The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

by Fredi Olster, Rick Hamilton
     
 

Conceived and written by two classically trained American stage actors, this workbook in Smith & Kraus' Discovering Shakespeare Series is a student's gateway to understanding Shakespeare. The side-by-side presentation of the original language and a "translation" into the vernacular allows the student to quickly understand and appreciate the play.See more details below

Overview

Conceived and written by two classically trained American stage actors, this workbook in Smith & Kraus' Discovering Shakespeare Series is a student's gateway to understanding Shakespeare. The side-by-side presentation of the original language and a "translation" into the vernacular allows the student to quickly understand and appreciate the play. There is accompanying instruction about Shakespearean English, character analysis, and performance information.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jeanne M. McGlinn
Introducing middle school students to Shakespeare might seem like a radical ideal until you read Olster and Hamilton's play workbooks in this Young Actors series. Each workbook follows a similar design. An abridged version of the Shakespearean play is juxtaposed with a vernacular or contemporary translation, detailed scene descriptions, and stage directions (set in parallel columns across double pages). The intention is that the vernacular version will serve as a bridge to reading and understanding Shakespeare's play by introducing children to the intricacies of plot and character through "everyday" language. Then students will be ready to tackle Shakespeare's own language, which, the authors insist, should always be used for performance. Introductory essays give background to the play: the manners or customs of Elizabethan times and the relationships between characters. After the text of the play, there are descriptions of theatrical conventions, how to get into character, and the rehearsal process. The abridgement simplifies the original play, while preserving the action and main meaning of the characters' speeches. The authors note that they "have taken some minor liberties with Shakespeare's text to accommodate our abridged version." In fact the abridgement is often sufficient for understanding the play. Still, their "vernacular version" of the play is useful in sorting out sentence structure and the vocabulary of the original. The authors' suggestion that students look up every word they don't know ought to be ignored; their better suggestion is to get the meaning through acting out the play. Students could use the workbook to get the meaning they need and then trust their own readings of Shakespeare's words. Teachers will find these books useful reference tools to paraphrase the plays or provide directions for acting scenes. Glossary. Biblio. Note: This review was written and published to address three titles: Discovering Shakespeare: A Midsummer's Night Dream: A Workbook for Students and Teachers, Discovering Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet: A Workbook for Students and Teachers and Discovering Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew: A Workbook for Students and Teachers.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpThe authors of this book state that their aim is to make Shakespeare more accessible to modern students, and in this endeavor they succeed. The introduction begins with an overview of the plot and a short essay on Elizabethan marriage customs. Next, there is a good summary of the action of the play as it pertains to each of the characters. The heart of the book, however, is the abridged version of the script. The layoutfour columns spread across two pagesis crisp, clear, and easy to follow. The first column gives a brief description of the scene; the second has a vernacular translation of the language; the third is an original abridgment of the script; and the fourth contains stage directions. A final chapter offers hints on how to stage the play, suggestions for costumes and props, a lexicon of stage language and theatrical conventions, and a good bibliography. This title shouldn't be used as a substitute for the full text, but it would be a wonderful complement for students struggling with the original. It also would be useful to high school acting companies staging a production of Shrew.Elizabeth M. Reardon, McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781575250465
Publisher:
Smith & Kraus, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Series:
Young Actors Series
Edition description:
Workbook
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Fredi Olster and Rick Hamilton have acted in sixty productions of Shakespeare's plays, as well as appearing in film and on television. Their extensive experience in regional repertory theater includes several seasons at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, where Fredi was Kate and Rick was Tranio in Bill Ball's widely acclaimed production of The Taming of the Shrew, which was televised for Theatre in America (PBS). They spent several seasons with the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Alley Theatre, and the Dallas Shakespeare Festival, among others.

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