

Dloehr  2:39pm   @Charlenevsmith @ArgoTheatricals Yup. A writer’s words are what make their work unique. Plots are the structures & rarely unique.

_plainKate_  2:38pm   @Charlenevsmith @ArgoTheatricals I’m not advocating for changing the words, btw. I love these words, working them.

Charlenevsmith  2:38pm  I think these adaptations use Shakespeare’s name solely for marketing and name recognition.

TheShakesForum  2:38pm   Once you have a working script you probably don’t want to change it. But in the rehearsal process?

ASC_Amy  2:38pm   @ShakespeareinDC @Petermarksdrama But, don’t you think it is possible to communicate that diff w/ clear acting?

HESherman  2:38pm   @ShakespeareinDC I was being playful — and I spent eight years working for Mark Lamos, so Shakespeare is in my blood & bones

LeeLiebeskind  2:37pm   @ShakespeareinDC @Doctorogres Why is it not Shakespeare?

ShakespeareinDC  2:37pm   @Petermarksdrama …or if it’s a 450-year-old joke and the button doesn’t work  #mk

_plainKate_  2:37pm   @Charlenevsmith @ArgoTheatricals Except he changed much of his source material, so even w/altered language, it’s him.

ASC_Amy  2:37pm   Jumping in midstream … agree, if you don’t have #Shakespeare’s language, it isn’t Shakespeare. @Charlenevsmith @ArgoTheatricals

ShakespeareinDC  2:37pm   @Petermarksdrama The only time I think it might be good to change Shakespeare’s words is if those words mean something else now  #mk

Charlenevsmith  2:36pm   @ArgoTheatricals Agreed. Once Shakespeare’s language is gone, it’s not him. Then it’s Ovid or Holinshed!

LeeLiebeskind  2:36pm   But it’s a good question, when you remove dialogue from Shakespeare, is it still Shakespeare, like Synetic in DC ?

ShakespeareinDC  2:36pm   @Doctorogres Sleep No More is a fantastic production but it’s not Shakespeare.  #mk

Mikelomo  2:36pm   I agree. And teachers do a disservice for using them to teach #Shakespeare

HESherman  2:35pm   RT @ShakespeareinDC: MK: It shows you how important Shakespeare’s language is, because you’re quoting it in your question.

Petermarksdrama  2:35pm   Michael, are you doctrinaire about Shakespeare’s words? How much leeway do you give directors to change them in Shakespeare Theater’s shows?

ArgoTheatricals  2:35pm   @HESherman I say not. The stories aren’t original to him, so if you change the language, what’s left? Not Shakespeare.

HESherman  2:34pm   @Doctorogres Sleep No More is a synthesis of Shakespeare and Hitchcock’s Rebecca and god knows what else

HESherman  2:33pm   Hi, Michael. @ShakespeareinDC, is #Shakespeare still the Bard when we alteration find?

Doctorogres  2:33pm   Is Sleep No More Shakespeare?

ShakespeareinDC  2:32pm   Michael is here too. Lay it on us, @HESherman

HESherman  2:31pm   I don’t want to keep others waiting. So, @mikelomo, is Shakespeare simplified, or translated, not Shakespeare?

HESherman  2:31pm   I have a starting question for @ShakespeareinDC. Just waiting on Michael.

Reduced  2:31pm   Do we have our basic text for the Soul of Shakespeare chat? Then take it away @HESherman & @Petermarksdrama.

HESherman 2:27pm   Above all, let’s have fun. After all, how many opportunities are there for live national multi-participant discussions of Shakespeare?

HESherman  2:27pm   Because Michael Kahn is not on Twitter personally, his comments will come via @ShakespeareinDC. We’re thrilled he’s with us.

HESherman  2:26pm   Don’t be afraid to join in. Even though some participants may be “experts,” we want this to be as inclusive as possible.

HESherman  2:26pm   Don’t flaunt your credentials to bolster your views, and let’s be respectful of everyone else. No insults, even Shakespearean ones!

HESherman  2:26pm   Lots of folks are declaring their position in advance. Let’s not be absolutists, but share thoughts and ideas. No right answer IMHO.


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