Los Angeles Times

Director turned lines into life: Royal Shakespeare founder Peter Hall had an ear for language onstage

Theater directors bear heavy responsibility for a production's failure yet enjoy only a meager portion of the glory that playwrights and actors receive when a show catches fire.

Auteurs rebel against this system, putting their distinctive stamp on work their productions in effect rewrite. But Peter Hall, who died Monday at 86, became a pillar of postwar British theater the old-fashioned way: He served the play.

To do this, he recognized every bit as much as his more radical contemporary Peter Brook that he had to clear the cobwebs of a tradition that still had

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