Acting in Shakespeare
". . .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
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Who Was Shakespeare and Why Study Him?
Oppositions and Builds
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action actor anapest antithesis Antony audience basic beginning Bernardo blank verse blanket build Caesar called character's characters Citizen Claudius Cleopatra costume court create death dialogue dramatic Duke Elizabethan emotions English escalation EXERCISE eyes feel Folio fool friends gesture give Gloucester goal Hamlet hear heaven hell Henry Hermia IAGO iambic pentameter inflections Katherine Kent King Lear ladder Lady Macbeth language Lear's Leontes look Lysander Margaret Mark Antony means Memorize metaphor Midsummer Night's Dream move night Olivia Othello partner performance person Petruchio phrases physical platform playwright prose reading regular rhetoric rhyme Richard Richard III role Romeo and Juliet scansion scene Shake Shakespeare simply speak speare's spearean speech act stage step story stressed SUMMARY OF LESSON tell theater thee thou tion trochee trumpet Twelfth Night unstressed syllables verse line Winter's Tale word choice Word notes