Author Topic: SHOWS: SMing a Shakespeare  (Read 7495 times)

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Scaenicus

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SHOWS: SMing a Shakespeare
« on: Jun 12, 2007, 07:40 pm »
I will be SMing a high school production of Romeo & Juliet this fall, and I wonder if anyone has advice!  There are a few threads mentioning Shakespeares, so forgive me if this is redundant; however, more specifically, I want to be as prepared as possible when rehearsals begin in August.

So:  What should I be doing in the upcoming two months to prepare for R&J?  Should my kit have anything special in it?  Any tales about your Shakespeare or R&J experiences?  Words of wisdom?

Thanks,
-scaenicus
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:25 am by PSMKay »
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Nbayard

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #1 on: Jun 12, 2007, 09:09 pm »
I would have a shakespeare language translator type thing in it with pronounciations and meaning of some of the odd words Shakespeare uses. It might be something you want to give the actors at the first rehearsal. I would go through the play and scene by scene make sure you know what is going on and what is needed in terms of requirements, etc.  It will help rehearsals out and any meeting you have with the design crew.

I am Sming Midsummer in the spring, so I'll be doing those things as well

Scaenicus

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #2 on: Jun 12, 2007, 10:19 pm »
Yeah, I bought a pretty sweet two-volume Shakespeare dictionary at a garage sale a few weeks ago.  I'm sure I'll add that to my kit.

Good luck on Midsummer -- it's a good play, we did a modern version a few years back.
ASM - Scapino!, winter 2006/7
Spot Op - Evita, spring 2007
SM - Crawling Arnold, spring 2007
Sound Board Op - Romeo & Juliet, fall 2007
SM - The Beggar's Opera, winter 2007/8
SM - Wonderful World, spring 2008
SM - Macbeth, fall 2008
SM - Candide, 2

loebtmc

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #3 on: Jun 13, 2007, 01:23 am »
TRACKING - entrances and exits are really important in this one. There can be a couple of nasty quickchanges (depending on how your director is casting and blocking). And make sure they plenty of time to choreograph and rehearse the sword fights - plan time for the nightly fight rehearsal in your calls for the run. This is an easy show for young folks to get carried away and hurt by playing with the swords and/or not taking the swordfights seriously, cuz there are a lot of them throughout the piece, top to bottom.

And oh yeah - check the ladder (or however Romeo and Juliet hook up in your production) for safety every nite, unless you have the rare set designer who builds it into the set in such a way that it can't become loose. And before you lock the set, check the sightlines.....
« Last Edit: Jun 13, 2007, 01:29 am by loebtmc »

kokobear

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #4 on: Jun 13, 2007, 09:24 am »
Shakespeare is nice because you can find electonic copies of his work.  You can double-space in your book, and it's just a godsend to manipulate text like that.

Fights are HUGELY important.  Safety is a must!  If your program doesn't have any experience with combat, check out the Society of American Fight Directors at SAFD.ORG

thehayworth

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #5 on: Jun 13, 2007, 04:03 pm »
make sure you're all working off the same version / edition
"This time for sure."

MatthewShiner

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #6 on: Jun 13, 2007, 05:50 pm »
Stage managing shakespeare is like stage managing any other show . . . the difference is that shakespeare shows tend to have the following:

1) Larger Casts and/or more doubling
2) Period Costumes, Props, Sets
3) More attention to text (so, dialect work, accent work, vocal work, pronounciation)
4) Fights, Dance and Music

Do get too hung up on the fact it is "Shakespeare" and have it be a mental block for doing the show - let it be just a big show, and treat it as such.

(This from someone who seems to stage manage nothing but Shakespeare . . . )
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

BalletPSM

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #7 on: Jun 14, 2007, 02:54 pm »
I always think recording blocking is super easy with shakespeare because all the lines are numbered for you already!

we did a production of Richard III in college with only 6 actors, cut down to 90 minutes.  It was AWESOME.  We staged all the murders and did all this work with film and projection...it was a really fascinating adaptation.
Stage managing is getting to do everything your mom told you not to do - read in the dark, sit too close to the TV, and play with the light switches!

killerdana

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #8 on: Jun 19, 2007, 01:22 am »
I find that I am much more hard-nosed about line notes when doing Shakespeare.  When I do contemporary plays I remind people about their lines (of course), but if they flip-flop a word or two I'm not going to beat them up.  However, with Shakespeare you can lose the integrity of a poetic line by dropping a word or adding an "O."
Science without art is sterile.  --Albert Einstein

BWEEVEED

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #9 on: Jun 25, 2007, 10:19 pm »
At Barnes and Noble I stumbled upon a script for R&J with the actual play on the left hand side and a more modern translation on the right. So as you read the original play, right next to it it has the decoded version. It was WONDERFUL for my English class when we did Hamlet.

I suggest something similar to you if you want to get a head start? Or even something to toy with at rehearsals?
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zayit shachor

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #10 on: Jun 25, 2007, 11:38 pm »
I find that I am much more hard-nosed about line notes when doing Shakespeare.  When I do contemporary plays I remind people about their lines (of course), but if they flip-flop a word or two I'm not going to beat them up.  However, with Shakespeare you can lose the integrity of a poetic line by dropping a word or adding an "O."

Agreed!

hbelden

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #11 on: Jun 26, 2007, 11:09 am »
I also highly recommend the book "All the Words on Stage: A complete pronunciation dictiionary for the plays of William Shakespeare" by Louis Scheeder and Shane Ann Younts (Smith & Krause 2002, ISBN 1-57525-214-7). 
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ScooterSM

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #12 on: Jun 28, 2007, 09:32 pm »
I would also recommend the "Arden" version of any of the plays.  It has the script on half the page, and footnotes of many of the references that aren't as contemporary.  Don't use it as a calling script, but it is an invaluable reference.
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hbelden

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #13 on: Jun 29, 2007, 02:39 pm »
I never go into a Shakespeare without owning the Arden edition of the script (3rd edition, preferably) but for a high school version of Romeo and Juliet, it might just be too confusing.  R&J has more textual variations than other plays, and you'll need to stick to the text the director gives you more than anything else.  Make sure everyone involved has the same script!

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jspeaker

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Re: SMing a Shakespeare
« Reply #14 on: Jun 29, 2007, 03:16 pm »
See I always prefer the Folger editions... but that just may be because thats where I do most of my Shakespeare!
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