Rescripting Shakespeare: The Text, the Director, and Modern Productions

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 20, 2002 - Drama - 268 pages
Building on almost 300 productions from the last 25 years, this 2002 book focuses on the playtexts used when directors stage Shakespeare's plays: the words spoken, the scenes omitted or transposed, and the many other adjustments that must be made. Directors rescript to streamline the playscript and save running time, to eliminate obscurity, conserve on personnel, and occasionally cancel out passages that might not fit their 'concept'. They rewright when they make more extensive changes, moving closer to the role of playwrights, as when the three parts of Henry VI are compressed into two plays. Alan Dessen analyzes what such choices might exclude or preclude, and explains the exigencies faced by actors and directors in placing before today's audiences words targeted at players, playgoers, and playhouses that no longer exist. The results are of interest and importance as much to theatrical professionals as to theatre historians and students.
 

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User Review  - jburlinson - LibraryThing

The reviewer of this book in New Theatre Quarterly made a good point when he said that it should rightfully have been published as a database than a hardback. It chronicles the production choices of ... Read full review

Contents

Let it be hid price tags tradeoffs and economies
1
Rescripting Shakespeares contemporaries
38
Adjustments and improvements
64
Inserting an intermissioninterval
94
Whats in an ending? Rescripting final scenes
109
Rescripting stage directions and actions
136
Compressing Henry VI
166
The tamings of the shrews rescripting the First Folio
185
The editor as rescripter
209
whats not here
235
productions cited
241
Notes
253
Index
264
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Alan C. Dessen is Peter G. Phialas Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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