All the Words on Stage
- “All the Words on Stage” makes the speaking of Shakespeare’s texts truly accessible to students, actors, and the general public. It is an indispensable tool for the rehearsal studio, the theater, and the classroom.
- This book now available in a new app makes it possible for you to pronounce every character name, geographic location, mythological reference, and any unfamiliar word in all 37 plays.
- The pronunciation of each word is given in an easy to understand respelling system as well as with phonetics. Alternate pronunciations, based on the meter in Shakespeare’s verse, are also included.
- This reference book contains a chapter that discusses techniques of verse speaking and an appendix that alerts the reader to especially difficult words in each play.
- This expansive dictionary also lists the pronunciation of every Latin word and phrase in Shakespeare.
- The dictionary All the Words on Stage has now been made into an app
All the Words on Stage Contents:
- Play Titles and Abbreviations
- Key to Pronunciations
- How to Use the Dictionary
- Scanning the verse
- The Dictionary
- Accents, Dialects, and Foreign Languages
“Anyone who has dedicated numerous rehearsal hours to explore and prepare for a production of Shakespeare will be delighted that this useful tool, painstakingly put together by Louis Scheeder and Shane Ann Younts, is available. Their comprehensive pronunciation dictionary blends thorough academic expertise with the practicalities of helping actors navigate the splendidly perilous ocean of Shakespeare’s language so that the actors can satisfy Hamlet’s request to speak their speeches ‘trippingly on the tongue’.”
Joe Dowling, Artistic Director of the Guthrie Theater
“Since Shakespeare has become the most produced playwright in America, this book serves a wonderful purpose, throwing light where there has been considerable darkness. It tells you how to pronounce every single word (and their variants) in the Shakespearean canon, but that’s not the end of it. Through pronunciation, verse form is revealed: rhythm can be established for the actor and, so, perceived by the audience. The book succeeds in dismantling the language to make it accessible to the actor and director and, through them to the many thousands who come somewhere, every night, to partake of Shakespeare’s magic.”
Zelda Fichandler, Former Chair, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program
“If you read, play, direct, or even just fool around with Shakespeare, you must be the owner of All the Words on Stage.”
Zoe Caldwell, Actor
“By exploring the mechanics of Shakespeare’s writing, “All the Words on Stage” clearly illustrates how to speak and understand his texts and ultimately breaks down the language barrier. It covers the bard’s powerful iambic pentameter and its effect on pronunciation, the irregularities that reveal the emotional and psychological state of each character, and how each word works in relation to another concerning prose, verse, blank verse, and rhyming verse.
Scheeder, founder and director of the Classical Studio at New York University, and Younts, teacher of the Techniques of Voice and Text in the Graduate Acting Dept at the same institution, present a highly useful pronunciation dictionary. They use the International Phonetics Alphabet, respell words in their key to pronunciation, and intricately mark in scansion each word. When a word can be pronounced two different ways, they indicate both followed by the play, the act, and the scene in which each form is used. Many books exist to help actors approach Shakespeare’s works, but they tend toward more general overviews. This book is rich with information and nicely focused. Recommended.”
From The Critics Library Journal
“For years, actors, directors, and dramaturges have struggled with a variety of materials for guidance on the pronunciation of Shakespeare’s names, along with a multitude of other resources that helped with the pronunciation of obscure words appearing in his plays. Now the authors, who work in the rehearsal studio with these texts every day, have put everything – character names plus unfamiliar words – into one easy-to-carry book, with phonetic pronunciations that are so easy to read that they can be instantly applied. All the Words on Stage is a groundbreaking work for everyone involved in the rehearsal process of Shakespeare’s plays.
Every Shakespeare actor or student should own a copy, and no rehearsal table should lack one or three copies for easy reference during every stage of the rehearsal process! Thank you for creating a terrific tool to assist us in this day-to-day process of moving the words off the page in order to bring them to life on the stage. Bravo!”
Joanne Zipay, Artistic Director, Judith Shakespeare Company