Mainstage (Fall 2013)
Shakespeare in Hollywood by Ken Ludwig
Directed by Sheila Hickey Garvey
Directed by Sheila Hickey Garvey
Performance Dates: October 11,15,16,17,18,19@ 8pm
October 12,13,20 @ 2pm
** For additional information about Shakespeare in Hollywood see below**
October 12,13,20 @ 2pm
** For additional information about Shakespeare in Hollywood see below**
Kendall Drama Lab
Student Directed One Acts
Cancelled for this semester
Cancelled for this semester
Mainstage (Spring 2014)
by Greg Kotis
Directed & Choreograpahed by Larry Nye
Performance Dates: Feb 28, March 1,6,7,8 @8pm
March 2,9 @2pm
Performance Dates: Feb 28, March 1,6,7,8 @8pm
March 2,9 @2pm
Kendall Drama Lab
Circle Mirror Transformation
by Annie Baker
Directed by Kaia Monroe Rarick
Performance Dates: April 29, 30, May 1,2,3 @8pm
May 4th @ 2pm
Tickets: $10 General Public, $5 Senior Citizens, Alumni/Students & SCSU Faculty/Staff with ID
Seating: General Admission. Call the Lyman Box Office @ 392-6154 or go online to http://tickets.southernct.edu/
Seating: General Admission. Call the Lyman Box Office @ 392-6154 or go online to http://tickets.southernct.edu/
** GLOSSARY ITEMS: Shakespeare in Hollywood**
Oberon: The mythical king of the forest in Shakespeare play "A Midsummer
Night's Dream". In the Reinhardt movie he is played by the actor Victor Jory
who quit during the filming but later returned to fulfill his contract obligation.
In Shakespeare play Oberon is neither a good nor bad god but a powerful,
sometimes fickle creature who works his magic as suits his whims. In the play
Shakespeare in Hollywood Oberon's real life prototype is the actor Errol Flynn
who was said to be in love with the actress Olivia de Havilland (Shakespeare in
Hollywood's Olivia Darnell). Flynn played opposite de Havilland in many
adventure films during the 1930's. Flynn was handsome, dashing, a master
swordsman and athlete and he was especially adored by his female audiences.
Best reference - see The Adventures of Robin Hood filmed in 1938. In it Flynn
plays Robin Hood and de Havilland plays Maid Marion. (we have a copy of the
movie in the theatre department collection). It is not available on U-TUBE. But
Reinhardt's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is on U-TUbe.)
Puck is Oberon's slave and a mythical sprite of the forest from Shakespeare
play "A Midsummer Night's Dream". In the Reinhardt
movie he is played by the actor Mickey Rooney (see below) who broke his leg
during the filming of the movie and had to missseveral weeks of film until he was able to walk again.
Pg. 1: Grauman's Chinese Theater
Known for its prestigious history, elaborate architecture, and the footprints and hand prints of various celebrities on its sidewalk, the theater operates as a regular cinema and has since 1927. The theater was built by Sid Grauman with architect Raymond Kennedy, and is modeled after a Chinese pagoda. The decoration on the interior also features Asian motifs—a Chinese chandelier, dragons,and various statues and friezes. The auditorium seats 2,200 and has four opera boxes for celebrities and other VIP's. The name of the theater was changed in the 1970s to the Mann Chinese
Theater, when Ted Mann purchased it, but was changed back to the
original name when it was purchased by Warner Brothers and
Paramount. It hosted many movie premieres, and was home to the
Academy Awards in the 1940s.
In 1914, Louella Parsons wrote the first movie gossip column in the
United States for the Chicago Record-Herald. Ahead of her time,
Parsons lost that job, moved to New York to write a similar column,
and was soon working for the William Randolph Hearst paper New
York American. She moved to Los Angeles in 1925 and began
writing for the Los Angeles Examiner, another Hearst paper. She
gained quick success, and her column ran in over 600 newspapers
across the country, with a readership of over twenty million people.
She also hosted radio programs promoting stars and their upcoming
projects. By 1935, Parsons had become an enormous influence in
Hollywood, with an uncanny ability to scoop other columnists. In
1937, however, struggling actress Hedda Hopper was hired as a
gossip columnist for a rival paper, and although Parsons and Hopper
had previously been friendly, their new rivalry deteriorated into an
all-out feud. Still, Parsons continued writing her column until 1965.
She died at the age of 91, and now has two stars on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and one for radio.
× 891 - willmckinley.wordpress.com
At the time he appeared in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dick
Powell was a boyish tenor usually featured in Warner Brothers
musicals, often opposite Ruby Keeler. He joined Warner Brothers as
a contract actor in 1932, and quickly filmed a number of
"backstage" musicals including 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, and
Gold Diggers of 1933. He was a true "crooner" of the time,
generally playing the part of a handsome, innocent and wellintentioned
youth. Just prior to Midsummer, Powell had appeared in
Broadway Gondolier, a film about a cab driver (Powell) who dreams
of becoming a radio singer. However, Gold Diggers of 1935, a
bigger movie, was also released earlier that same year. Frustrated
by the monotony of his type-cast roles, Powell was thrilled with
non-singing parts like Lysander in Midsummer. As he aged, he
managed to broaden his range to include film noir, thrillers and
crime films, portraying the tough-guy leads in movies like Murder,
My Sweet and Johnny O'Clock. He also became a director and a
producer in his later years, and was the head of Four Star
Television, before dying of stomach cancer in 1963.
× 480 - librarising.com
Born Anita Louise Fremault, Anita began her film career as a child,
appearing with Walter Hampden in the Broadway production of
Peter Ibbetson, followed by silent films like The Sixth
Commandment (1924) and Square Shoulders (1929). She later
graduated to wide-eyed innocents and ingenue roles in the early
1930s, before playing her first 'adult' role as Marie Antoinette in
Madame Du Barry (1934). After Midsummer, she played secondary
female leads in a string of films, including The Story of Louis
Pasteur, in which she played Pasteur's daughter, but never become
a top ranked star. She joined Columbia in the 1940s (the studio's
head Harry Cohn noted "we get them going up and coming down"),
and in the 50s turned to television, starring in My Friend Flicka as
Johnny Washbrook's mother Nell McLaughin.
× 295 - en.wikipedia.org
Raised in Yorkville, New York, Cagney started off his career as a
song and dance man in vaudeville and on Broadway, before getting
his big break in the Warner Brothers film The Public Enemy (1931),
playing gangster Tom Powers. Cagney was instantly launched into
stardom, and was featured as a hoodlum in a chain of hugely
popular gangster movies. He appeared in over 20 pictures before
being cast as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a decision
critics disagreed on: some believed Cagney completely miscast,
while others considered it a surprising but inspired choice.
Immediately prior to Midsummer, Cagney had appeared in Frisco
Kid, in which he played Bat Morgan, an opportunist who rises to
fame and wealth on the Barbary Coast after killing a famous crime
lord. Cagney's appeal was broad. Joan Blondell described him this
way: "His hair was a Van Gogh, Renoir, Titian red, with blobs of gold
weaving through. His eyes were delft blue, fringed with the
longest, thickest lashes I've ever seen," but Darryl Zanuck thought
differently: "Women love bums," he explained. Cagney was not
always happy at Warner Brothers; he and Jack Warner constantly
fought over work conditions, roles and paychecks. But he stayed
with Warners for many years, going on to make many non-gangster
films, like Yankee Doodle Dandy in 1942. Cagney was never truly
able to shed his "tough guy" image, however. He died of a heart
attack at the age of 86.
Max Reinhardt was one of the first major directors in the current
sense of the term, and undoubtedly the most famous in the world
in 1935. His first great success was a production of A Midsummer
Night's Dream in Berlin in 1905. This became his favorite play: he
called it "an invitation to escape reality, a plea for the glorious
release to be found in sheer fantasy" and directed it 29 more
times, in 18 cities in Europe and the U.S., in addition to filming it
for Warner Brothers. Nicknamed "The Great Magician" for his
stagecraft, Reinhardt has been called "perhaps the most versatile
director the theatre has seen" for the ease with which he moved
between styles of plays and stagings that ranged from the intimate
(Ibsen's Ghosts with a stage design by Edvard Munch) to the epic
(Everyman at the Salzburg Festival – which he founded – or
Midsummer in the Hollywood Bowl). He had an immense influence
on stage and theater design, created the contemporary notion of
repertory theater and the idea of theaters housing multiple stages
of different sizes and configurations for different styles of plays
and productions, and helped create the 20th century standard of
Shakespearean production and acting. His Berlin theaters were
confiscated by the Nazis after they took power in 1933; he worked
in his native Vienna for a year before moving to the U.S. While his
film of A Midsummer Night's Dream is star-studded, it does not
compare to the "dream cast" he initially wanted, which included
Charlie Chaplin as Bottom, Greta Garbo as Titania, Joan Crawford
as Hermia, Fred Astaire as Puck, and (perhaps most enticing to
imagine) W.C. Fields playing Flute and, of course, Thisbe.
Pg. 2: "I'm young and healthy, and you've got chaaaarm!": Dick Powell is
singing "Young and Healthy" from 42nd Street. Powell was in the
film version in 1933, in which he played the role of the male
ingenue in the musical being directed by Warner Baxter. In the film,
he repeatedly helps the heroine, a newcomer to show business, get
through her audition and champions her as a replacement when the
star breaks her ankle the night before the show opens.
Pg. 3: Jack Warner and Warner Brothers Pictures
The Warner Brothers story begins in 1903, when Sam, Jack and
Rose Warner, using a moving picture projector Sam bought off of
his old employer, first showed moving picture entertainments
between the acts of traveling shows in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Children of impoverished parents, the Warner siblings tried
numerous stints to help support the family, but nothing suited them
like moving pictures. During these early motion picture showings,
gaps between pictures were often filled by Jack, singing and
dancing in his young soprano voice, under the name Leon Zuardo.
Sometimes the siblings used Jack's less-than-stunning act to clear
out the house between shows. Brothers Sam, Jack, Albert and
Harry moved on from Pennsylvania, gradually claiming their place
as legitimate Hollywood producers. With the help of dog turned
pop-culture icon Rin-Tin-Tin, by the mid-1920s Warner Brothers
had became one of the major, but still second tier, Hollywood
What really launched Warners, and established its place alongside
Paramount and Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), was the talking
picture. Sound was long regarded as a pipe dream by movie
makers, but in 1927, Warner Brothers announced the first major
talking picture: The Jazz Singer, with Al Jolson. Tragically, Sam
Warner, one of the major champions of sound, died the day before
the movie's premier. Jack, dominant in the company from the
beginning, took an even more authoritative position after Sam's
death, solidifying his reputation as an unrelenting boss. Actors,
writers, cameramen, musicians and directors worked long hard
days and at least six days a week. Employees and artists were
hired and fired almost as quickly as movies were turned out. The
success that Vitaphone brought Warner Brothers, along with Jack's
tough but superb management, allowed the company to buy First
National studios in 1929.
By the 1930s, Warner Brothers was a major player in Hollywood,
with a distinct style both on and off the screen. The studio pushed
through the Depression with a furious work ethic, tough
management, and brilliant writers, actors and directors. Under the
dominant direction of Production Head Darryl Zanuck, and, after
1933, Hal Wallis, Warner Brothers movies were turned out at an
astonishing pace. Employees were paid less and worked longer
hours, and budgets for movies were relatively small; it was "the
only major lot that was run on a quickie lot's budget," according to
Ethan Mordden. Still, the company paid attention to the quality of
its films; Warners wasn't content producing the king of flashy,
sensational pictures that other studios were known for. Its movies
were consistently more honest, cynical and intelligent.
Warners specialized in gangster movies. While other studios
realized the popularity of the genre and produced them as well,
only Warners had the true grit and the city smarts to make firstclass
movies like Little Caesar and The Public Enemy (both in
1931). James Cagney, who engaged in frequent arguments with
Jack Warner over the low pay and long hours typical at Warners,
was the foremost star of this genre: a tough, streetwise hoodlum.
Like most other studios, Warner Brothers also made musicals.
Featuring crooners like Dick Powell and elaborate choreography,
often by Busby Berkeley, films like 42nd Street (1933) and Gold
Diggers (in three versions: 33, 35 and 37) were some of Warners'
biggest hits of the 30s. Finally, Warners was known for its "prestige
pictures": biographical films, epic adventure stories, and
screenplays adapted from literature. A Midsummer Night's Dream,
under accomplished directors Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle,
was among the earliest of these prestige pictures, which also
included films like the costume adventure Caption Blood (1935)
with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland and The Life of Emile Zola
(1937), with Dieterle directing.
Darryl: The producer Darryl Zanuck began his career at Warner
Brothers, where he became Head of Production in the late 20s,
earning as much as $5,000 per week. He was Jack Warner's righthand
man in terms of keeping directors within budget, but seems to
have been anything but a "yes man," and had quit Warner's, in a
dispute over salary cuts, in 1933.
Pg. 4: Adolph Zukor at Paramount: (1873-1976) Born in Hungry, Zukor
became one of the most important movie moguls of all time. He
formed Famous Players Studio in 1912, which then merged with
Lasky Feature Play Company to become Famous Players-Lasky
Corporation: finally the name Paramount was acquired. Zukor
served as President until 1935, at which time he became chairman
of the board, and then chairman emeritus, until his death at 103.
For some reason, his nickname was "Creeping Jesus."
Pg. 5: Photoplay Magazine
Founded in Chicago in 1911, Photoplay was one of the first film fan
magazines and was one of the most popular in the country by the
early 1920s. Articles had titles like "Certainly It's True That a
Chorus Girl Learns a lot About Acting," and
"Ladies in Hades." Photoplay also gave out awards, first called
Medals of Honor and then Gold Medals, which were given out for
best movie and favorite stars. (See pictures of Photoplay covers in
Warner starlets: Among them: Joan Blondell, who made her debut
in the 1930 Warners movie Sinner's Holiday with James Cagney.
She was later married to Dick Powell for ten years. Redhead Anne
Sheridan played small roles in Paramount movies before signing
with Warner Brothers in 1936. Warners' publicity machine called
her the "Oomph" girl. Bette Davis, who regularly fought with Jack
Warner, was a major Warners star who played a great variety of
roles. Olivia de Haviland, who played Hermia in Midsummer, was
cast as the beautiful heroine in such Warners movies as Captain
Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, and The Adventures of
Robinhood. Ann Dvorak played a variety of roles—conventional
heroines, ill-fated ladies, dancers—for Warner features in the
1930s. The stoic, throaty-voiced Kay Francis played opposite
William Powell in One Way Passage, and was cast as Florence
Nightingale in The White Angel. Ruby Keeler was the sweetheart of
Warners' 1930s musicals, often playing opposite Dick Powell in
such movies as 42nd Street. Jean Muir, who played Helena in
Midsummer, was the leading lady in many 1930s Warner films,
including Son of a Sailor with Joe E. Brown and Stars Over
Broadway. Barbara Stanwyck was known for her no-nonsense
demeanor and played the wronged girl in many 1930s Warner films.
Loretta Young was a major Warners star in the early 30s, before
leaving the studio for Fox in 1933.
Warner historical action pics
Warners was known for its epic adventure movies and costume
dramas, often starring Errol Flynn. These included Captain Blood, a
1935 adaptation of Rafael Sabatini's novel about Pirate Captain
Peter Blood, starring Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (fresh from her
debut in Midsummer), and featuring duels and the commandeering
of a ship. The next Flynn picture was The Charge of the Light
Brigade (1936), about British soldiers in India during in the midnineteenth
century, also with de Havilland and loosely based on the
Tennyson poem. Both Caption Blood and Light Brigade featured
elaborate battle scenes and even more elaborate period costumes.
Flynn and de Havilland once again starred in The Adventures of
Robin Hood in 1938
French Foreign Legion pics, and Lydia's quote "Oh Major Waverly...
How will I ever get back to my ancestral home in Dundee,
Scotland?": ex of a French Foreign Legion film: Beau Geste (1939)
Although Lydia says it's a "French Foreign Legion" film, the
dialogue and names sound more appropriate to the action films
glorifying the British colonials in India that starred Errol Flynn: The
Charge of the Light Brigade (1936, with Olivia de Haviland as the
enperiled White Woman) and Gunga Din (1939, with Joan Fontaine).
Gangster pics (in the style of "Gun Moll Mama," "Hold My Pistol"):
Warner Brothers was "the" studio for gangster films in the 30s,
having pioneered the genre with Little Caesar and The Public
Enemy. (see more info above, in the Warner Brothers entry)
Madame Curie/Dr. Mendel: There were two major Mendels that
Lydia could be referring to: Felix Mendel (1862-1925), who came
up with the test for TB sensitivity, and Gregor Mendel
(1822-1884), famous for his experiments in genetics. Neither
worked with Curie (1867-1934), who is best known for her work on
radium. Penicillin was discovered by the team of Alexander
Fleming, Ernst Chain and Howard Florey. (If you're interested, you
can play the "Discovery of the Penicillin Game" at HYPERLINK
nobelprize.org/medicine/educational/penicillin/) MGM actually made a movie called Madame Curie in 1943, directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
Louis Pasteur/bio pics
Warner Brothers picture The Story of Louis Pasteur, released in
1936. Directed by William Dieterle, starring Paul Muni as Pasteur,
Josephine Hutchinson as Marie Pasteur and Anita Louise as Annette
Pasteur. Produced in 1935, it won the 1937 Oscars for best
original story, best screenplay and best actor (Paul Muni) as well as
being nominated for best picture. Dieterle/Muni also directed/
starred in The Life of Emile Zola, produced in1937.
Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist famous for
developing the process of pasteurizing, as well as for his work on
germ theory and inoculation.
Pg.8: Warner Brothers (Jack, Sam, Albert, Harry)
The personalities of the four brothers were described by Jack
Warner, Jr. in the following way:
"It is difficult to think of these men as having been brothers, so
different were they one from the other. Harry, the oldest, so
serious, moralistic, hopeful that movies would be used primarily to
educate and uplift humanity. Sam, full of fun and ever seeking to
win friends and be where he could make things happen. His early
death, and that of Harry's son, Lewis, changed the brothers'
course. Abe, easygoing and calm in storms, was perhaps the
brother who most enjoyed life... Then there was Jack, the most
complex and confounding of all the brothers... His was the
anguished story of a man driven by fear, ambition, and the quest
for absolute power and control-the little brother telling the big boys
he saw as his tormentors to go to hell."
"Stick to your last": "[Shoemaker,] stick to your last"-apparently
equivalent to Latin "ne supra crepidum sutor," found in Pliny the
Elder's Naturalis Historia, book 35, chapter 36, in which a
shoemaker is reprimanded for criticizing another man's leg while
his area of specialty is shoes/feet. A way of paraphrasing would be
"stick to what you know." A "last" was "a shoemaker's block
shaped like a foot." Edward Moore was an 18th century English
playwright, the above quote comes from The Spider and the Bee,
Pg. 10 Mankiewicz/Morrison: There were two Mankiewicz brothers:
Herman and Joseph. Herman (1897-1953) was a legendary
screenwriter, having won an Oscar with Orson Welles for the
screenplay of Citizen Kane. He was also known for his work on
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Pride of the Yankees. Joseph L.
Mankiewicz (1909-1993) was also a well-known screenwriter, as
well as a director and producer. He wrote over forty-eight
screenplays: his most memorable work is his Oscar winning
screenplay for All About Eve. In 1953, he did try his hand at
cinematic Shakespeare, directing a film version of Julius Caesar
starring James Mason, John Gielgud, and Marlon Brando as Mark
Morrison is an invention of Ken Ludwig's.
Pg. 11 Puck: "swift as shadow, brief as lightning in the collied night:"
a paraphrase of something Lysander says to Hermia in Midsummer
1.1. "Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, Brief as the lightning
in the collied night"
Oberon: Wither wander you, spirit?
Puck: "Over hill, over dale": Opening lines of Midsummer 2.1. In
Shakespeare in Hollywood, Oberon speaks Puck's line, while Puck
speaks the First Fairy's.
Pg. 12 Johnny Weissmuller
× 620 - acertaincinema.com
Austrian-born American swimmer and actor. He won 5 Olympic
gold medals and one bronze in swimming, and 52 US National
Championships, and played Tarzan in 12 motion pictures in the 30s
Oberon's "we are such stuff as dreams are made on": The
Tempest, 4.1 ("and our little life is rounded by a sleep")
Pg. 13 Puck's "aye, there's the rub": Hamlet, "to be or not to be"
Oberon's "coddle-pated, lack-brained, thick-eyed...": This plays
upon Shakespeare's fondness for piling insults upon each other.
"Three-suited" appears in King Lear, in what is supposed to be the
longest Shakespearean insult: "A HYPERLINK "/index.pl?
node=knave" knave, a HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=rascal"rascal, an
eater of broken meats, a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, threesuited,
action-taking, HYPERLINK "/index.pl? node=whoreson"
whoreson glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=rogue"
rogue; one-trunk-inheriting HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=slave"
slave; one that wouldst be a HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=bawd"
bawd in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, HYPERLINK "/index.pl? node=beggar" beggar, HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=coward"coward, HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=pander" pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=bitch" bitch, one whom I will
beat into clamorous HYPERLINK "/index.pl?node=whining" whining if
thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition." No more brain than
a Christian is a paraphrase of Andrew Aguecheek's "no more wit
than a Christian" in Twelfth Night, used to describe himself.
Pg. 14 Oberon's "But who comes here?": Midsummer, 2.1 (Oberon
says this as Demetrius and Helena enter)
Pg. 15 Laurence Olivier: In 1935, Olivier had just had his
breakthrough stage performance in the West End production of
Romeo and Juliet. His film career did not pick up until 1939 with
Wuthering Heights. Prior to this, Olivier's American film debuts in
Friends and Lovers and The Yellow Ticket (both 1931), were not
well received. He also played Orlando in the 1936 film version of As
You Like It, which was re-released in 1949 under the tagline
"today's most lauded and applauded star..." He spent most of the
1930s in England as one of the leading stage actors. Beginning with
Henry V in 1944, Olivier produced, directed, and starred in a series
of films of Shakespeare plays which were the benchmark until the
revival of Shakespearean cinema in the 1990s following Kenneth
Branagh's film of (ironically?) Henry V.
Pg. 17 Oberon's "O brave new world...": The Tempest, 5.1
Puck's "I go, I go": Midsummer, 3.2
Pg. 19 Olivia's bio: Here Olivia almost parallels Olivia de Havilland's
experience. DeHavilland played Puck in a production with the Saratoga Community
Players (where Reinhardt discovered her), and she wanted to play
Puck in the Hollywood Bowl production, but was cast instead as
Hermia's understudy there, taking over the part when the first
actress, Gloria Stuart, dropped out of the production.
"until this century, Puck was always a girl"
While in the earliest productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Puck was played by an adult male, in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, the role was generally played by a female. In Charles
Kean's 1856 production, a very young Ellen Terry played Puck,
making her first entrance sitting cross-legged on a mushroom. The
German writer Theodor Fontane found Terry "an altogether
intolerable, precocious, spoiled, unchild-like child, raised in an
English manner to be old before her years." But it was not unusual
for an adult woman to play the role of Puck either: Frederic
Reynolds's 1816 operatic Midsummer at Covent Garden used a
woman in the role, as well as the famous 1840 Lucia Elizabeth
Vestris production. Although boys had appeared as Puck in several
19th century productions, Granville Barker's 1914 production was
unusual in that Donald Calthrop, an adult male, played Puck.
Also, after Vestris took on the role of Oberon in 1840, the part
"was played by a woman in every major English and American
production of the play until 1914, with one exception," according
to Gary Jay Williams in Our Moonlight Revels.
Pg. 20 Victor Jory
× 201 - en.wikipedia.org
Jory was born in Yukon Territory in 1902, attended high school in
California, and then joined the Coast Guard. He toured with theater
troupes and appeared on Broadway before making his film debut in
1930 in Renegades, a film about a desert patrol fighting off villains
among the sand dunes. Before Midsummer, Jory mostly appeared in
Westerns, usually playing villains, which makes it appropriate that
he usually appears on horseback in the film.
Oberon's "When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees" Merchant
of Venice, 5.1, Spoken by Lorenzo to Jessica
Pg. 21 Oberon's "Just speak the speech" Hamlet's instruction to the
Pg. 22-24 Midsummer lines, 1.1, lines spoken by Hermia: first to
Theseus, and then to
Pg. 24 Oberon's "Upon your words..." Antony and Cleopatra, 1.3,
Cleopatra to Antony. Actual text is "upon your sword..."
Pg. 26-28 Will Hays/Production Code/Legion of Decency
The end of World War I and controversies over Wilson's League of
Nations left Americans bitter, disillusioned, and longing for
diversion. In Hollywood, which became known as the country's
"movie capital" in the early 1900s, stars and producers were
misbehaving on and off the screen, much to the delight of
newspaper moguls, tabloid writers, and their loyal readers. Off
screen, Hollywood gained a reputation for partying, drinking and
bacchanalian behavior of every kind, with cases such as Fatty
Arbuckle's trial for rape and manslaughter of a young actress and
the murder of director William Desmond Taylor grabbing the
headlines. While the "new morality" of the Jazz Age was present in
American culture, its spirit seemed particularly pronounced in the
movie industry. On screen, sex and violence took up a new
prominence in films such as Exclusive Rights (1926) a crime story
that ends with an execution, and The Dancer of Paris (1926) which
includes a strip scene (The New York Times called star Dorothy
Mackaill "fetchingly underdressed.")
While Hollywood's reaction to the turmoil of war was moral abandon
and escapism, other sections of American society wanted to
defend traditional values. Warren G. Harding won the Presidency,
promising the country a "return to normalcy." Working for Harding
was a wiry Hoosier named Will H. Hays, an unusual figure who asked
photographers to use an "ear-reducing lens" when taking photos of
him, and who in 1922 became the first President of the newlyformed
Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America.
Government and religious institutions were making it clear that they
would not stand for what they perceived as a moral landslide in
Hollywood, and this new organization was formed by the movie
industry for the purposes of self-censorship, to avoid imminent
regulations from outside forces.
During the 20s, Hays was mostly ineffective in enforcing selfcensorship
on the movie studios. While he tried to claim that the
movie industry was "cleaning up," filmmakers of the time weren't
willing to abide by the "Don't and Be Carefuls" that the Hays Office
promoted, especially with the advent of talking pictures. And
although Harding's administration and the "Ohio gang" were roiled
in actual scandal and corruption worse than much of the fictional
corruption seen in the movies, an explosion of public anger was
aimed at the new talkies. "Silent smut had been bad, vocal smut
cried to the censors for vengeance," claimed Jesuit Priest Daniel
With various states drawing up their own censorship bills, making
wide distribution difficult, Hollywood needed a more effective tool
to enforce industry-wide standards and satisfy those clamoring
against "smut." In 1930, a new Production Code was announced,
with Daniel Lord as one of the main authors. Due to pressure from
the Catholic Legion of Decency (which called on all Catholics to
boycott the movies), the code was followed by an agency meant to
enforce it—the Production Code Administration, headed by the
Hays Office and led by Catholic Journalist Joseph Breen, a
Philadelphian hired in 1934. The Production Code (later known as
the Hays Code) had no legal authority, but because studios agreed
that they would not distribute a non-approved movie, a picture
without the seal of the Hays Office had no hope of success.
Among the code's strict stipulations:
"no picture shall be produced which will lower the moral
standards of those who see it"
"law—divine, natural, or human—shall not be ridiculed"
"the sanctity of the institution of marriage and home shall be
In a possibly inaccurate but certainly amusing story, Jack Warner
was supposedly very upset when he first read about the Production
Code. During an argument about it with brother Harry, Jack read a
section from the code: "Authority to exhibit films in America will be
denied if there is any long tongue-involved kissing". Jack's
response: "Hell, I know, I'll just fire every actor with a long tongue."
The code held sway over movie producers for years, until the
mid-1960s, when it was replaced by the modern movie rating
system. While the Production Code greatly restricted moviemakers,
its effects were not entirely negative. Among the code's
outcomes: the genre of screwball comedy.
Oberon's "Have patience and endure" Much Ado About Nothing,
4.1. Spoken by the Friar to Hero
Oberon's "Do you insult me? Call me villain?" Hamlet, 2.2
Pg. 27 "Selling apples": In 1930, several men in the produce
business gathered together a fund of $10,000 so that they would
be able to sell apples to unemployed people at a rate below the
market value, so that these people would be able to resell the
apples and earn a bit of a living. The apples were sold to the
unemployed for $2 a crate, typically on credit. There was a lot of
sympathy for these new apple sellers, although a vendor's license
was normally required to sell on the street, the cases of 7 apple
sellers were dropped and no one else would be found guilty for
selling without a license.
Taken from: HYPERLINK http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/
us_history_1929_1945/113591 Oberon: "like Niobe, turned to stone": A mortal woman in
HYPERLINK "/wiki/Greek_mythology" Greek mythology, Niobe, daughter of HYPERLINK "/wiki/Tantalus" Tantalus and either HYPERLINK "/wiki/Euryanassa" Euryanassa, HYPERLINK "/wiki/Eurythemista"Eurythemista, HYPERLINK "/wiki/Clytia"Clytia,
HYPERLINK "/wiki/Dione_%28mythology%29"Dione, or HYPERLINK "/wiki/Laodice"
Laodice, and the wife of HYPERLINK "/wiki/Amphion"Amphion, boasted of her superiority to HYPERLINK "/wiki/Leto"Leto because she had fourteen children (Niobids), seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. HYPERLINK "/wiki/
Apollo"Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, with the last begging for his life (Apollo would have spared his life, but had already released the arrow), and HYPERLINK "/wiki/Artemis"Artemis, her daughters. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned
arrows to kill them, though according to some versions a number of
the Niobids were spared (HYPERLINK "/wiki/Chloris"Chloris, usually).
Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was
killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. A devastated Niobe fled to
HYPERLINK "/wiki/Mount_Sipylus"Mount Sipylus in HYPERLINK "/
wiki/Asia_Minor"Asia Minor and turned into stone as she wept, or
committed suicide. Her tears formed the river HYPERLINK "/wiki/
Achelous"Achelous. Zeus had turned all the people of HYPERLINK "/
wiki/Thebes_%28Greece%29"Thebes to stone and so no one
buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the
gods themselves entombed them.
Mount Sipylus has a carving of a female face on it that the locals
claimed was Niobe, though it was probably originally intended to be
HYPERLINK "/wiki/Cybele"Cybele. The rock appears to weep because it is porous HYPERLINK "/wiki/Limestone"limestone and rainwater seeps through the HYPERLINK "/wiki/Pore"pores. Shakespeare mentions Niobe twice in his plays: Hamlet, in his "O,
that this too, too solid (or "sullied") flesh would melt" soliloquy, refers to "Niobe, all tears," but we haven't found a more direct corollary to this speech.
Pg. 28 Mickey Rooney
× 488 - allposters.com
Born in 1920 to two actors in Brooklyn, Rooney was only fifteen when he played
Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Between 1927 and 1933 he became well known
as a child actor for a series of silent comedies in which he played Mickey McGuire, a comic book character. He was the first child star to reach greatness playing
a brat instead of a sweet kid. As a boy he often played the young version of the
main character—for example, he played Clark Gable as a boy in Manhattan
Melodrama (1934). He appeared in a number of movies with Spencer Tracy and
Judy Garland, and starred in the popular Andy Hardy series. Rooney was cast
as Puck in Reinhardt's movie after playing the part in the Hollywood Bowl
production, along with Olivia de Havilland. During the filming of the movie he
broke his leg and delayed completion of the film for several weeks. His popularity peaked with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1939 and National Velvet
in 1944, but he was then drafted into the war. After returning, his popularity
declined, and a production company he began in the late 1940s was a failure.
However, in the mid-50s he managed to revive his acting career, and began
appearing regularly in films, on television and stage, making his Broadway
debut in Sugar Babies in 1979. He has
had eight wives and has made over 200 movies.
Pg. 31-32 Oberon's speech "Thou rememb'rest..." Midsummer, 2.1
Pg. 34 The Birth of a Nation: (1915) a controversial, highly
influential and innovative silent film directed by D.W. Griffith, based on
Thomas Dixon's novels The Clansman and The Leopard's Spots. The film glorifies
the Ku Klux Klan and portrays them as saviors of the war torn South.
Pg. 36 Putting on the Dog
"Put on the dog" does indeed mean "to get dressed up," but the
meaning has changed slightly since it first appeared in the late
19th century. The original phrase was "to put on dog" (note the
lack of "the"), and the sense was more negative: someone "putting
on the dog" was being pretentious or "putting on airs." P.G.
Wodehouse wrote in 1940, for instance, of "An editor's
unexampled opportunities for putting on dog and throwing his
weight about." Today this condemnatory connotation is largely
gone, though no phrase associating fancy dress with dogs will ever
convey much dignity.
(from HYPERLINK http://www.word-detective.com