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Fire in the Theater

The below short essay was originally published on All Beaches Experimental Theater's blog, Writing in the Wings, for the occasion of the blog's launch. You can view the original with show images here. “O, for a muse of Fire!” begins Shakespeare’s Henry V. And it didn’t just mean fiery passion or kindled inspiration. Apart from real flame torches and candles to indicate dark scenes performed in streaming sunlight, it’s believed that at the Globe, Shakespeare’s battle scenes utilized real cannon fire. No wonder then when the thatch-roofed “O”-shaped building succumbed to its muse of fire. This was storytelling over safety. The Victorians were famously obsessed with verisimilitude. 19th century

©2018 by Kelby A. Siddons

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