Shrewpost 3: scansion

Some thoughts on scansion:

There are interesting missing feet in the wooing scene, implying, perhaps, pauses. A friend said to me recently, “Remember, they’ve never laid eyes on each other until that scene.” I imagine stunned, almost deer in the headlights moments. Or is it love at first sight speechlessness?

Kate is brimming with irregularities in the first half of the play: trochees, inverted lines, 4 foot lines, 6 foot lines and a curious anapestic anomaly which repeats in several places in the play. It sounds like this: “What, in the midst of the street?” But she evens out in the second half, and the final speech is almost completely standard. When I showed my scored script to my students, one of them said of the final speech, “She’s been tamed by then.”

My queasiness has returned. I so dearly wanted to arrive with the lines learned. Ha! Not going to happen. What with family crises and the simple weight of the rest of my life it’s just not going to happen. Still, I feel like the lines will come quickly.

In other venues I sing the praises of the citizen actor: one who lives a rich and multi-faceted life in which acting is but one (crucial) part. But this is the down side. When kids have to be picked up from school and classes taught and dishes cleaned, the vain wish to show up memorized becomes first a nagging irritant, then a tired joke.

Rehearsals begin Tuesday.