The School of Outrageous Shakespeare (SOS) is in-depth education to enliven our everyday speech. Students will learn to speak with a quality that will have people interested in hearing what you have to say, and perhaps, to want to know more of whom you are.
This is not just for actors, but for business people and every folk who want to more eloquently express themselves. Each class offers a conscious use of your vocal instrument, working with the whole body to create an authentic personal voice. This program was created to rekindle the art of speaking well. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was called “elocution.” To speak well, you need to have dialogue that will stretch your vocabulary, diction, enunciation, grace, and even physical stature. In other words, poise, charm and panache!
An important dynamic is that of being fully alive in your body. We will work with movement, pulling aspects from Comedia del arte as a discipline, integrating hand and arm gestures, skeletal alignment, walking, eye contact, and voice production. We will work a full emotional range from tragedy to comedy. For these exercises, memorization of monologues and scenes will be the major use of the Bard’s text.
The vehicle that will bring this all into focus is William Shakespeare’s extraordinary canon of plays, sonnets and poetry. Here in the United States, we are fortunate that Master Shakespeare was English, and we speak his language, albeit in a less formal, and frankly, less interesting way. We believe we need to counter our electronic shorthand of emailing and texting, which sneaks into the way we speak.
Finally, working with the Bard’s creative genius allows us to better use our imagination. Shakespeare’s plays were written to be performed, and the only way to do that is to get up on your feet and find yourself in a world that is waiting… begging to be created with you as these characters that have stood the test of four centuries.
There still exists a stereotype of Shakespeare’s work being stiff, flat, boring, unintelligible, and old-fashioned. Oh, contraire. The Bard’s work is action physical and emotional, and highly intelligent with the use of rhetorical dynamics and, sometime, extremely bawdy! We believe his work offers us all an arena to flex our being alive in ways that we can hardly envision. Come and see what we mean! We invite you to sit in on a class and witness the transformation that happens. These classes are robust: students are gently encouraged to reach a place outside of your comfort zone. Shakespeare’s text will have you becoming and embracing all sides of you, whether it be regal, clownish, heroic, despicable, or loveable. These classes offer us a refreshing arena to be OUTRAGEOUS!