C-*The Stage Shapes the Play and the Play Shapes the Stage: How Shakespeare’s Plays Reveal Themselves Through Production
October 4, 2022 - November 8, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tuesdays, 1 – 3 PM | Oct 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov 1, & 8
Instructor: Glenn Stuart
*This is an in-person class. Location will be announced after registration.
Director Michael Bogdanov observed the following about producing Shakespeare’s plays: “The job of the artist in the theatre is illumination and reconstruction, and the endless task of assimilating the objects of the past into the interests of the present, on the understanding that the physical artifact which is the occasion for such an enterprise will be retained in some place in its original form, so that it is available for anyone else who wishes to make a competitive reconstruction of his own. It’s an expanding universe, there is no end to it, it is a continuous creation, rather as the cosmologists have shown us the universe is.”
We have long since abandoned the notion that somewhere out there lies a definitive version or production of any of Shakespeare’s plays. Each and every production, whatever the medium utilized, brings a new and unique experience of the play and adds to Bogdanov’s “expanding universe” of the play. We share and discuss three distinct experiences with King Lear: a video of a live stage production (directed by Sam Mendes and featuring Simon Russell Beale), a feature film (Directed by Richard Eyre and featuring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson) and a novel inspired by the play (Edward St Aubyn’s 2017 novel Dunbar). Hopefully our conversations lead us not only to a deeper understanding of this work, but expand our vision of the play.
Glenn Stuart is a Professor of Theater, retired, at New England College where he taught for 38 years. In his time there he designed scenery and lighting for more than 125 theatre and dance productions. He is the founding Director of the Open Door Theatre where he has designed and directed 20 productions including King Lear, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and The Tempest. He holds an MA in Theater from the State University of New York, Albany, where he studied with Roger Herzel, Jarka Burian and Judith Barlow.