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How the Reduced Shakespeare Company's rendition of Shakespeare plays is a positive influence in the world of theater - Research Paper Example

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How the Reduced Shakespeare Company's rendition of Shakespeare plays is a positive influence in the world of theatre. Introduction The Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) was founded in 1981 as a pass the hat act in California. The RSC has created radio pieces, television pilots, television specials and stage shows that have received worldwide acclaim…
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How the Reduced Shakespeare Companys rendition of Shakespeare plays is a positive influence in the world of theater
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Download file to see previous pages The success of the RSC’s works can be gauged from the fact that three of their shows ran for nine straight years in the Criterion Theatre located in Piccadilly Circus. These shows have been recognised as London’s longest running comedies and have even superseded Andrew Lloyd Weber’s shows in the West End. (Reduced Shakespeare Company) The RSC has some typical methodologies for performing on stage and on adapting popular works. One technique is to abridge entire pieces of literature into manageable pieces of performance on stage. This ensures that the audience is involved in the performance. Another technique is the use of comedy within these works through improvisation and planning to make these performances more entertaining for the audience. Improvisation is a major facet of the way that the RSC conducts its stage performances. The acts are known to be highly varied from one performance to the other, even with the same cast because of the improvisation involved. (Utah Shakespearen Festival) This introduces another favourable aspect of the RSC’s performance style. The constant improvisation ensures that the performances presented are in sync with contemporary trends and styles. This ensures that the pieces of literature and theology presented by the RSC are relevant to audiences even today. In the words of Daniel Singer, the founder of the RSC, the work of the RSC helps modern audiences connect with classic literature. He contends that without such connections, classic literature and performances would turn into a “ghettoistic” culture. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Evolution The RSC’s most popular presence on stage, television and other forms of media has been The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This popular piece evolved over a number of years from various experiences and experiments. The founder of the RSC, Daniel Singer and a few other young performers were trying to create a half an hour version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet for a performance at the Novato California Renaissance Pleasure Faire. The venue where the play was staged was hot, full of dust, noisy and full of distractions. It was next to impossible to keep the audience’s attention. The performance venue was frequented by “drunken hecklers, intrusive parades and backstage confusion” in the words of David Singer. Consequently, the cast was forced to improvise extensively. This improvisation improved by a large degree as the performances proceeded. (Singer) Consequently, Daniel Singer along with Adam Long and Jess Winfield began to enact various pieces of literature in rather hilarious ways. The performances were well adapted in terms of time so that the audience did not drift away. The subject material of the piece of literature was delivered using contemporary trends in the performing arts. New trends such as the use of matinee programming, hip hop etc. were also introduced with time to keep the audience engrossed in the performance. Various works from Shakespeare were adapted including Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, Merchant of Venice, the line of dramas about England’s kings and the like. Eventually, the troupe decided to merge all of these acts into one performance. This laid the foundation for what became The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Eventually the entire lineage of Shakespeare’s work was put together and the performance was fine tuned to last a total of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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