Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Colonial Canadian Shakespeare Essay examples -- William Shakespeare

1 Colonial Canadian Shakespeare: West Meets East at Stratford In his essay â€Å"The Regional Theatre System†, Czarnecki picks up on the challenge of creating a national theatre in Canada, but also articulates the central and defining challenge in developing a unified sense of Canadian identity; Canada, because of its immense span from ocean to ocean, is inevitably divided into regions distinct from their provincial boundaries. The regional boundaries which identify the Maritimes as distinct from French Canada and the Prairies as distinct from the West Coast, for example, imply not only geographical, but also social, cultural and political differences between these regions. Because Canada is a nation born from British imperialism, the colonial relationship that exists even today between Canada and Britain is undeniable, though this colonial relationship is by no means uniform across Canada. The different regional attitudes towards Britain and Canada’s colonial history became evident to me when, as a Western Canadian, I saw a production of Hamlet in Central Canada: at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. This production served to illustrate that Shakespeare serves as a standard by which to measure the colonial relationships between a given Canadian region and the British Crown; therefore Shakespeare also helps to illuminate the discrepancies between these different regions in relation to Canada’s colonial history. The Stratford Festival, whose mandate is to â€Å"produce, to the highest standards possible, the best works of theatre in the classical and contemporary repertoire, with 2 special emphasis on the works of William Shakespeare†, has become the place in Canada to see productions of Shakespeare. As Cza... ...ion to the production of Hamlet was only further proof, however, that Shakespeare’s iconic position in Canadian culture originates in our shared colonial history. Adaptations of Shakespeare are telling of regional differences, which is only the case because Canada too is rooted in Shakespeare’s home country. 6 Works Cited: Czarnecki, Mark. â€Å"The Regional Theatre System.† Contemporary Canadian Theatre: New World Visions. Ed. Anton Wagner. Toronto: Simon and Pierre, 1985. 35- 48. Fischlin, Daniel and mark Fortier. â€Å"General Introduction.† Adaptations of Shakespeare. Eds. Daniel Fischlin and Mark Fortier. London: Routledge, 2000. 1-22. Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Susanne Wofford. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994. Full production details of the Stratford Festival’s 2000 production of Hamlet available at http://www.paulgross.org/theatreindex.html#hamlet

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