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Michael D. Friedman and Alan Dessen

The decade 1989–99 witnessed the resurgence of Titus as a political tract, with three major European directors (Peter Stein, Silviu Purcarete, and Gregory Doran) focusing their attention on the ways in which the play can be made to comment on specific contemporary affairs. Their productions (consciously or not) therefore duplicated the approach adopted in 1967 by Douglas Seale, the first director to employ modern dress to draw ‘parallels between the violence and wholesale murder of our times and the time

in Titus Andronicus
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To look at the performance history of Titus Andronicus is to confront some provocative questions such as why has this play posed severe problems for generations of readers, critics, editors, actors, directors, and playgoers. The book examines twelve major theatrical productions and one film, on the play, that appeared in the years 1989-2009. It begins with Edward Ravenscroft's version that superseded Shakespeare's script. Peter Brook chose to stylise or formalise many moments, and Deborah Warner's production worked with no cutting of the script. Every staging of Titus elicits comments about the daunting nature of the script. The book presents Irving Wardle's reactions on Trevor Nunn's 1972 rendition, and Stanley Wells's review of the Swan production. The densest concentration of such problems and anomalies, as perceived by today's directors, critics, and editors, comes in the final scene. The productions that opened in 1989, directed by Jeannette Lambermont, Daniel Mesguich, and Michael Maggio, cut and rearranged the text liberally, often in an attempt to avoid the laughter. During the period 1989-99, three major European directors, Peter Stein, Silviu Purcarete, and Gregory Doran, focused their attention on the ways in which the play can be made to comment on specific contemporary affairs. Julie Taymor's venture in 1994 combined stylization with the 'visceral reality' as a means to keep spectators off balance and continuously sensitive to the shocking brutality of the play's events. The book ends by discussing the efforts of Yukio Ninagaw, Bill Alexander, Gale Edwards, Richard Rose, and Lucy Bailey.

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Even by the standards of Shakespearean comedy, As You Like It tests theatrical logic. Unlike other Shakespearean comedies, comic closure is not compromised by pain, punishment or death; nor does the play returns its characters and audiences to a 'real' world in which the fantastic may be put to the test. This book focuses on the performance of As You Like It in the twentieth century. It offers a summary of the prehistory that provides its background and context. The book examines the play as a text for performance on the early modern stage. It is examined not by conjecturally reconstructing a performance that may or may not have taken place, but by mining the script for clues as to how it might have been handled by its first players. It pays particular attention to three contrasting RSC productions: Michael Elliott's of 1961, which launched Vanessa Redgrave's legendary, epoch-defining Rosalind; Buzz Goodbody's of 1973, and Adrian Noble's of 1985. The book addresses two productions beyond the English (and English-speaking) theatre context. The first of these, seen at l'Atelier in Paris in 1934, is Jacques Copeau's redaction Rosalinde; the second Peter Stein's monumental four-hour production for the Schaubühne Berlin in 1977. It focuses on two all-male versions of the play: Clifford Williams's for the National Theatre in 1967, and Declan Donnellan's for Cheek by Jowl in 1991 and 1994. The book draws substantially upon the first-hand audience experience of a recent production, Blanche McIntyre's for Shakespeare's Globe in 2015.

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This strange, eventful history
Robert Shaughnessy

IV addresses two productions beyond the English (and English-speaking) theatre context. The first of these, seen at l’Atelier in Paris in 1934, is Jacques Copeau’s redaction Rosalinde ; the second Peter Stein’s monumental four-hour production for the Schaubühne Berlin in 1977. The latter, described by Dennis Kennedy as ‘one of Stein’s greatest productions’ (Kennedy 261), was a

in As You Like It
Robert Shaughnessy

critic, senior editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung , and Professor of Music at the University of Stuttgart, Joachim Kaiser, is on his way home after seeing Peter Stein’s Berliner Schaubühne production of Wie es euch gefällt ( As You Like It ). When he checks in for his return flight at Tegel Airport, there is a minor incident: his bag sets off the security scanner alarms and he is taken aside

in As You Like It
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1994 and 1999
Michael D. Friedman and Alan Dessen

violent strife (see p. 75 ). Therefore, Warner’s design for her production featured some ‘classical Roman overtones’ but ‘evoked no specific period’ (see p. 63 ). Taymor, however, made a strong and consistent attempt to connect her stage version and film to particular instances of contemporary bloodshed, social discord, and political repression, which placed her efforts directly in the line of descent originated by Douglas Seale. Like Peter Stein, Taymor mixed the ancient and the modern, with several aspects of set

in Titus Andronicus
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Michael D. Friedman and Alan Dessen

the director … as part of some social or political agenda’ (see p. 122 ). To this objection I would reply that all modern performances of the play, even Warner’s uncut rendition, are, in some sense, appropriations of the original text for contemporary purposes. Some productions simply signal this modern appropriation more overtly through the use of costumes and scenery that locate the action of the play in a Rome portrayed as current rather than (or as well as) ancient. Among the directors who have chosen this path are Peter

in Titus Andronicus
On Regie, truth and ex-position
Peter M. Boenisch

chapter will explore how they exemplarily reappropriated the contested notion of the ‘truth of the text’, which had almost exclusively been enlisted by the opponents of Regie. During the previous reign of postmodern direction, the category of ‘truth’ would not be accepted as anything other than a momentary illusion, or as an ironic gesture. Gosch and Thalheimer thus represent an important shift in recent Continental Regie, towards a twenty-first-century ‘new objectivity’. It transcends the ‘classic’ Regietheater aesthetics of the 1970s and 80s, of Peter Stein and Peter

in Directing scenes and senses
Carl Lavery

about Genet being a cubist playwright? LP : Let’s take another example. If you have a broken mirror, you can’t reflect a single object in its entirety or totality. Rather the object is fractured and multiple. It’s very difficult to achieve that kind of multiple vision without falling into chaos. But when it does work, meaning becomes a process, a quest. The spectator puts the shards together. Nothing is fixed in this type of theatre. That’s why two great directors, Giorgio Strehler and Peter Stein, were unable to get to grips with The Balcony and The Blacks

in The politics of Jean Genet’s late theatre
Rethinking ‘directors’ theatre’
Peter M. Boenisch

of theatre as cultural capital of a middle-class elite. A young generation, who in the 1960s sought liberation in many different ways, thus reclaimed the canonical classics that had been the backbone of the institutionalised theatre system since the eighteenth century. The aesthetic and, even more significantly, the political values that underpinned the work of theatre directors such as Peter Brook, Joan Littlewood, Ariane Mnouchkine and Peter Stein could not be further from any attempt to solidify the hegemonic position of the individual director-artist, of the

in Directing scenes and senses