What Folks Are Saying…

Scroll through some of the reviews we have received,

and please come back to add one of your own below.

Magnificent work! After having spent over thirty years reading every book I could find on acting and staging Shakespeare, I find that knowledge collected here in a wonderfully approachable, teachable, and a very much ‘doable’ format. Bravo! You take such wonderful care in easing the fear out of your reader. Thank you so much for asking me to review this. It was like catching up with an old friend who has lots of new stories! It will be my #1 recommendation to teachers.

David Daniel- Core Company member and Director of Education at American Players Theatre, Member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

Drawing on tried and tested strategies from the author’s own extensive experience, teachers and directors will find this book an invaluable guide to introducing Shakespeare to young people. It offers practical ideas for the classroom or rehearsal space to suit beginners as well as help more experienced practitioners and students to refresh and enhance their practice. For hard-pressed teachers, it is a time-saving, game-changing approach which will engage students on a shared journey. Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed, and there is much to be gained if we “Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.” Approaching the texts in the practical ways suggested by this guide will help to banish fear and ignite a love of Shakespeare’s plays that can last a lifetime.

Julie Ashurst, BA (Hons) Dramatic Arts, Bretton Hall; MA Shakespeare and Education, The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon; Youth Theatre Practitioner; Education Manager, Imaginarium Theatre; Associate Company of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prescot, Merseyside, UK

Oh, that Laurie Swigart’s thorough and readable book, “Performance Approaches to Shakespeare” had been available to me as a 22-year-old beginning teacher. Swigart’s step-by-step progression of all that is the creative process, asks the fledgling actor and director to appreciate Shakespeare’s theatre and his language with wonderful exercises and interactions that make things not only clear but fun. Students are easily brought into an appreciation of how plays were presented in Shakespeare’s day, but also how the same can be done today. Students will no longer fear Shakespeare and will better understand their characters and what is happening in the text, as well as enjoy and learn while participating. This book should be required reading for all theatre folk – teachers, directors, actors, and producers alike. Swigart understands all this, and in her useful and inspiring book, she tells us how to do it and makes it look easy!

Jean Birkett, Assistant Professor of English and Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin Platteville-Richland

As an educator, I was so impressed with the simple and effective activities provided in the book. I can simply plug and play without needing to put in loads of work. This is what I want as a teacher, and Laurie Swigart has done all of the grunt work for us! If you teach or direct Shakespeare, this is a must-read and must-use resource for you and your students/players! 

Melissa Lang, M.Ed., Adjunct Professor of Education, University of Northwestern St. Paul

This is a TON of information! Can’t imagine how much time and energy went into it as well. Thanks for sharing.

William Dew, Match Marketing, author of “StoryBrand Certified Guide”

This book is amazing! It’s an incredible resource–so thorough, complete and well-organized. I work with aspiring artists everyday, and whether it’s acting, directing or performance in general, Shakespeare offers a foundation for it all, and this handbook makes my job easier! I’d consider it an asset to every artist’s library.

Rachel Marie Powers, stage and film actor/singer/dancer/teacher, member of International Shakespeare Players

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