Shakespeare’s text is a gift to the actor who knows how to find the offered clues to performance. We will explore the text’s structure, its rhetorical devices, its verse, rhythm and sound; we will learn to trust the text as the source of what we need to know about character and action, within the context of Elizabethan culture and beliefs; then exercises will help us bring the text to stage life. My goal is to give you a way of approaching any new piece of text as a preparation for the real business of acting Shakespeare.
Elizabeth Swain is an actor, director and teacher and holds a PhD in Theatre from the CUNY Graduate Center. Broadway: Charley’s Aunt, Crown Matrimonial, Sherlock Holmes. Innumerable off and off off Broadway productions, regional theatres (NJ Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Co of Boston, ACT Seattle, etc ) and tours (including with the National Shakespeare Co, The New Globe etc) . TV: many soaps esp. Guiding Light and Dark Shadows. In Los Angeles: The Ghost in LA Women’s Shakespeare’s Co’s Hamlet, The Clean House with Cal Rep. At ANTAEUS: Top Girls, Macbeth and The Curse of Oedipus. Directed The Malcontent and several ClassicsFest productions: Medea, The Lucky Chance, Our Country’s Good, King John and The Master Builder. Other favorite directing projects: Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Master Harold and the Boys, Camille, The Rover et al. Has taught at NYU, Barnard and is Professor Emeritus, Marymount Manhattan College, faculty of the Antaeus Academy and guest Shakespeare teacher at Cal Arts.