Monday, February 10, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 02/09/14: Pictures of the Thaw, Young Will Shakespeare at Whirled Pies, John Barton in Denver

1.  I stayed home.  Eugene is shagged with ice.  Around 11 or so the thaw began and I took some pictures around the house of the thaw getting underway:

2.  The Deke and I decided a pizza from Whirled Pies was in order and we made the right decision.  While waiting for our pie, I read more of Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.  Greenblatt speculates that the young Shakespeare might have seen Morality Plays performed, plays where characters embody abstract virtues and sins.  He goes on to say that the playwright Shakespeare internalized these abstraction in the characters of his plays.  I flashed back to the first Shakespeare class I taught at Whitworth in fall, 1982.  I didn't tell the students that I thought the boy Shakespeare might have seen the Morality Plays, but I made the same point that what Shakespeare did was make the abstractions of the Morality Plays come alive internally in his characters.  I enjoyed remembering that first class and it satisfied me that this aspect of Shakespeare's playmaking was on my mind thirty-two years ago.

3.  I took a break from the Playing Shakespeare series and watched an hour long film entitled The Shakespeare Sessions, of an older John Barton giving an acting workshop in Denver. It shows many actors such as Kevin Kline and Cynthia Nixon and Harriet Walter working under John Barton's tutelage and direction.  Charles S. Dutton observed that actors often go right for the visceral in a role:  they go for the physical and the emotional and fit the language to that.  Barton teaches the opposite in acting Shakespeare.  He takes the actor to the language and in the language's words, rhythms, structures, images and other aspects arise the emotions and feelings and out of the language arises the physical action. 

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