Staging Shakespeare - A Director's Guide to Preparing a Production

Staging Shakespeare - A Director's Guide to Preparing a Production $34.99

Buy Kindle Edition

Brian Kulick

Published by Methuen

This book begins with a phone call

You answer it and learn that you got the job

Several months from now you're going to stage a Shakespeare play

So …

What do you do?

What do you do after that initial burst of adrenalin has passed through your body and you realize you haven't a clue as to what the play is really about, or what you might want to do with it?

How exactly do you prepare for such an equally wonderful and daunting task?

This is the central question addressed by this book

It grows out of decades of preparing for Shakespeare productions and watching others do the same

It will save you some of the panic, wasted time, and fruitless paths experienced

It guides you through the crucial period of preparation and helps focus on such issues as:

· What Shakespeare's life, work, and world can tell us
· What patterns to look for in the text
· What techniques might help unpack Shakespeare's verse
· What approaches might unlock certain hidden meanings
· What literary lenses might bring things into sharper focus
· What secondary sources might lead to a broader contextual understanding
· What thought experiments might aid in visualizing the play

Ultimately, this book draws back the curtain and shows how the antique machinery of Shakespeare's theatre works

The imaginative time span begins from the moment you learn that on such and such date you will begin rehearsing such and such Shakespeare play

Our narrative clock starts ticking the moment you put down the phone and stops when you arrive at the rehearsal hall and begin your first table read

So much of what will be the success or failure of a director's project rests on this work that is done before rehearsals even begin


Introduction: “For It Hath No Bottom” Shakespeare and the Vertigo of Multiple Meaning

PART ONE: “It Shall be Inventoried” A Brief Look at Shakespeare's Dramatic World

Chapter One: “Now Sir, What is Your Text?” Which Shakespeare; Which Text?
Chapter Two: “And There is Much Music.” Learning to Read the Visible and Invisible Score of Shakespeare
Chapter Three: “Wherefore Are These Things Hid?” Pattern Recognition in Shakespeare's Plays
Chapter Four: “Your Actions Are My Dreams;” Structure and Shakespeare
Chapter Five: “Stand and Unfold Yourself” Revelation of Character in the Works of Shakespeare.

PART TWO “What Means This, My Lord?” A Fourfold Approach to Interpretation

Chapter Six: “To Sing a Song That Old Was Sung.” Plain Readings
Chapter Seven: “You Speak a Language I Know Not.” Allegorical Readings
Chapter Eight: “A Natural Perspective That is and is Not.” Analogical Readings
Chapter Nine: “Is Not This Strange” Abstract Readings

PART THREE “Come, Give Us A Taste of your Quality.” Practical Matters

Chapter Ten: “What Say You?” Finding the Rhyme between Shakespeare, Yourself, and Your Time
Chapter Eleven: “The Fall of a Sparrow.” Shaping Shakespeare
Chapter Twelve. “Brave New Worlds.” Designing Shakespeare
Chapter Thirteen: “The World Must be Peopled.” Auditions
Chapter Fourteen: “Resolve You For More Amazement.” The First Day of Rehearsal
Chapter Fifteen: “For Here I Hope Begins Our Lasting Joy.” A Word About Shakespeare's Endings

About the Author

Brian Kulick is the Chair of Columbia University’s School of the Arts Theatre Program, where he also teaches directing with Anne Bogart. In addition to staging the works of Shakespeare, Brecht, and Tony Kushner, he has been the Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company and an ArtisticAssociate for The Public Theatre

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.


We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2024 Stageplays, Inc.