Playing Shakespeare
Spring 2013
TH 3440 – Classical Acting
Playing Shakespeare

Instructor: Bruce Cromer                                Classroom: Herbst Theatre and Festival Playhouse
Office: T148K CA                                               Class Time: TTH 10-11:50
Office Hours: MWTHF 12-1                         
Phone: 775-2430
E-Mail:
bruce.cromer@wright.edu

Course Objective: To further young actors’ comprehension and use of Shakespeare’s
language, through the study of a major role.  Emphasis will be on text analysis (breaking the
script into beats; choosing objectives, obstacles, and tactics), including scansion and key-
wording.  PLAYING SHAKESPEARE, the book and the tape series, will also enhance the scene
work.  You will work on three scenes or monologues from a major Shakespearean role; your
entire package of scenes and/or monologues should 10 to 15 minutes in length.            

Tentative Course Outline:
Week One: Sonnets and Role Choice
Week Two: First Scene Rehearsed
Week Three:  First Scene Shown
Week Four:  Second Scene Rehearsed
Week Five:  Second Scene Shown
Week Six: Third Scene Rehearsed
Week Seven: Third Scene Shown
Week Eight: All Scenes Rehearsed
Week Nine: All Scenes Shown
Week Ten: TBA

Grading Criteria:
Professional Skills: You are expected to attend every class prepared, punctual, polite, and
with a positive attitude.  There are no excused absences for this course!  In accordance with
the PATP attendance policy, if you miss 20% of the quarter’s sessions (6 classes), you will
automatically fail the class.  Wear clothing appropriate to your chosen scenes and/or
monologues.  If you are ill, inactive, improperly dressed, or late, you will lose half of your
attendance points for that class.

Written Work: You will turn in a scene-by-scene plot synopsis for your play, a complete list of
textual clues for your characterization, and text analysis for your three scenes.  

Acting Work: The instructor will subjectively grade your scene work on your character
choices and use of the language.

Required Books (ordered in campus bookstore):
PLAYING SHAKESPEARE, by John Barton.
A complete works of Shakespeare.

Recommended Books (*ordered in campus bookstore):
ACTING IN SHAKESPEARE, by Robert Cohen.
THE FRIENDLY SHAKESPEARE, by Norrie Epstein.
*APPLAUSE FIRST FOLIO IN MODERN TYPE.
COMPLETE WORKS, by Shakespeare (Contemporary Pub. Co.).
*RIVERSIDE SHAKESPEARE, published by Houghton Mifflin.
*SHAKESPEARE’S WORDS, by David and Ben Crystal.
SHAKESPEARE’S METRIC ART, by George T. Wright.
*SHAKESPEARE ALIVE!, BY Joseph Papp and Elizabeth Kirkland.
CHRONICLE OF WESTERN FASHION, by John Peacock.
*HIGH FASHION IN SHAKESPEARE’S TIME, by Andrew Brownfoot.
SHAKESPEARE ALOUD, by E.S. Brubaker.

GRADE POINTS

Professional Skills (38 possible points)
Attendance (28 possible points; 1 pt. for each class punctually attended; .5 pt. for each time
you’re late, improperly dressed, or inactive; there are no excused absences for this class ---
missing 6 classes, for what ever reasons, will result in an F for the course!)

Attitude (10 possible points; up to 5 possible for each area):
Positive (open-minded, ready to receive criticism, supportive of classmates)
Prepared (assignments completed, properly dressed, healthy and ready to work)

Written Work (20 possible points)
Sonnet (3 pts.), Play Synopsis (4 pts.), First Scene Textwork (3 pts.), Second Scene Textwork
(3 pts.), Third Scene Textwork (3 pts.), Character Clues Paper (4 pts.)

Acting Work (42 possible points)
(13 points for each of the four showings of your scenes and/or monologues)


Total Points for Course and Letter Grade
(90-100 pts. = A, 80-89 pts. = B, 70-79 pts. = C, 60-69 pts. = D, 59 pts. or less = F)
TH 340 - Movement for the Actor
Moving Shakespeare

Instructor: Bruce Cromer                       Classroom: Herbst Theatre, CAC
Office: T148K CA                                      Class Time: TTH 1-2:50
Office Hours: MWTHF 12-1       
Phone: 775-2430
E-Mail:
bruce.cromer@wright.edu

Course Objectives:
*To introduce students to the wide range of characters (and necessary physical
transformations) in Shakespeare’s plays.
*To give students practical experience in brief scenes and monologues using period movement,
Laban, Cohen tactics, and body language.
*To give students practical experience using text analysis, improvisation, stage combat, and
other skills previously taught in the Professional Actor Training Program.

Tentative Course Outline:
Week One: Clowns and Rustics
Week Two: Clowns and Rustics
Week Three: Nobility and Fools
Week Four: Nobility and Fools
Week Five: Mad Folk and Supernatural
Week Six: Mad Folk and Supernatural
Week Seven: Warriors and Breeches Parts
Week Eight: Warriors and Breeches Parts
Week Nine: Lovers
Week Ten: Lovers

Grading Criteria:
Professional Skills: You are expected to attend every class prepared, punctual, polite, and with
a positive attitude.  There are no excused absences for this course!  In accordance with the
PATP attendance policy, if you miss 20% of the quarter’s sessions (4 classes), you will
automatically fail the class.  Wear mock-up period rehearsal clothes...  For women that means
long skirts, corsets, with rolled-up towels for bum-rolls.  For men: sweat pants and tight vests.  
Both sexes should have "puffy" shirts and hard-soled shoes, and tights.  If you are ill, inactive,
improperly dressed, or late, you will lose half of your attendance points for that class.

Written Work: You will fill in character sheets given for each character study you do.  These will
be collected at the end of the two weeks work on each scene.  You will be asked to break the
scene into character beats, with objectives, tactics, and obstacles noted in the margins.  You will
draw (or include an image you find of) the character’s costume.  You will also give written
feedback to your fellow students’ work.  

Acting Work: The instructor will subjectively grade your acting work, in terms of your
demonstrated use of period movement, Laban, Cohen tactics, body language, and speech.

Required Books (ordered for campus bookstore):
SHAKESPEARE ALIVE, by Joe Papp and Elizabeth Kirtland.
HIGH FASHION IN SHAKESPEARE’S TIME, by Andrew Brownfoot.
An edition of Shakespeare’s complete works.

Recommended Books (some ordered for campus bookstore):
SHAKESPEARE ALOUD, by E.S. Brubaker.
SHAKESPEARE A TO Z, by Charles Boyce.
THE FRIENDLY SHAKESPEARE, by Norrie Epstein.
SHAKESPEARE’S METRIC ART, by George T. Wright.
SHAKESPEARE’S COMPLETE WORKS: two versions have been ordered.
APPLAUSE FIRST FOLIO IN MODERN TYPE, edited by Neil Freeman.
CHRONICLE OF WESTERN FASHION, by John Peacock.





GRADE POINTS

Professional Skills (30 possible points)
Attendance (20 possible points; 1 pt. for each class punctually attended; .5 pt. for each time you’
re late, improperly dressed, or inactive; there are no excused absences for this class --- missing
4 classes, for what ever reasons, will result in an F for the course!)

Attitude (10 possible points; up to 5 possible for each area):
Positive (open-minded, ready to receive criticism, supportive of ensemble)
Prepared (assignments completed, properly dressed, healthy and ready to work)


Written Work (20 possible points)
(4 pts. for each completed character sheet):
Clowns and Rustics
Nobility and Fools
Mad Folk and Supernatural                    
Warriors and Breeches Parts
Lovers

Final Test on HIGH FASHION IN SHAKESPEARE'S TIME (worth 5 points)

Character Work (45 possible points)
(Subjectively graded by the instructor; up to 9 pts. for each Character Study):
Clowns and Rustics
Nobility and Fools
Mad Folk and Supernatural
Warriors and Breeches Parts
Lovers


Total Points for Course and Letter Grade
(90-100 pts. = A, 80-89 pts. = B, 70-79 pts. = C, 60-69 pts. = D, 59 pts. or less = F)
John Barton
circa 2005
Sonnet XXX ( / = strong stress, x = weak stress)
Remember, this is simply how I'd scan it; how would you say it?

/     x              x    /       x      x       /        /     x    /        a trochee, an iamb, a pyrrhic, a spondee, and an iamb
When to  | the ses|sions of | sweet si|lent
thought

x    /      x     /      x   /          x      x        /        /             three iambs, a pyrrhic, then a spondee       
I sum|mon up | remem|brance of | things
past,

x   /        x     /       x     /    x  x   /       x    /                   three iambs, an anapest, then an iamb
I sigh | the lack | of man|y a thing | I
sought,

x     /           /      /           /      /       x      /        /          /       an iamb, two spondees, an iamb, then a spondee
And with | old woes | new wail | my dear | time's
waste:

/      x      x     /         x   /         x    /        x    /          a trochee, followed by four iambs
Then can | I drown | an eye, | unused | to
flow,

x     /       x         /           /   x         /          /      x       /         two iambs, a trochee, a spondee, then an iamb
For pre|cious friends | hid in | death's date|less
night,

x      /        x   /          /         /          x      /        x      /        two iambs, a spondee, then two iambs
And weep | afresh | love's long | since can|cell'd
woe,

x      /            x       /         x     /    x  x  /      x       /              three iambs, an anapest, then an iamb
And moan | th'expense | of man|y a van|ish'd
sight:

/       x       x     /        x    /      x   x        x     /             a trochee, two iambs, a spondee, then an iamb
Then can | I grieve | at grie|vances | fore
gone,

x      /    x x      x     /        x    /        /     /                 an iamb, a pyrrhic, two iambs, then a spondee
And hea|vily | from woe | to woe | tell
o'er

x      /       x     /        x   /        x   /      x       /            the first truly iambic pentameter line!!!
The sad | account | of fore|-bemoa|ned
moan,

x    /       /     /       x  x      /      /       x   /              an iamb, a spondee, a pyrrhic, a spondee, then an iamb
Which I | new pay | as if | not paid | be
fore.

x   /     x     /        x   /        x     /          /       /         four iambs, then a spondee
But if | the while | I think | on thee, | dear
friend,

/    /     x     x        x    /          x      /      x       /           a spondee, a pyrrhic, then three iambs
All los|ses are | restored | and sor|rows
end.

Jonathan Bate (2009) -
Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick and a Governor of the Royal
Shakespeare Company

Regarding Punctuation in Shakespeare's Age:
It's a very complicated question, the punctuating of Shakespeare. What we've got to remember is that punctuation in
Shakespeare's time was left to the printer. We have one scene in Shakespeare's handwriting, the scene he contributed
to the multi-author play
Sir Thomas More and there's hardly any punctuation in that. So when Shakespeare wrote there
was hardly any punctuation. And that's true if you look at fragments from other dramatic manuscripts from the period,
there's hardly any punctuation.

So the punctuation in the early printed texts came from the printer, and the rules of punctuation were very different in
Shakespeare's time. Punctuation was...in some ways it was more rhetorical, it was more to do with the shape of the
argument than grammatical. So modernising Shakespeare's punctuation is always going to be a kind of compromise
between how punctuation worked in the original texts, how students and readers use it now, and how actors use it. And
indeed one of the exercises that directors often do with actors in working on a Shakespearean scene is they'll strip all
the punctuation out and get the actors to find the punctuation in the rehearsal room.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2008/2239090.htm
Sonnets from the 2013 Class
(in perfectly iambic pentameter!)

A SELFISH SONNET:
I wish that I could sleep for days on end;
To crawl into my bed and never leave;
And slumber peacefully with ne'er an end
just like a precious babe on Christmas Eve.
But then I think, "What is this thing called sleep?"
There's far to much to do, but not the time.
My mind's become the hardest thing to keep.
It's gone astray, and oh, so hard to find.
I still have hope that there will be a way
To close my eyes and rest my weary head.
We just don't have the hours inside a day
To do our work and still have time for bed.
So here we have another sleepless night,
Where sleep trades in for wake, and dark for light.
~Chrissy Bowen


I was assigned to write a piece for class.
This was a task I thought that I could do.
Upon my first attempt, I cried, "Alas!"
It turns out that this statement wasn't true.
I tried in vain o'er many a glass of wine,
But all for naught, as each attempt did fail.
I promisEd myself it would be fine,
Yet try and try I might to no avail.
And then into my mind a thought did come.
A brilliant stroke of genius, I must say:
Why write the things that often come to some?
Instead just write what I am trying to say.
And so, with passions reared and doubts content,
I wrote this sonnet here, and now I'm spent.
~Zack Steele


I sit here thinking what shall I do this eve  
My boredom grows and grows so vast and huge  
The web does not entice but leaves me peev’d
As much as putting on a dash of rouge.  
So little choice and none that are assured  
Until I spy a game I’ve never seen  
A bunch of clues to fill in squares for words
I attack with a ballpoint pen of green  
I start with one across: “A MAGIC STICK”  
I ponder what the answer is, I think  
Like Flitwick said to Ron, “just swish and flick”  
The answer’s wand, my joy turns my face pink!
O crosswords are my favorite thing, no doubt  
My boredom’s gone for I choose the fun route.
~Cooper Taggard


Mine heart and mind ache for the words to write
They echo in my brain from side to side
There seems to be no hope for me in sight
I’m slowly starting to lose all my pride
My eyes begin to fill up with wet tears
I feel as if thou wanst me to just die
I’ll sit here hopeless for a hundred years
No matter how incred’bly hard I try
I think I need to take an aspirin
The blood clot in mine head is ‘bout to burst
This project is going to do me in
I simply cannot see what should be versed
Can you believe my goal has been achieved
It’s something I never would have believed
~Ian Devine


Winter in Dayton
By my heart, rain doth fall upon the earth!
But in the winter months it should not rain.
Please wait for spring to give the ground rebirth
For spring doth make my allergies a pain.
The birds, they do not know what they should do,
To south they fly then turn around again
Confused to hear them stay to bill and coo
But Fairborn's full for ev'ry male and hen.
January should be thirteen below
It snows, it rains, it's hot, it's cold by day.
The birds are happy as they come and go
There's one simple thing that I have to say
To laws Mother Nature does not adhere
I close my eyes and hope that snow is near.
- Amy Wheeler


From both eyes crystal tears doth stain each cheek,
An evil in the heart of man took wing.
In Heaven twenty children now shall seek
The mercy on earth that refused to sing.
A child with heart and mind to mold like clay,
should fear no man inside our wretched world.
But sing, and dance, and smile, and grow, and play,
And fill the world with joy and hope unfurled
The suffocation and constraints of school,
Is something every child feels over time.
But if you take advantage, play the fool,
And repeat in your heart this basic rhyme:
Though homework, tests and class seem burdens now,
Remember children passed who ne'er learned how.
~Justin Talkington


Golden Globes Sonnet
By: Melissa Hall

It was a night like any other night,
the same event of many year that's past.
A dazzling array of gowns and light,
It was the night the Globes were on at last.
Admit I will, I do not watch a lot,
for films and shows do rob me of my time,
But men in suits are obviously hot,
So if I did not watch, t'would be a crime.
While Sacha Baron Cohen held his wine,
he slurred an insult aimed at Russell Crowe.
And Catharine Zeta Jones let out a whine,
No wait, she's singing, oh dear Lord please go.
The shocker wasn't Meryl ill with strep,
but Tina Fey disguised as Johnny Depp.