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Author Dessen, Alan C., 1935-

Title Rescripting Shakespeare : the text, the director, and modern productions / Alan C. Dessen
Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2002
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 268 pages)
Contents "Let it be hid": price tags, trade-offs, and economies -- Rescripting Shakespeare's contemporaries -- Adjustments and improvements -- Inserting an intermission/interval -- What's in an ending? : rescripting final scenes -- Rescripting stage directions and actions -- Compressing Henry VI -- The tamings of the shrews : rescripting the First Folio -- The editor as rescripter -- Conclusion : what's not here
Summary "Building on almost 300 productions from the last twenty-five years, Alan Dessen focuses on the playtexts used when directors stage Shakespeare's plays: the actual words spoken, the scenes or segments omitted or transposed, and the many other adjustments that must be made - as with references to swords in a production that features handguns and grenades. Directors rescript to streamline the playscript and save running time by cutting speeches or entire scenes, as well as to climinate obscurity, conserve on personnel, and occasionally cancel out a passage that might not fit with a particular "concept." They rewright when they make more extensive changes, moving closer to the role of the playwright, as when the three parts of Henry VI are compressed into two plays. Rescripting can yield practical, narrative, and conceptual gains but can also involve losses or diminutions, so that Dessen calls attention to price tags and trade-offs, both the pluses and minuses of a director's rescripting or rewrighting. He 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."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Criticism, Textual.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Dramatic production.
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 -- Stage history -- 1950-
Theater -- Production and direction -- History -- 20th century.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2002071577
ISBN 0511042159 (electronic bk.)
0511044992 (electronic bk.)
0511120095 (electronic bk.)
0511483554 (electronic bk.)
0521007984 (paperback)
9780511042157 (electronic bk.)
9780511044991 (electronic bk.)
9780511120091 (electronic bk.)
9780511483554 (electronic bk.)
9780521007986 (paperback)