Skip to main content Skip to footer site map


Fear grips many American actors and directors faced with the opportunity to perform Shakespeare live. The challenges of Elizabethan British speech patterns, the thought of using verse for hours, the debate over staging a period piece versus "updating" the Bard of Avon-all can cause psychogenic trauma on this side of the Atlantic.

In Shakespeare for American Actors and Directors (Limelight Editions, April 2013, $14.99), Aaron Frankel defines and asserts the acting tools by which American actors may freshly and truly illuminate Shakespeare. He applies these tools to example scenes, discusses director choices, as well as the execution of those choices. He even addresses myths about what accents are most appropriate for Shakespearean characters. Finally, he plunges readers into the meaning of scenes, so that they can experiment with their roles to best convey those meanings.

Frankel's thirty years leading a professional Shakespeare workshop at Uta Hagen-Herbert Berghof (HB) Studio in New York City gives him a distinct advantage when addressing how directors work with actors doing Shakespeare. Viewing Shakespeare through the lens of American performance, catering specifically to the learning sensibilities of American-bred talent, Shakespeare for American Actors and Directors' streamlined size and reader-friendly presentation make it a practical tool for actors and directors wishing to learn Bard-based performance.

Shakespeare for American Actors and Directors
TODAY, April 23, 2013
144 pages
5.25" x 7.5"
Limelight Editions
an imprint of Hal Leonard

Aaron Frankel (New York City) has directed more than 100 plays and musicals, from Broadway and Off-Broadway to summer stock and university theater. He has worked with such stars as Zero Mostel, Walter Matthau, and Robert Redford. An internationally-known theater teacher, Frankel has taught at universities across the country and led a Shakespeare workshop at New York's HB Studio for more than 30 years.

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You