“Speak the speech as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue.”
For four hundred years, Shakespeare’s immortal words have had us rolling in the aisles, crying into our drinks, or contemplating life's great mysteries. Learn how to make Shakespeare’s immortal scene’s jump off the page and invoke delight or dole with 2020 Tony Award-winning (and seven-time nominated) director Daniel Sullivan.
How do you approach Shakespeare’s text with knowledge and confidence, utilizing the clues and tools in the verse to find the dynamic truth of your character and situation? What aspects of an actor’s preparation are most essential when approaching Shakespearian performance? How do you engage openly and honestly with your scene partner?
Demystify Shakespeare’s words
Learn how to use Shakespeare’s verse, text, and rhetoric to find clues about your character
Learn how to rehearse and work a Shakespeare scene with a partner
Discover (or remember) the joy and passion in performing Shakespeare
Actors will learn that Shakespeare’s language is not an archaic fortress that requires a knowledge of the rules to enter but rather an intensely honest heightened text with a multitude of tools that can aid and assist an actor on their journey. In this class, actors will learn how to demystify Shakespeare and his verse and find the internal authenticity of the character. By the end of the class, actors will have confidence they can step on to a classical stage and deliver dynamic truth to both the audience and their scene partner.
DANIEL SULLIVAN has directed more than forty productions on Broadway—outpacing any living director—in addition to scores of productions Off Broadway and at regional theatres throughout the United States. He has served as artistic director for the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. He also serves as resident artist for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre.
Daniel Sullivan was honored with the 2001 Tony Award for his direction of the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof by David Auburn. He has also been nominated for the Tony Award on six other occasions. Productions directed by him have been nominated for more than fifty Tony Awards.
Awards: Theatre Hall of Fame, George Abbott Lifetime Achievement Award, the Obie Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the NAACP Image Award, the Ovation Award, the Joan Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity, and the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence.
Class 1, Monday October 23rd: ‘SUIT THE ACTION TO THE WORD’
Class will begin with introductions and table work as a group, exploring two Shakespeare Scenes. Daniel will assign scene partners and which scene you will be working on at the end of class.
*In the following week students are expected to work with their partners as much as they are able, either in person or online, to explore the text and scene together
Class 2, Monday, October 30th: ‘SPEAK THE SPEECH’
Students will dive deeper into scene work, focused on discovering the truth in the text on your feet.
*Between weeks 2 and 3 - Students are expected to work on the scene together and strive to be off book.
Class 3, Monday, November 6th: ‘HOLD, AS ‘TWERE THE MIRROR UP TO NATURE’
Students will continue their scene work - Primarily addressing moment to moment truth, being present with your scene partner, and developing blocking.
*Between weeks 3 and 4 - Students should meet and work together to hone their scene
Class 4, Monday November 13th: ‘THE PLAY’S THE THING’
Students will do a final presentation of their scene and receive final feedback with Daniel.
In between week one and two of class, you should connect with your scene partner and work on your scenes both together and on your own to the best of your ability.
Dress and Materials:
You should wear clothes that are easy to move around in. We suggest you bring a water bottle and a notebook.
Contact Nathan Winkelstein.