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244Comparative Drama LoisPotterandArthurF.Kinney,eds.Shakespeare:TextandTheater.Essays inHonorofJayLHalb.Newark:UniversityofDelaware Press, 1999. Pp. 346. $49.50. In their Preface and Acknowledgments to Shakespeare: Text and Theater: Essays in Honor ofJay L. Halio, editors Lois Potter and Arthur F. Kinney announce that they wanted their collection to celebrate the full range ofJay Halio's wide professional accomplishments and values: his commitment to teaching and scholarship ,hisgenerousencouragement ofothercriticalvoices,hisinterestin textual study, and his excitement about performance. Most ofall, the editors hoped that their collection would demonstrate the vital interdependence of these remarkable qualities and interests that have shaped Halio's distinguished career. The result is a fine collection ofseparate arguments reflecting variable methods and interests ,yet simultaneously integrated into a complementarywhole vision. The collection is organized into three parts: "Texts," "Performances," and "Text and Performance."As these categories suggest, the progression ofessays moves toward more overtly synthetic critical arguments, but each essay is, in its own way, multivocal. Appropriately, the volume begins with Stanley Wells's appreciation of the tribute given (posthumously) to Shakespeare by his collaborators: the First Folio of 1623 edited by John Heminges and Henry Condell. It was also a gift to us since it made available for the first time not only an expanded canon oftexts— including eighteen previously unpublished plays—but also an invaluableglimpse into theatrical practice: how these plays might have been performed and cut. For Wells, "[t]he Folio is a tribute to Shakespeare the dramatist, and affirmation of the beliefthat his plays reached full fruition only in the theater" (27). Other contributors in this section explore the performance implications of textual evidence and vice versa. Susan Snyder looks at the beguiling problems editors—and directors—have had with "lost" characters whose names suffer from inconsistency or even erasure in the course of a playtext. Sometimes the discrepancy is a matter ofclass privilege, so characters such as Claudius in Hamlet or Duke Vincentio in Measurefor Measure, although never once referred to by name in their plays, nonetheless keep their names in the cast list, while others, like Lavatch or Robin Goodfellow, lose all trace of their individual names for generic tags like "clown" or "Puck." For Snyder, part of the problem is that editors have too often deferred without question to the textual authority of dramatis personae lists, probably created, she adds, by "someone in an editorial capacity with only a superficial acquaintance with the plays" (41). George Walton Williams ("Still Babbling of Green Fields: Mr. Greenfields and the Twenty-third Psalm") offers a delightful history of the wildly imaginative range of emendations and substitutions put to the service of solving that famous textual puzzle, from the familiar to the overingenious to the providen- Reviews245 tial. Tom Clayton looks at recent patterns ofeditorial and performance choices that have darkened A MidsummerNight's Dream so that Jan Kott's once iconoclastic readingofthis playhas nowbecome canonicalperformance, while Donald Foster, looking at the political aesthetics of canon formation and expansion, examines those often idiosyncratic editorial procedures that allow (or disallow) fragments of new or adjusted language into a Shakespearean "canon." The second group ofessays, "Performances," offers analyses that originate with an interest in performance history or performance choices, but those interests inevitably lead to the textual and ideological implications ofperformance choice. Russell Jackson, in his discussion of the rehearsal process of Kenneth Branagh's Hammersmith production of Romeo and Juliet, provides a valuable look at how the countless decisions and accidents of the rehearsal process collectively shape and reshape a performance and a text. Marvin Rosenberg, using the "nunnery" scene in Hamlet as a"laboratory," argues convincingly that these same rehearsal room practices can be used in the classroom as a teaching strategy to allow students to enter the language and, in so doing, the life ofa character , even one as taciturn and mysterious as Ophelia. H. R. Coursen, looking at the film version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, examines how such a film requires and enables a series of negotiations between different kinds of texts, not only between Stoppard's R & G and Shakespeare's Hamletbut between Stoppard's"filmed"and"theatrical"versions ofRosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. For several ofthese contributorsthe living relationship among performance, text...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1936-1637
Print ISSN
0010-4078
Pages
pp. 244-247
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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