American actors, fear Shakespeare no more! Through a series of easy-to-follow exercises, an acclaimed director and drama coach shows both students and experienced actors how to break down the verse, support the words, understand the images, and use the text to create vibrant, living performances. Revised and expanded to include the unique challenges facing teachers and their students in performing Shakespeare's works, as well as time-tested tools for overcoming these obstacles. Effective delivery, correct breathing, scansion, phrasing, structure and rhythm, caesura, and more are covered. For text analysis and character interpretation, both classical British training and American methods are explored. In addition to ongoing, long-term practice exercises, it offers a one-day brush-up section to prep actors cast to play Shakespearean roles immediately.--From publisher description.
“A workhorse of a book! Beautifully conceived and executed. Clues to Acting Shakespeare is a no-brainer purchase for acting collections in all libraries.” —Library Journal Clues to Acting Shakespeare has become a popular guide for actors, directors, teachers and Shakespeare enthusiasts, selling over 15,000 copies of previous editions. This third edition retains the second edition’s unique solutions to challenges that face directors and actors at advanced levels and is expanded to include an entirely new section for amateur and community theatre groups. In this new edition, readers will be delighted to find: New section to aid community theatres to perform Shakespeare’s plays, including five recorded workshops of community theatre actors coached and trained by the author Updates to the successful sections on training student actors (MFA and BFA programs), and professional actors (including audition tips)—highlighted by twenty author-coached workshops with professional and advanced student actors Improved section for teachers of high school and child actors with worksheets and sample lesson plans New exercises and resources for all levels of acting and production To aid professionals, Clues to Acting Shakespeare offers a one-day brush-up for auditions and preparation to play Shakespeare immediately. Text analysis, character studies, and both classical British training and American methods are explored. The exercises and recorded workshops provide inspiring advice to all actors and demonstrate concepts discussed throughout the book. The critical skills required for acting Shakespeare, including scansion, phrasing, caesura, breathing, speech structure, antithesis, and more are covered in detail. The comprehensive exercises using the Bard’s plays and sonnets teach actors to break down the verse, support the words, understand the imagery, and use the text to create vibrant performances.
". . .an excellent basic guide for anyone who likes to get behind the scenes, be it the actor who performs or the student who studies Shakespeare's script as a literary text." THE SHAKESPEARE NEWSLETTERActing in Shakespeare helps actors at all levels develop the skills they need to perform in Shakespearean plays. Lessons proceed in carefully graduated steps from simple, single lines to short speeches to more difficult, sophisticated scenes. A wealth of historical information and insightful descriptions of Shakespearean times and players bring Shakespeare's work within the actor's reach. Abundant exercises build gradually in difficulty, giving student actors confidence that they can act in Shakespeare. Exercises are appropriate not only for use in the classroom but also for independent study. Actors often find Shakespearean language and customs unusual and intimidating. Acting in Shakespeare relates Shakespearean acting to real-life, contemporary situations and common acting theory, helping actors realize that performing Shakespeare is well within their grasp."Acting in Shakespeare is difficult. . . . His verse is not the language of our everyday American speech; the costumes in which he visualized his characters are not the clothing of everyday American life. Playing Shakespeare may mean living in a very different world from the one we normally inhabit." Robert Cohen, from the Preface"By book's end, students can reasonably be expected to be comfortable and confident with Shakespeare's demands. . . . [His] chapter on physicalizing Shakespeare contains a number of stimulating exercises (Cohen's strength as an acting teacher). . . . Cohen helps students apply his lessons: I can't imagine a group of students not being enthralled by Cohen's ingenious concept. . . . Acting in Shakespeare is so readily accessible and full of such "do-able" exercises that it should be a staple of period style classes for years to come." THEATRE JOURNAL
"This book is about the way in which Shakespeare's plays have inspired readers to "talk back" and about some of the forms such talking back can assume. It is also about the way different interpretive communities, including students, read their cultural, political, and moral assumptions into Shakespeare's plays, appropriating and transforming elements of plot, character, and verbal text while challenging what they see as the ideological premises of the plays. Texts that talk back to Shakespeare pose questions, offer alternatives, take liberties, and fill in gaps. Some of the transformations discussed in Talking Back to Shakespeare challenge deeply held assumptions such as, for instance, that Hamlet is a tragic hero and Shylock a stereotypical grasping usurer. Others invent prior or subsequent lives for Shakespeare's characters (women characters in particular) so as to account for their actions and imagine their lives more fully than Shakespeare chooses to do. Very few of these works have received much critical attention, and some are virtually unknown or forgotten." "Rather than a comprehensive study of Shakespeare transformations, Talking Back to Shakespeare is an innovative exploration of the kinship between the kind of talking back that occurs in the classroom and the kind to be found in texts produced by writers who "rewrite" some of Shakespeare's most frequently taught and performed plays. Such re-visions unsettle the cultural authority of the plays and expose the accumulated lore that surrounds them to probing, often irreverent scrutiny." "Much of the talking back comes from marginalized readers: women, like Lillie Wyman, author of Gertrude of Denmark: An Interpretive Romance, and other nineteenth-century women critics, or Jewish writers, like Arnold Wesker, whose play The Merchant transforms the relationship between Antonio and Shylock. Some talking back comes from an international collection of oppositional voices of the 1960s, including Charles Marowitz, Aime Cesaire, Eugene Ionesco, and Joseph Papp. Talking Back to Shakespeare ranges from popular books like the recent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley to obscure, seldom-read ones like Percy MacKaye's ambitious four-play prequel, The Mystery of Hamlet, King of Denmark. What these published texts share with student journal entries and transformations is the assumption, familiar to postmodern readers, that Shakespeare's plays are essentially unstable, culturally determined constructs capable of acquiring new meanings and new forms. By bringing together these two kinds of "talking back," Rozett challenges the traditional separation between critical and pedagogical inquiry that has until recently dominated English studies."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
This is the ebook edition of Peter Hall's best-selling guide to acting Shakespeare that has sold over 10,000 copies. This is a new edition for a new generation – compact and concise with the facts, the way modern students and actors need it. The pay off the book according to Sir Peter is simple – it will make you a better actor! Shakespeare tells the actor when to go fast and when to go slow; when to pause, when to come in on cue and when to accent a word. His text is full of such clues. Shakespeare heard the lines as he wrote them. Shakespeare’s Advice to the Players makes watching or reading Shakespeare a richer experience, for audiences as well as actors.
The Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare is a window onto how today’s actors contribute to the continuing life and relevance of Shakespeare’s plays. The process of acting is notoriously hard to document, but this volume reaches behind famous performances to examine the actors’ craft, their development and how they engage with playtexts. Each chapter relies upon privilieged access to its subject to offer an unparalleled insight into contemporary practice. This volume explores the techniques, interpretive approaches and performance styles of the following actors: Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack, Judi Dench, Kate Duchene, Colm Feore, Mariah Gale, John Harrell, Greg Hicks, Rory Kinnear, Kevin Kline, Adrian Lester, Marcelo Magni, Ian McKellen, Patrice Naiambana, Vanessa Redgrave, Piotr Semak, Anthony Sher, Jonathan Slinger, Kate Valk, Harriet Walter This twin volume to The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare is an essential work for both actors and students of Shakespeare.
Sheds new light on the life of the great Elizabethan playwright and poet, reassessing Shakespeare's work within the context of sixteenth-century London and Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as his lasting legacy for world literature.
Performing the work of William Shakespeare can be daunting to new actors. Author Herb Parker posits that his work is played easier if actors think of the plays as happening out of outrageous situations, and remember just how non-realistic and presentational Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be performed. The plays are driven by language and the spoken word, and the themes and plots are absolutely out of the ordinary and fantastic—the very definition of outrageous. With exercises, improvisations, and coaching points, Acting Shakespeare is Outrageous! helps actors use the words Shakespeare wrote as a tool to perform him, and to create exciting and moving performances.