Speaking in Shakespeare's Voice: A Guide for American Actors is a book for undergraduate and graduate students of acting as well as for the professional who would like to perform Shakespeare with the skill of a classical actor. It is also valuable for European actors interested in performing Shakespeare in American English and British actors who would like to explore Shakespeare from an American perspective.
This guide focuses on the technical elements of voice and speech, including breathing, resonance, and diction, as well as providing an introduction to verse speaking and scansion and to Shakespeare’s rhetorical devices, such as antithesis, alliteration, onomatopoeia, irony, metaphor, and wordplay. These topics are annotated with examples from Shakespeare’s plays to demonstrate how an actor can apply the lessons to actual performance. The book also explores the history of Shakespearean performance in the United States and provides guidance on current editions of Shakespeare’s text from the Folio to online Open Source Shakespeare. A helpful appendix offers examples of two-person scenes and contextualized monologues.
"Linda Gates is a master at clarifying the mystery of speaking Shakespeare. Her insight into the text is transformative." --Barbara Gaines, Artistic Director, Chicago Shakespeare Theater
"Linda Gates's Speaking in Shakespeare's Voice is a fundamental resource for any actor seeking to speak Shakespeare's words with clarity, power, and total technical control. This book contains vital information on how to approach classical poetry in a distinctly American style." --Alan Paul, Associate Artistic Director, Shakespeare Theatre Company
"A valuable resource for students and professional actors who wish to deepen their understanding of Shakespeare's texts. Gates, an expert coach, skilled in rhetoric, provides useful tools and exercises to develop the necessary technique to effectively speak Shakespeare's beautiful texts. Especially interesting are her well-researched history of the performance of Shakespeare in the U.S., her rhetorical examples, and her selection of scenes and monologues for further exploration." --Jill Walmsley Zager, Senior Lecturer in Voice and Dialects and Resident Voice Coach, University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program
About the Author:
Linda Gates is a Shakespearean vocal coach, actress, and director who has worked with both British and American directors on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in regional theaters, as well as at the Prague Shakespeare Company, where she teaches, directs, and acts. Former students include Americans Meryl Streep, Lily Rabe, and Alan Paul, Irish actor James Nesbitt, and English actor James Purefoy. She has taught voice and text for Shakespeare at NYU Tisch SOA, Yale School of Drama, Circle in the Square, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and the BADA’s Midsummer in Oxford program. She is Head of Voice in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University.