May 16 - June 27, 2021
6 Sundays (No class May 23)
12:00 pm - 4:00pm
This Advanced Play & Scene Study class is designed to help the experienced actor become more alert to Shakespeare, one play at a time! Next up, Shakespeare's political thriller, Julius Caesar.
Together we read the play (working from both modern texts and the First Folio). We glean information from examining line endings, shifts in meter, and rhetorical devices at play, all helping us to speak the text boldly, yet with nuance.
The last two sessions we enter "rehearsal mode", exploring characters and given circumstances through monologues and scenes. This class keeps us in shape to perform, while fine-tuning our ability to "read" and "play" Shakespeare's music with clarity and passion.
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"Scene Study with Susan Angelo has significantly increased my understanding of the Bard’s work. Her method of examining text, character analysis, and how to tackle prose and verse has made Shakespeare less intimidating. In fact, she makes reading his plays exciting!There are so many layers to his writing and she helps you pierce them all."
Christopher Loverro, actor, founder of Warriors for Peace
"I came to the Shakespeare Gymnasium and Scene Study classes after being on the “other side of the camera” for over two decades (not to mention that when I was acting, I had never performed Shakespeare!) My fears were quickly put to rest by Susan’s contagious enthusiasm, support, direction, and exercises that help focus the actor on simply what needs to be done. Her remarkable breadth of knowledge about Shakespeare and the technical demands of this kind of text are nothing short of inspiring. She has given me a newfound love of Shakespeare and re-lit my acting bug."
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So far, we've explored:
Set in medieval Scotland, MacBeth play was Abraham Lincoln's favorite Shakespeare play. We tend to think it is a play about ambition, and it is....but it is layered with so much more. We got to explore what drives the ambition; how desires and fears are at play on both the unseen side of life and on its physically manifested side. But at the heart of the play, there is a solid marriage; two people who love each other very much. And when the relationship fractures, chaos ensues. It is at the same time a large mythical play, and a deeply intimate one. This play keeps working on your imagination, long after you've set it down.
The concept of Time recurs in many of Shakespeare’s plays,but it is especially palpable in The Winters Tale. Shakespeare explores Time’s passage; its' continuum, its' cycles of death and rebirth, and its' ability to be an agent ofprofound forgiveness. Against the backdrop of winter, chaos brings unspeakable tragedy and loss. But spring eventually comes with its restorative powers of love and acceptance .
King Lear was derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological Celtic king. Shakespeare's version explores themes of family, aging, mental deterioration, loyalty, betrayal, honour, loss of love, yearning for love, forgiveness and ultimately a kind of enlightenment. As George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear."
The War of the Roses
War of the Roses, (1455–85) was the series of dynastic English civil wars whose violence and civil strife preceded the government of the Tudors. Fought between the Houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne, the wars were named many years later from the supposed badges of the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red of Lancaster.