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LAMDA: Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Finding meaning in the text

  • New Mexico History Museum • Auditorium 113 Lincoln Avenue Santa Fe, NM, 87501 United States (map)

Readers, actors, directors, and the general public will learn how to find the meaning in the text.

This workshop involves an exploration of Shakespeare’s sonnets through voice and body, breathing life into the literary form. It will start with shared exercises designed to help actors and readers experience words in the oral/aural dimension, rather than as literary “shapes” on the page, focusing on breath, sound and articulation, and the practice of active listening.

We will reappraise form—rhythm, rhyme, the image, rhetorical shapes, the texture of language in assonance and alliteration—through speaking and listening. How do rhyme, the variation and quick change of rhythm and thought, the choice of image, the specificity of the word, affect the actor and listener?

If time permits, shared exercises will then be applied to workshopping sonnets with individual actors.

Note from Judith Phillips:
The workshop reflects a typical class, and will show exercises I have developed to helpactors explore the demands of language and form in Shakespeare’s sonnets, with specificity and with imagination. I do not propose to present answers, but to share ideas and stimulate questions, and I hope that the work will invite the audience to consider the practical challenges that these texts present to the young actor: the demands of rhythm and rhyme, the balance between the forward drive of the thought and the detail of each word, the specificity of the image and how it links into one’s own experience and imagination, and how all the above affect the body, breath, and voice.

The workshop runs two hours and is open to both actors and observers. 
$25 for actors
$15 for students and observers

This workshop is led by Judith Phillips, Head of Voice at LAMDA, and Joanna Read, Principal at LAMDA.

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And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it.
— Holofernes in Love’s Labor’s Lost