Bill Rauch’s Measure for Measure at Oregon Shakespeare Festival with Frankie J. Alvarez (Claudio), Alejandra Escalante (Juliet) Tyrone Wilson (guard) and Kenajuan Bentley (Lucio).
John Tufts (Romeo) and Christine Albright (Juliet) in Bill Rauch's Romeo and Juliet
DIRECTING SHAKESPEARE IN AMERICA is the result of a ten-year study of directors working on Shakespeare. Over the last decade, Charles Ney interviewed more than 50 artistic directors and directors about their beliefs and craft. In addition, he has researched the history of the most influential American directors of Shakespeare starting with Augustin Daly.
The first book, Current Practices will be released on February 25, 2016. It consists of advice on all aspects of directing a Shakespearean production. It is presented in the order in which a director works on a "typical" production. Ney discussed with each director how they handled the nuts and bolts of their work in the various phases of production. Live interviews allowed Ney to get a feel for each director's personal style and in almost every instance, he was able to view at least one production directed by them.
The second book, Historical Perspectives, examines each director's major productions of Shakespeare as well as their methods up to the 2000. It will also be published by Bloomsbury's Arden Shakespeare division in 2017.
"I think your role, as an interpretive artist, is to respond to what resonates for you in the script. I think how I would approach Hamlet at 30 would be different than how I would approach directing it at 55 or 60." – Henry Worinicz
"I don’t like work that is dull and safe, where you are getting the laughs that have been achieved in the last five productions of that play. I don’t like formulaic theatre. I don’t think it’s enough to say that we hold a mirror up to the world we live in. I think we actually have to take responsibility for changing what’s done." – Des McAnuff
"One of the great things about Shakespeare is that we don’t know how it was done. We don’t know how it was made… It’s allowed us to come back to him and try to re-imagine. We have to. It’s foolish to think that we can do Shakespeare the way Shakespeare was done. It’s impossible." – Brian Kulick
"My feeling is that if the plays are not alive for contemporary audiences, and they are viewed as museum pieces or a kind of cultural medication, then something is radically wrong."
"Shakespeare is like a bottomless sea because it always sticks to one’s fingers. It’s exactly when you feel like you caught it, you realize, “Oh! That’s not what it is!” – Andrei Serban
King Lear directed by Robert Falls with Stacy Keach (Lear) and Edward Gero (Gloucester) at the Goodman Theatre.
Darko Tresjnak's The Tempest with Shrine Babb (Ariel) at Hartford Stage.
Mary Zimmerman's Pericles with Ryan Artzberger as Pericles at the Goodman Theatre.
Vilma Silva (Katherina) and Michael Elich (Petruchio) in Kate Buckley's production of Taming of the Shrew
"I dislike very much the language being wrenched out of shape. Because there are simple guidelines that you just follow in speaking. We all follow them whether we know we are following them or not. We’re hitting the verbs. I’m hitting them now. There are rules that help. Like playing cards or understanding music." – Mark Lamos
Ralph Alan Cohen
John Cullum (Cymbeline), Michael Ceveris (Leonatus), and Martha Plimpton (Imogen) in Mark Lamos's Cymbeline
R. Scott Phillips
J. R. Sullivan
" I think what Shakespeare wrote is so passionate and so shocking. He plumbs the depths of despair, and the heights of joy, and every contour of the human experience. So you better be pushing yourself as an artist to explore the outer reaches of your imagination. You have to be, to match the power of the work, and to dare be worthy of interpreting this work." – Bill Rauch
Copyright 2013. Charles Ney. All Rights Reserved.