Questions Two

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  1. Describe your feeling about traditional vs. authentic Shakespeare productions. Should the goal of the RSC and The Globe be a traditional approach to the Bard’s plays? Should they try and replicate the audience experience?
  2. What was different about the audience experience in The Globe?
  3. What is something you know about performing Shakespeare which you did not know before?
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9 thoughts on “Questions Two

  1. Kimmy

    1)
    I honestly prefer the authentic style (Globe). If you asked me to stand in the yard for all of Antony and Cleopatra, I would’ve left. When that QUEEN walked out on stage and with the constant interaction with the audience, I didn’t mind standing for a few hours and I’d gladly do it again. The popular songs made it more relatable, too. In a TRADITIONAL style, the music would’ve been popular for Shakespeare’s time and wouldn’t have been as fun and relatable.

    2)
    There was more audience interaction at the Globe. We were part of the performance rather than jus twachingi it. That was cool. We were able to react and clap along with the songs. If someone walked out looking nice, they were allowed to hoot and holler. That was cool.

    3)
    I didn’t know that they used to play popular songs back in the day. That made it a lot more fun and relatable.

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  2. Ellie Dapkus

    1. I believe that the RSC and the Globe should continue what they are doing in terms of traditional vs authentic. Currently, the Royal Shakespeare Company is doing traditional Shakespeare productions, using an aesthetic that fit the setting of the play. This is perfect for the RSC, as it is a group that allows one to see a production how Shakespeare would have set it. The Globe, on the other hand, provides an authentic experience, in that they are providing the same experience that Shakespeare’s audience would have felt. This implies that they would use modern technology, costumes, setting, and humor. “Modern” for Shakespeare’s audience would be 1500s clothing and music, while “Modern” for us is, for example, using “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge in the beginning of Twelfth Night. The use of authenticity in the Globe fits the feeling of being in the theater, whether you’re standing in the yard or sitting up high. This is the same feeling that an old audience would have felt, so it is perfect that the feeling of the show matches this.

    2. The experience of standing in the Globe was very special in comparison to being in a standard theater. Standing in the yard and being able to move around and turn and make comments to my neighbors was a very new experience for me, and it made me more immersed in the story. The rigid “sit forward, no talking” rules of a standard West End or Broadway theater almost makes me feel fidgety and want to move around, while the feeling of standing in a crowd in the open, fresh air made me feel a lot less restless. In addition, seeing the actors interact with me and the people around me made what happened on stage feel more special and the characters felt more real. Being immersed in the story by being seen by the characters allowed me to connect with them and, at times, forget that they’re actors on stage.

    3. Before coming to see live productions of Shakespeare, and instead simply reading the plays on paper, I always thought that it was hard to understand as an audience member and convey as an actor. However, now that I have seen three live productions, I now know that, after analyzing the script to figure out what exactly is being said, an actor can convey exactly what is going on and how the character is feeling. I learned this not only from watching the shows but also through our workshops. In the Julius Caesar workshop we translated lines from a speech into modern English, and in the Twelfth Night workshop we put emphasis on different words to show who lines are directed to and who they are talking about. Both of these exercises combined can make it easy to understand what Shakespeare was saying.

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  3. 18jcol

    1. I enjoy a more traditional experience when I see a Shakespeare play. I didn’t enjoy the Twelfth Night performance as much as the other group members did. I’m not sure if that’s because I don’t enjoy Shakespeare’s comedies or if I didn’t like the modern feel of The Globe’s performance.

    2. In The Globe the audience was a lot more involved. The actors never pretended there wasn’t an audience. All the actors interacted with the audience. Malvolio grabbed someone’s face and spoke directly to him. Viola stopped a scene to applaud an audience members outburst. They were always aware of the audience and never hid that.

    3. Shakespeare can be performed in many different ways. The Globe and The RSC were polar opposites when it came to performing Shakespeare but both of them were still Shakespeare. The tone of a Shakespearean play can totally change, there are no chains on a director who directs a Shakespeare play.

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  4. Jacob

    When we were at the Shakespeare shows at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the shows we saw there were both done in a traditional manner, while the show we saw at the Globe was a more authentic experience. Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, were both more traditional shows because they didn’t use modern references, the script was uncut for the most part and the costumes were more traditional, so the Romans for example wore typical Roman armor.

    Both of these shows wanted to show what the shows looked like during Shakespeare’s time. Twelfth Night was a show that was anything but traditional. Twelfth Night used modern lighting and sound systems, as well as doing a more modern take on costumes and references in the show. Doing this allowed for the audience to experience how Shakespeare’s audience would have felt about the play. Personally, I feel that it would be a good idea to do both at the Globe. I think it would be a good idea to do both at the Globe is so that a more traditional approach can be taken to shows, so people can see how a show would have appeared in Shakespeare’s time. Then, the next night you could show the same shows, but with a more modern take on them so that people can understand them better. This way you also can make people that feel traditional Shakespeare should be done at the Globe happy, and those that enjoy modern takes on Shakespeare happy by allowing them to see their favorite shows with a modern twist.

    The audience at the Globe compared to the RSC was completely different. The audience at the Globe, at least in the yard, was a lot more close together and bunched up, so it was impossible to not bump into people. These made me, as a part of that audience, excited because the energy of the crowd was rather contagious and so it was easy to get pumped up during the opening and the end of the show. At the RSC, the audience was completely different. The RSC audience was more formal, a bit like a movie theater, where everyone sat in their seats and watched the production that was being put on. There was a more serious attitude about the audience which, in turn, gave the shows a more serious feeling.

    One thing that I learned about performing Shakespeare is that actors take a lot of steps to memorize their lines. They start by translating their lines in modern English so that it’s easier for them to understand the lines and what they mean. This allows for them to know what emotions that line is carrying and how the line should be spoken. Once that’s done, they revert it back to traditional Shakespearean English and finish up the memorization process.

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  5. Alex Todd

    1. When it comes to traditional vs authentic Shakespeare in the globe and rsc I think that it is obvious. The globe should keep and authentic viewing experience due to the fact that that is what the globe was built for but that does not necessarily mean tradition theater. I think that an authentic viewing experience might need those pop culture references but they should also do traditional works. For the rsc they do have the ability to have that audience interaction and I think that could be used very well in a comedy but generally I think that it should be more traditional. That theater has a whole different feel to the globe and they have already proven to me That they can do a great job traditionally.
    1. The rsc had a very standard seating arangment where you actually sat down but they did have a stage that wrapped around very much. I felt like they were still speaking to the back of the audience and they didn’t pay as much attention to the sides as the globe. The viewing experience in the globe was very similar to modern shows where the audience is completely separate from the people on stage. The globe was quite opposite to the rsc because we were standing and the actors would physically interact with the audience often. It was very new and interesting.
    3. Something I know about performing Shakespeare now is that it doesn’t really have to be that cookie cutter English class version of it every time. The actors and directors have a lot of creative freedom to make it more accecable to a more casual audience or they can make it as traditional as they want it to be.

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  6. aniyah

    1. Personally, I like authentic shakespeare opposed to traditional because, for me, it is easier for me to connect with. I don’t like traditional shakespeare because I find it hard to enjoy. I think the RSC should focus on the more traditional side of his plays because that is what they have been doing for so long. However, the globe should focus on the more authentic side of replicating audience experience. Besides, the Globe was built to try and replicate what the audience may have experienced in his time.
    2. The crowd wasn’t as… formal? The atmosphere was more loose and casual for sure. The actors interacted with the audience face to face. And it was because of this that as an audience member in the pit I felt apart of the play. With the globe you aren’t just paying for the seat like in other theaters, you are also paying for the experience.
    3. I learned that when you are performing shakespeare, you can’t just say the words; you have to get the meaning across with the inflection in your voice and your body language too. Because not everyone in the audience is going to understand the old English that is in the script. So you have to convey the meaning through other means

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  7. 19bshe

    1.) In my opinion, I think they should focus more on the Authentic experience. I think current Lighting and other current special effects they are using actually help amplify the experience. It helps draws the audience in more and makes them more interested in the actual show itself, which helps boost the shows popularity as well. Even though I didn’t enjoy standing for 3 hours, I still believe that it made a good connection between the Actors and the Audience themselves. If it had chairs and no yard, it would be more like most generic theaters, which would really take away from the experience.

    2.) I feel like in the globe, the audience was more lively than the audience would be at most theaters. The fact that we were standing in the yard, and that the director choose to have to use the yard for some of the scenes, really got the audience interested in the show as well. By using the yard as part of the show, made the actors feel like they were interacting with the audience more, and made it less dull and gave much more life to it.

    3.)I now know that there’s many different ways that Shakespeare plays can be done, and that there’s different ways to interpret all the characters. I felt like if you didn’t tell me that Anthony and Cleopatra and Twelfth Night was done by the same person, I would never guess. Because they were both done so differently, and yet they were both done by the same person, it was amazing to see the difference. The characters as well can be taken many different routes, because it all depends on the actor/actress and how they think that characters should be like.

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  8. Wyatt Reynolds

    1. Traditional vs. Authentic Shakespeare

    The term “authentic” is difficult to apply because it lacks a clear definition. Obviously it’s defined in the dictionary, but to describe something as authentic is dictated by pure feeling. “Traditional” is easily comparible between two sources because “traditional” is whether something in suit of custom. In this case, the tradition is in how Shakespeare was originally produced aesthetically. “Authentic” is in the spirit of Shakespeare. While traditional Shakespeare may appear genuine, theatrics, however historical, do not necessarily contain the spirit of theatre; the spirit, of course, being in the audience. Shakespeare was concerned first and forement with his audience. At the time, the audience (“spectators”) were not watching “Shakespeare”, they were watching a play. By focusing strictcly on the traditional element, the audience becomes observers in a museum rather than spectators in a theater. However, a non-traditional can come just as short in spirit if it directs its intentions away—even against—how Shakespeare intended his plays to be perceived.

    Question 2: What was different about the audience experience in the globe?

    Standing is a pain. Although a standing audience gives a greater incentive for the performers to engage their audience, ironically, the inconvenience of standuing, uncommon to today’s audience, detracts from the integration between the viewer and the world. Perhaps being a groundling can immerse an audience into the time period, but the production must then be equally traditional or else the two wrongly juxtapose each other.

    Question 3: What is something you know about performing Shakespeare now you did not know before?

    Shakespeare performed, from what I imagined, is often patient. The language is pronounced and articlated heartily, taking a slow, careful course, to extract as much meaning from every line as there is in every word. What I learned is the actors are concerned more with a line’s general intention and less with the impact of each particular term. The lines are then spoken as fast as in modern plays in an intonation more immediate than I would have imagined.

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  9. Daniel

    1. I think that what the RSC and Globe are doing right now is what they should be doing. The RSC is performing Traditional Shakespeare with modern production facilities. If you want to see Shakespeare done how it was put on back in his time (except with modern lights and sound), go to the RSC. You’ll have a grand old time. But what the Globe is doing, creating the same kind of audience experience, is BRILLIANT. Yes, it isn’t what the Bard would ever have done, but by doing things like using modern music and modern references, the audience has a blast watching the show, and it becomes a layered comedy that is much more enjoyable.
    2. At the Globe, we stood in the Yard. While yes, it did make your legs ache, that’s not the point. The audience felt more alive and connected with the actors onstage. There were times that the audience right up against the stage were pointed at, danced for, or even had the hands held for the performance. You felt like you were a part of the play, not just watching it.
    3. As long as you act with both your words and body, the audience will understand it and enjoy it even if they don’t fully understand what your words mean. You can convey plot through your actions much more than I previously believed.

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