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Rescripting Shakespeare

The Text, the Director, and Modern Productions

Rescripting Shakespeare by Alan C. Dessen
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Building on almost 300 productions from the last 25 years, this 2002 book focuses on the playtexts used when directors stage Shakespeare's plays: the words spoken, the scenes omitted or transposed, and the many other adjustments that must be made. Directors rescript to streamline the playscript and save running time, to eliminate obscurity, conserve on personnel, and occasionally cancel out passages that might not fit their 'concept'. They rewright when they make more extensive changes, moving closer to the role of playwrights, as when the three parts of Henry VI are compressed into two plays. Alan Dessen 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.
Cambridge University Press; June 2002
282 pages; ISBN 9780511029691
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Title: Rescripting Shakespeare
Author: Alan C. Dessen
 
ISBNs
0511029691
9780511029691
9780521810296