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ENGL 3550 Feb 1.docx

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ENGL 3550
Christine Bold

 Today is the first day of black history month  Text & performance: o Genre shift:  From telling history (in written narrative) to staging, playing, performing history  Voice & physical presence o Script for performance  1993, first performance  1995, first publication  Multiple performances, all mounted differently  The America Play  Copyright page – several dates: 1993 is first performance of play – published 1995 o When you cite this text, it is 1995  Novels get reread & written about over and over again, but the actual text can be located in a particular period, but a script is much more of a moving target  Every time the show is mounted (goes up on the stage) changes happen – every time it is re-realized  She as a playwright is offering a certain latitude/range of choice to the director  We’re not all going to imagine it the same way either, which is fine!  Multiple possible performances come out of the script  Scene from Act 2 (1993) – Founding Father in his coffin, and some of the items that Brazil has dug out of the hole, some of which we saw in Act 1  How the director realizes the action, emotion & relationship that has been created  Then, same scene from 1994 production – VERY different, various iconic American figures in lanterns even though this wasn’t in the script  Student production (probably 2012) – coffin is not where he stands now, it is more of a backdrop  Both in terms of how the Deacon dresses up (52 & 66) – how he performs history, is a part of history, in parade – is very similar to what is going on in the America play – both literally & symbolically  Performance of history, which we can see as metaphorical in Sound & Fury, is both metaphorical and literal in this play  Video: Leaders on Lincoln – Suzan-Lori Parks o Lincoln’s “costume” – all the world’s a stage – saying that there is meaning and power of particular political kinds in the costume & the kind of symbolism that it takes on o “…burned itself in the imagination of the universe”  Thinking about politics & a script for performance in terms of politics, or what often gets called “political theatre”  Lincoln is the sort of crux, key point – relationship between the founding father & Lincoln – key pt that births the play into life  One reference that we might say in that stage direction from Lori Parks is the “I have a dream speech” from Martin Luther King – he gives this speech at the Lincoln memorial – overshadowed, backed, reinforced by him - kind of staging we see in the play is the kind of literal staging we see in politics  Martin Luther King,
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