The Thaumaturgy Department

(It's dramaturgy, not thaumaturgy.)

Gavin
CENTERSTAGE
Baltimore
Maryland
USA

thaumaturg
Main Entry: thau·ma·turg
Pronunciation: \ˈthȯ-mə-ˌtərj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from New Latin thaumaturgus, from Greek thaumatourgos working miracles, from thaumat-, thauma miracle + ergon work — more at Theater, Work

2013-2014 Season:
Animal Crackers
Dance of the Holy Ghosts
A Civil War Christmas
Stones in His Pockets
Twelfth Night
Vanya Sonya Masha and Spike
Wild with Happy
Play Labs

The official blog of the Dramaturgy Department at Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. For posts related to our current and upcoming shows, click the links to the right. Alternatively, you could begin at the beginning, and explore our posts in chronological order.

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tronna:

thebestthingsinthewolrd:

Death in Shakepeare!

Caitlin’s poster, now on tumblr!


death by shakespeare

tronna:

thebestthingsinthewolrd:

Death in Shakepeare!

Caitlin’s poster, now on tumblr!

death by shakespeare

(via dramaturgytea)



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Years and years ago, there was a production of The Tempest, out of doors, at an Oxford college on a lawn, which was the stage, and the lawn went back towards the lake in the grounds of the college, and the play began in natural light. But as it developed, and as it became time for Ariel to say his farewell to the world of The Tempest, the evening had started to close in and there was some artificial lighting coming on. And as Ariel uttered his last speech, he turned and he ran across the grass, and he got to the edge of the lake and he just kept running across the top of the water — the producer having thoughtfully provided a kind of walkway an inch beneath the water. And you could see and you could hear the plish, plash as he ran away from you across the top of the lake, until the gloom enveloped him and he disappeared from your view.

And as he did so, from the further shore, a firework rocket was ignited, and it went whoosh into the air, and high up there it burst into lots of sparks, and all the sparks went out, and he had gone.

When you look up the stage directions, it says, ‘Exit Ariel.’

Tom Stoppard, University of Pennsylvania, 1996 (via flameintobeing)

Sometimes I wish I had a theatrical time-machine. 

(via theatrecollage)

And this is why Theatre is magic

(via dramaturgytea)

exquisite

(via dramaturgytea)



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gyres of gestation, ripples of relation, echoes of effect. fascinating - but my my that is a lot of dudes to fairly few broads…. really. guys?

gyres of gestation, ripples of relation, echoes of effect. fascinating - but my my that is a lot of dudes to fairly few broads…. really. guys?

(Source: vodkariver, via fledglingflaneuse)



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Gauntlet thrown, challenge issued

B’more to face San Fran in super Harbowl, wagers must follow… CS vs ACT!

"Dear Carey and Ellen,

Well, it has finally come to this. After years of friendly coexistence and mutual love and respect, you are now the sworn enemy.

The match has assumed Shakespearean dimensions.

Brother versus brother.

Long lost cousin versus better branch of the family.

Poe’s legacy versus the diggers of the Gold Rush.

Right coast versus left, and good versus evil.

Colleague versus colleague.

All riding on the fateful outcome of the Harbowl.

We proudly wager a dozen of our vaunted Faidley’s Maryland crab cakes against whatever you can rustle up to approximate that - if you dare.

Defiantly yours,
Kwame and Stephen”



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curiositycounts:

FYI and hat tip to Shakespeare
(via)

curiositycounts:

FYI and hat tip to Shakespeare

(via)

(Source: curiositycounts, via fledglingflaneuse)



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indefenseofart:

I’m a big fan of minimalism and these alternate book cover designs by mike young for Shakespeare’s plays by have completely captured my heart. The essence of the plays distilled to only a few visual tropes, they’re quite a statement to the idea that less is more. 

WS for the WC?

(via dontreadmyblogplz)



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"The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind."

TIMON OF ATHENS IV.i
(if Dr. Stockman lived in Shakespeare’s Athens)

Timon: Let me look back upon thee. O thou wall,
That girdlest in those wolves, dive in the earth. 4
And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent!
Obedience fail in children! slaves and fools,
Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench,
And minister in their steads! To general filths 8
Convert, o’ the instant, green virginity!
Do ’t in your parents’ eyes! Bankrupts, hold fast;
Rather than render back, out with your knives,
And cut your trusters’ throats! Bound servants, steal!— 12
Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,—
And pill by law. Maid, to thy master’s bed;
Thy mistress is o’ the brothel! Son of sixteen,
Pluck the lin’d crutch from thy old limping sire, 16
With it beat out his brains! Piety, and fear,
Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestic awe, night-rest and neighbourhood,
Instruction, manners, mysteries and trades, 20
Degrees, observances, customs and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries,
And let confusion live! Plagues incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap 24
On Athens, ripe for stroke! Thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners! Lust and liberty
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth, 28
That’ gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! Itches, blains,
Sow all the Athenian bosoms, and their crop
Be general leprosy! Breath infect breath, 32
That their society, as their friendship, may
Be merely poison! Nothing I’ll bear from thee
But nakedness, thou detestable town!
Take thou that too, with multiplying bans! 36
Timon will to the woods; where he shall find
The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
The gods confound—hear me, you good gods all—
The Athenians both within and out that wall! 40
And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
To the whole race of mankind, high and low!



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Like a Venn Diagram for Shakespeare’s wonderful line from Winter’s Tale, “If this be magic, let it be an art lawful as eating.”

Like a Venn Diagram for Shakespeare’s wonderful line from Winter’s Tale, “If this be magic, let it be an art lawful as eating.”

(Source: thedaughterrisen, via rmgilby)



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In honor of International Women’s Day, and just because it’s delicious: “The severall habits of English women” (via Shakespeare’s England: The severall habits of English women)
(Of course, by “habits” they mean attire or outfits, not behavior….)

In honor of International Women’s Day, and just because it’s delicious: “The severall habits of English women” (via Shakespeare’s England: The severall habits of English women)

(Of course, by “habits” they mean attire or outfits, not behavior….)



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How Gray-Hairs are dyed Black

Beauty tips from a 17thC book of magic.

posted at Shakespeare’s England: How Gray-Hairs are dyed Black



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When the Pancake Bell rings we are free
From John Taylor’s Jack A Lent (1620) (via Shakespeare’s England)
At the fabulous, sometimes distinctly odd, blog Shakespeare’s England: Everyday Life in Seventeenth Century London

When the Pancake Bell rings we are free

From John Taylor’s Jack A Lent (1620) (via Shakespeare’s England)

At the fabulous, sometimes distinctly odd, blog Shakespeare’s England: Everyday Life in Seventeenth Century London



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Borges, McDonagh, Everywhere, Nowhere, Everything, Nothing

   I posted this Borges short story awhile back, as Borges is a favorite of McDonagh’s, (playwright of A Skull in Connemara, which starts rehearsals next week) and this story is a favorite of mine. I’m re-posting now in order to put it up against a description of McDonagh, which describes the playwright in a way eerily similar to Borges’ description of his subject. 

“McDonagh is the man from nowhere, elsewhere, anywhere and everywhere, displaced without the longing for a place or a position either within a single nationality or canon.”

-Lillian Chambers and Eamonn Jordan, The Theatre of Martin McDonagh

  Everything and Nothing

THERE was no one in him; behind his face (which even through the bad paintings of those times resembles no other) and his words, which were copious, fantastic and stormy, there was only a bit of coldness, a dream dreamt by no one. At first he thought that all people were like him, but the astonishment of a friend to whom he had begun to speak of this emptiness showed him his error and made him feel always that an individual should not differ in outward appearance. Once he thought that in books he would find a cure for his ill and thus he learned the small Latin and less Greek a contemporary would speak of; later he considered that what he sought might well be found in an elemental rite of humanity, and let himself be initiated by Anne Hathaway one long June afternoon. At the age of twenty-odd years he went to London. Instinctively he had already become proficient in the habit of simulating that he was someone, so that others would not discover his condition as no one; in London he found the profession to which he was predestined, that of the actor, who on a stage plays at being another before a gathering of people who play at taking him for that other person. His histrionic tasks brought him a singular satisfaction, perhaps the first he had ever known; but once -the last verse had been acclaimed and the last dead man withdrawn from the stage, the hated flavour of unreality returned to him. He ceased to be Ferrex or Tamberlane and became no one again. Thus hounded, he took to imagining other heroes and other tragic fables. And so, while his flesh fulfilled its destiny as flesh in the taverns and brothels of London, the soul that inhabited him was Caesar, who disregards the augur’s admonition, and Juliet. who abhors the lark, and Macbeth, who converses on the plain with the witches who are also Fates. No one has ever been so many men as this man who like the Egyptian Proteus could exhaust all the guises of reality. At times he would leave a confession hidden away in some corner of his work, certain that it would not be deciphered; Richard affirms that in his person he plays the part of many and Iago claims with curious words ‘I am not what I am’. The fundamental identity of existing, dreaming and acting inspired famous passages of his.

For twenty years he persisted in that controlled hallucination, but one morning he was suddenly gripped by the tedium and the terror of being so many kings who die by the sword and so many suffering lovers who converge, diverge and melodiously expire. That very day he arranged to sell his theatre. Within.. a week he had returned to his native village, where he recovered the trees and rivers of his childhood and did not relate them to the others his muse had celebrated, illustrious with mythological allusions and Latin terms. He had to be ‘someone: he was a retired impresario who had made his fortune and concerned himself with loans, lawsuits and petty usury. It was in this character that he dictated the arid will and testament known to us, from which he deliberately excluded all traces of pathos or literature. His friends from London would visit his retreat and for them he would take up again his role as poet.  

History adds that before or after dying he found himself in the presence of God and told Him: ‘I who have been so many men in vain want to be one and myself.’ The voice of the Lord answered from a whirlwind: ‘Neither am I anyone; I have dreamt the world as you dreamt your work, my Shakespeare, and among the forms in my dream are you, who like myself are many and no one.

- Jorge Luis Borges



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Everything and Nothing

Martin McDonagh, the playwright behind A Skull in Connemara, (up at CS in February) is a big Borges fan. While perusing some of Borges’ short tales, I came across this one, which seemed worth sharing, in light of the recent release of Anonymous. Plus, it’s a personal favorite. Enjoy!

                                        Everything and Nothing

THERE was no one in him; behind his face (which even through the bad paintings of those times resembles no other) and his words, which were copious, fantastic and stormy, there was only a bit of coldness, a dream dreamt by no one. At first he thought that all people were like him, but the astonishment of a friend to whom he had begun to speak of this emptiness showed him his error and made him feel always that an individual should not differ in outward appearance. Once he thought that in books he would find a cure for his ill and thus he learned the small Latin and less Greek a contemporary would speak of; later he considered that what he sought might well be found in an elemental rite of humanity, and let himself be initiated by Anne Hathaway one long June afternoon. At the age of twenty-odd years he went to London. Instinctively he had already become proficient in the habit of simulating that he was someone, so that others would not discover his condition as no one; in London he found the profession to which he was predestined, that of the actor, who on a stage plays at being another before a gathering of people who play at taking him for that other person. His histrionic tasks brought him a singular satisfaction, perhaps the first he had ever known; but once -the last verse had been acclaimed and the last dead man withdrawn from the stage, the hated flavour of unreality returned to him. He ceased to be Ferrex or Tamberlane and became no one again. Thus hounded, he took to imagining other heroes and other tragic fables. And so, while his flesh fulfilled its destiny as flesh in the taverns and brothels of London, the soul that inhabited him was Caesar, who disregards the augur’s admonition, and Juliet. who abhors the lark, and Macbeth, who converses on the plain with the witches who are also Fates. No one has ever been so many men as this man who like the Egyptian Proteus could exhaust all the guises of reality. At times he would leave a confession hidden away in some corner of his work, certain that it would not be deciphered; Richard affirms that in his person he plays the part of many and Iago claims with curious words ‘I am not what I am’. The fundamental identity of existing, dreaming and acting inspired famous passages of his.

For twenty years he persisted in that controlled hallucination, but one morning he was suddenly gripped by the tedium and the terror of being so many kings who die by the sword and so many suffering lovers who converge, diverge and melodiously expire. That very day he arranged to sell his theatre. Within.. a week he had returned to his native village, where he recovered the trees and rivers of his childhood and did not relate them to the others his muse had celebrated, illustrious with mythological allusions and Latin terms. He had to be ‘someone: he was a retired impresario who had made his fortune and concerned himself with loans, lawsuits and petty usury. It was in this character that he dictated the arid will and testament known to us, from which he deliberately excluded all traces of pathos or literature. His friends from London would visit his retreat and for them he would take up again his role as poet.  

History adds that before or after dying he found himself in the presence of God and told Him: ‘I who have been so many men in vain want to be one and myself.’ The voice of the Lord answered from a whirlwind: ‘Neither am I anyone; I have dreamt the world as you dreamt your work, my Shakespeare, and among the forms in my dream are you, who like myself are many and no one.’

                                                                     -Jorge Luis Borges



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