Wednesday, December 15, 2010


OK, it's that time of year. 2010 is coming to a close. The holidays are here. The semester is ending. It's time to be thinking about everything we have accomplished this year and begin thinking about 2011. This is going to be my final post of the fall semester and my final post (at least for class) about the question of authenticity. My inquiry into this question of what makes an authentic performance is certainly not coming to a close ... that is a question, I'm sure, that is going to follow me for the rest of my career. And I'm okay with that.

Over the course of the semester, here are some of the criteria for authenticity that I have come across in my research or in my own responses to that research. An authentic performance must:
- be compelling. To be compelled is to feel moved.
- have an audience. Not just any audience, but a willing, imaginative, and constructive audience.
- a transmissible essence (Benjamin)
- have a voice "that is constructed and expressed visually and orally, and ... heard, perceived, and constructed" (Royster)
- have a basis in biology and in our bodies in discrete energy centers (Reidel)
- have a sense of immediacy (Reidel)

In response to my own musings about how critical the audience is, I have included a short video clip from ADK Shakespeare's production of 3 Henry VI on April 19, 2008. I wasn't able to upload the shorter clip, so please take special note of the audience between timestamp 1:06 and 1:12. Richard and Edward and talking about seeing three suns in the sky, and two audience members actually LOOK! This moment has tickled me since I first watched the video of this performance, and after this semester of research, I am finally able to say exactly why:

Greg Davies (Richard) and Michael Pauley (Edward) have drawn the audience into the story. The audience is willing to construct this imaginary world with Greg and Mike, even going so far as to look at the organ loft in order to see the three fair suns that Richard and Edward describe.

Enjoy! And thank you for a wonderful semester.

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