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Alan Dessen focuses on the playtexts used for staging Shakespeare's plays, from almost three hundred productions of the last twenty five years. Dessen examines the process of rescripting--when directors make cuts to streamline the playscript, save running time, etc., and rewriting--when more extensive changes are made. He assesses what is lost and gained by rescripting, and the demands of presenting to contemporary audiences words targeted at players, playgoers, and playhouses that no longer exist. The results are of interest to theatrical professionals and historians.Read more
- Draws upon 280 stage productions from the last 25 years performed in the UK, USA and Canada
- Offers comparative analyses of material from recent productions with what is known about the first performances in the 1590s and early 1600s
- Of use and interest to playgoers and theatrical professionals as well as academic specialists
Reviews & endorsements
"An important study by one of the most astute critics of the performed text." Studies in English LiteratureSee more reviews
"A valuable resource for theatre practioners." Renaissance Quarterly
"The sheer scope of the project as well as its minute attention to particular production choices is astounding." Text and Performance
"In his current book, which draws so richly on his knowledge of choices made by directors and the opportunities lost or gained thereby, Dessen offers a fascinating history of nearly three decades of Anglo-American Shakespearean production and, in the process, makes a judicious case for not too blithely altering a script in the interest of clarification or contemporary relevance. In its appeal to examine afresh the received texts, Dessen's book couldn't be more timely." Essays in Theatre James C. Bulman, Allegheny College
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- Date Published: July 2002
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521007986
- length: 282 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 153 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.449kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. 'Let it be hid': price tags, trade-offs, and economies
2. Rescripting Shakespeare's contemporaries
3. Adjustments and improvements
4. Inserting an intermission-interval
5. What's in an ending? Rescripting final scenes
6. Rescripting stage directions and actions
7. Compressing Henry VI
8. The tamings of the shrews: rescripting the First Folio
9. The editor as rescripter
10. Conclusion: what's not here.
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