Synopses & Reviews
In How to Speak Shakespeare
, authors Cal Pritner and Louis Colaianni teach readers how to make sound and sense out of the Bard. Their methods have taught thousands of peoplefrom high school students to English literature and theater arts graduate students, from beginning actors to professional actorshow to understand and effectively communicate the poetry of Shakespeare.
In order to make the book user-friendly, the authors have organized it around passages from Romeo and Juliet. The material has been tested successfully with high school students, graduate students, amateur actors, and professional actors. The authors' teaching method is essentially a simple three step process: Test Your Understanding, Stress for Meaning, and Celebrate the Poetry. Classroom and rehearsal-tested exercises are included along with additional background on Shakespeare and his work.
“It is clear that How to Speak Shakespeare
is not only for drama classes, but it can also be easily integrated into an English literature class. It provides a step-by-step guide to cracking the code of Shakespearean language and structure. . . . This book takes something that can be very daunting and makes it easier to understand.” —English Journal
“Mr. Colaianni and Mr. Pritner have created this important book devoted to the technique for speaking heightened texts on the stage. By studying the fundamentals Colaianni and Pritner here provide, the serious actor can begin a lifelong commitment to this important, and all too often ignored, essential part of the actor's tools.” —Marco Baricelli, artistic associate, American Conservatory Theatre; Leading Actor, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
“This one won't sit long on the shelves after students and teachers discover it. Presented in the most simple—but not condescending—terms, Pritner and Colaianni teach readers how to understand and speak Shakespearean plays...lessons are easy to follow and written with a friendly hand. Thankfully, there are no synopses or critical interpretations, just excellent tutelage in Shakespeare's word usage, punctuation and poetry.” —Today's Librarian
“How to Speak Shakespeare
is an invaluable, entertaining and informative book. This is the most accessible and unintimidating work on this subject I have read. It will be of equal interest to actors, scholars and lay people.” —Vivian Matalon, Tony Award-winning director
This classroom and theater-tested program teaches amateur and professional actors alike how to understand and effectively communicate the poetry of Shakespeare. Organized around passages from Romeo and Juliet
, a simple, three-step process is presented. In the first step, readers learn the value of looking up words in the Oxford English Dictionary and paraphrase passages to ensure that they truly understand the words they are speaking. The second step, presents essential tools for speaking Shakespeare effectively, including iambic pentameter and correct rhythm, and explains how to syncopate for meaning. The final step, honors the poetry of Shakespeare through a discussion of the use of punctuation, repeated sounds, and connecting key words and phrases. Exercises bring all the elements of these steps together.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -142).
About the Author
, Ph.D., has chaired theatre departments at Illinois State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and served as the founding artistic director of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Dr. Pritner has been inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He lives in New York City.
Louis Colaianni is an authority in voice, speech and Shakespeare performance. His innovative approach to phonetics and stage accents is used by dozens of theatre schools throughout the United States. He is an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and has served on the faculties of the American Conservatory Theatre, Ohio University, and Hunter College among others. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.