ConversationSource Material For Paper: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and a professor. Professor: OK, let's see. Right, Modern Stagings of a Shakespearian Classic. Well, like I told you last week, I think that's a great topic for your paper. So the title would be something like ... uh ... Student: I am not really sure, probably something like 20th century stagings of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Professor: Yes, I like that. Straightforward and to the point. So how is the research going? Student: Well, that's what I came to talk to you about. I was wondering if you happen to have a copy of the Peter Brook production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in your video collection. I've been looking for it everywhere and I am having a really hard time tracking it down. Professor: that's because it doesn't exist. Student: Huh, you mean in your collection? Or at all? Professor: I mean at all. That particular production was never filmed or recorded. Student: Oh no. I had no idea. From what I read, that production, like, it influenced every other production of the play that came after it. So I just assumed it had been filmed or videotaped. Professor: Oh, It definitely was a landmark production. And it's not like it ran for just a week, but either it was never filmed or if it was the film's been lost. And it's ironic because there's even a film about the making of the production, but none of the production itself. Student: So now what do I do? If there is no video. Professor: Well, think about it. This is the most important 20th century staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream, right? Student: But how can I write about Brook's interpretation of the play if I can't see his production. Professor: Just because there's no recording doesn't mean you can't figure out how it influenced other productions. Student: Yeah, I guess there's enough material around, but it will be a challenge. Professor: True. But think about it, you are writing about dramatic arts, the theater, and that's the nature of theater, isn't it? Student: You mean because it is live, when the performance is finished ... Professor: That's it. Unless it's filmed, it's gone. But that doesn't mean we can't study it. And of course some students in this class are writing about productions in the 19th century, there are no videos of those. You know, one of the challenges for people who study theater is to find way of talking about something that's really so transient, about something that, in a sense, doesn't exist.