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NOTES FOR PLAYING EACH OF THE PLAYS *
AS YOU LIKE IT Costumes. French of Shakespeare's own time. Elizabethan may be substituted.
Orlando and Charles may wear trunks under their upper clothes, and take off their doublets and cloaks for the wrestling scene.
When it is desirable to reduce the number of players by doubling, changes of doublet, cloak, and hat may be made. A small mustache made of crimped hair or simply drawn upon the upper lip with a black eyebrow pencil will add to the disguise. LeBeau may speak with a French accent, and Dennis should wear a tousled wig and no hat. Realistic Stage. The setting is a forest, except for Act I.
Trees on the sides almost conceal a white building * in classical style, representing Oliver's house, which may be set up at the back of the stage or painted upon a back drop curtain.
I, ii. The same building, revealed more clearly, or shifted in position, may become the ducal palace. For this scene the trees should be moved well out to the sides, so that they will not interfere with the wrestling. If the building is a set scene rather than a curtain picture, wide front steps * running almost the full width of the building will transform it and increase its dignity.
For the remainder of the play, a drop curtain picture of a forest * scene may be lowered in front of the scene of the house. The trees can be arranged more irregularly at the sides than in the first act.
Lighiing. Changes in the color and brightness of the lighting will help divide the episodes in the forest as well as distinguish the two scenes in the first act.
Scenery marked with a star should not be painted until after reference to the interchangeable scenery list, page 389. These scenes can be made to fit a number of playlets.
Elizabethan Stage. I, i, outer stage; ii, full stage — outer and inner at once. No properties.
During the intermission between the first and second acts, while the curtains conceal the inner stage, there should be set up against the back wall freshly cut boughs with green leaves on them to suggest the forest. This background may be used with the full stage for all subsequent scenes, except for the last twenty-eight lines of the second act, which in an Elizabethan production of the play should constitute a separate scene and be played upon the outer stage. Probably no one in Shakespeare's own audience would have tried to imagine just what the setting of this short scene was, though editors have usually made it a room in the palace and actors nearly always set it for the palace grounds.
Simpler Stages. The play is often produced on an outdoor stage consisting merely of a stretch of lawn underneath some trees.
On a platformn stage a single cut-out canvas or compo-board tree in the center and a green floor covering will help out wonderfully.
Music. For the simplest presentations the songs need not be sung; they can be recited with telling effect. However, music enhances the beauty of the play. The following is easily obtainable.
The songs, in one volume. (Samuel French, 28 W. 38th St., New York]. .
$0.96 Sheet music (H. W. Gray Co., 2 W. 45th St., New York): Blow, blow, thou winter wind — unison song (T. A. Arne). ...
.08 part song, S. A. T. B. (Arne and Bishop).....
.06 Under the greenwood tree unison song (Arne)..
-- glee, A. T. T. B.(Arne and Bishop) .08 What shall he have that killed the deer? glee and chorus, A. T. T. B. (Bishop).
.08 Orchestral scene, The Forest of Arden - piano duet (H. Gadsby)......
4.00 The playlet may end with a dance, if so desired.
SHYLOCK Costumes. Some of the English costumes of the sixteenth century, particularly with the snug-fitting Venetian trousers, closely
approximated the Italian. Elizabethan costumes should be satisfactory.
Shylock wears a long, loose-fitting robe, and Tubal a similar . costume. Portia, for the doctor's costume, may wear the cap
used for graduation exercises at colleges.
Jessica must wear the boy's costume under her costume as a girl, since she has a quick change to make while the stage is darkening following the departure of Shylock for the banquet.
Realistic Stage. At the back a scene may be set for Shylock's house* (II), with a front door which can be used, and steps.
Painted drop curtains to be used in front of the set scene may show:
V, i. Front wall of a great hall * of justice. This scene may be made very elaborate, if desired, by placing an elevated platform, * the full width of the stage, in front of the drop, with broad steps* nearly the same width, leading up to it.
V, ii. A seat for Lorenzo and Jessica, a narrow roadway or avenue behind it, represented by a floor covering of brown, and behind that the foliage of hedge,* vines,* or trees, * which almost conceals Portia's house — the same set as used in II, but without the steps.
The sides of the stage throughout may be inconspicuous, say screens of neutral gray, which assume the color of the lights used for the different scenes. An archway can be cut through the screen L., and a dark background placed behind it.
Lighting. Red light is often used to suggest evening; blue can be used for night.
Curtain Stage. The rounded top of the arched entrance L. (I, ii) can be produced by pinning the bottom of the short curtains up around a heavy pasteboard form. A single step, or better an oblong platform 4 inches high, covered with gray cloth, and placed in front of the open entrance back center will sufficiently suggest Shylock's house. A chair draped with a rich rug or hanging will suggest the luxury of Portia's home. The same chair, draped with richly colored cloth and placed in the center of the back stage may suggest the ducal chair of state. A common bench draped with burlap or gray cloth may represent the garden seat (V, ii).
Elizabethan Stage. The street scenes may all be played before the curtain, on the outer stage. The inner stage may be set first with chairs for the room in Portia's house, and then during the intermission preceding V, i with furniture for the court room and during the intermission preceding V, ii with boughs to suggest the trees that line the avenue leading to Portia's house.
When the inner stage is set thus to localize a setting in an Elizabethan production, the actors need not confine their exits and entrances or other stage movements to the inner stage, but may move freely over the whole stage. The object of the Elizabethan curtain between outer and inner stages was not to cut the stage in two but to conceal the properties and scenery of the inner stage when changes were being made or when the suggestion of a definite location seemed impracticable. Music. Songs for The Merchant of Venice, in one volume (French),
$0.96. Sheet music [H. W. Gray Co.]: How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank part song, S. A. T. B. (D. Emlyn Evans). .
.08 eight-part song (Eaton Fanning)
.15 Let me play the fool part song, A. T. T. B. (C. Pinsuti).. ..
.30 Tell me where is fancy bred part song, S. A. T. B. (Pinsuti) .15
Instrumental music may be derived from the above songs.
A light dance movement may suggest the mask when Lorenzo comes for Jessica.
BRUTUS AND CASSIUS
Costumes. Ancient Roman.
The toga may be worn in the first three acts for every one except the boy Lucius, who appears in a short tunic, and Octavius' servant, who appears in uniform.
With the fourth act, the costumes change to full armor. As this marks also the introduction of doubling (if doubling is necessary), the change in appearance of the actors will probably disarm criticism of the substitutions of parts.
The metal parts of the armor, if the costumes are homemade, can be of pasteboard or of felt, and coated with aluminum paint "radiator" paint. Gray lining has an appearance suggesting metal, and can be used as a base for the armor costumes. Helmets and swords, especially, are better if obtained from the costumer.
Sateen can be used for the togas, and a gold stripe painted on it with radiator paint, or a red or purple stripe with kalsomine or oil. Cæsar's toga should be Roman purple, with a gold stripe. Brutus, as prætor, was also entitled to wear a purple toga. The Roman purple, however, was almost the same color as we now call crimson.
In order to save time between the third and fourth acts, where the change in costume takes place, it may be well for the characters to wear their armor under their togas during the first three acts.
Realistic Stage. Drop curtains may be used for all the scenes, but if any scene is set up, it should probably be the platform* used between the steps* and the drop of the Capitol building, to represent an area way (III, i) or the platform from which Antony delivers the oration (III, ii).
I. A Roman street.
III, ii. The Roman Forum. If a platform has been set up, it should fit snugly before the drop of the Capitol building (III, i), but several yards from the drop of the Forum (III, ii). If the cast is small, Antony may speak down into the space between, where the stage crowd
may be hidden from the audience — practically all of the cast taking part in the hubbub that accompanies the oration.
IV. A plain. Brutus' tent may be pitched on the right hand side of the stage. The tent door is open. Roman tents were round.
Lighting. For the garden scene, blue, which, if desired, may change to purple and finally into the rosy color of dawn. For the scene in which Cæsar's apparition appears, the red light of evening should change to blue just before the ghost appears. A dimmer may be used to vary the intensity of the lights in the last act. The lights should be blue and white when the victorious generals appear.
Simpler Stages. The steps and raised platform may be dispensed with for both the scene at the Capitol and the oration, but, if for the