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Grant number like: FA-52901-07

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Arthur Carl Holmberg
Brandeis University (Waltham, MA 02453-2728)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2007 – 5/31/2008

American Shakespeares

Shakespeare wrote his plays for the stage. No evidence suggests he was interested in publishing them to be read. Consequently, a theoretically informed analysis of major productions would shed light on his theatrical cognition as well as document an important chapter in American theater history. Playwrights do not think primarily in words. Words on the stage interact with many other semiotic codes. Productions enable us to study this interaction. Examining the rush of sensations that all these codes press upon us in the theater helps us measure Shakespeare’s creative range. Looking closely at productions and the theoretical questions they raise is the royal road to the magic kingdom of Shakespeare’s imagination.