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Title:A decade of "Hamlet": 1965-75
Author(s):Coates, James Edward
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Literature, English
Abstract:The stage history of William Shakespeare's Hamlet spans nearly four centuries. This dissertation focuses on one recent decade, 1965-75, by examining major professional productions of the play and major adaptations of the script which appeared during this time. The study aims first to synthesize and update data concerning performances, productions, and alterations of Hamlet and, second, to analyze this body of information for determining the extent to which it parallels or deviates from the formative trends of the decade.
Hamlet in particular merits investigation because of its universal appeal, its capacity to accommodate a divergence of acting styles, and its potential both as a constant and as a barometer in the examination of theatre practices of a given time. The heritage of Hamlet production establishes a foundation from which to compare and contrast the acting styles of each age as represented by those who have approached the title part.
The long stage life of Hamlet--some scholars conjecture that it is produced more often than any other play--provides an excellent constant through which to view the evolution of staging innovations as well as the brevity of fads. Ergo, by tracing the features, common and unique, of the professional productions of Hamlet in a given period of time, e.g., a decade, the trained observer should be able to define with some specificity the major trends in theatre practices for that period.
This study contains four chapters with two appendices. Chaper 1, to set the scene, gives an account of the major Hamlet productions of 1963-64. Chapter 2 describes some characteristics of fifteen major professional productions of Hamlet attributed to nine selected professional actors who appeared in the role between 1965 and 1975. Chapter 3 covers seven script adaptations published between 1965 and 1975. Conclusions are drawn in the final chapter. Appendix A lists, in chronological order, production information for many professional and selected educational theatre productions of Hamlet from the decade. Appendix B catalogues, in bibliographic form, selected published sources which contain photographs from over four dozen of the decade's productions of Hamlet.
Issue Date:1984
Description:393 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502110
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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