American Shakespeare Center Analysis

Topics: Theatre, William Shakespeare, Performance Pages: 5 (1073 words) Published: February 23, 2017


The American Shakespeare Center is a theatre troupe that attempts to very carefully emulate Shakespearean theatre and the conditions used by Shakespeare. As a troupe, they mimicked early modern English theatre quite well during their performance of Two Gentlemen of Verona. They employed the same staging, the same conditions (as much as possible with modern technology), used the same dialect and costume, scenery and set pieces were minimal, followed the original script well, included live music, and did not have a director. It was a truly an authentic performance. The differences are many having to do with hundreds of years of technological advancements. These are things such as electric lighting, women included in production, and seating.
The American Shakespeare Center “we do it with the lights on” is done in this way to mimic the experience of being an original audience member. Because of this dedication to the authenticity an audience who experiences a performance by the American Shakespeare Center experiences a play that is very different from modern plays. With the lights on the audience is part of the play and has monologues read to them instead of the monologues being read to the abyss of darkness. When Julia delivered her monologue at the end of Act four, scene one the monologue is to the audience because the actress sees the...

This aspect of Elizabethan theatre was honored by the American Shakespeare Center, but it was honored with a modern twist. The music was played before the performance and during the intermission as it would have been originally, but the music performed by the troupe was modern songs that today’s audience knew and enjoyed. This was a modern choice that greatly improved the performance and the spectacle. Had the music been reminiscent of the Elizabethan period it would not have been...
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