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Middle English

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ˇ Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
ˇ Current Events
ˇ Another Avenue
ˇ The Thursday Night Tarot
ˇ How I Came To Love Chaucer's English

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Current Events

Today, Tanya is scripting a version of The Pearl which weaves modern English and Middle English together. "This way," she says, "an audience can listen to the modern English for the sense of what's happening and hear the music of the Middle English poetry at the same time. This is the method I used in my first performance of the Christmas scene from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight at a school benefit in Berkeley 35 years ago. It went over well then and it works now, too.

"All the same, my cast for The Pearl didn't want to ad lib translations like I do. They wanted a full script. That's what I'm writing now. I'd hoped to have this performance going while Lord of the Rings was first screened, because J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of Hobbits, is still the major scholarly editor of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

"'You've seen the film, you've read the books, now hear the language (at least one of them) that inspired Tolkien to write.' That was my draft promotion. Now as I talk to people I add 'These poems have not been staged in Middle English for six hundred years, so a year or two more won't make a difference.' That gets a laugh and I'm off the hook for a few more months while I work on the script."

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