The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0311 Thursday, 3 May 2007
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Thursday, May 03, 2007
Subject: www.PlayShakespeare.com Launched on April 23
PRESS RELEASE: Making its official launch on Shakespeare's birthday, April
23, the website www.PlayShakespeare.com puts Shakespeare and his works
just a click away. The website joins Shakespeare and technology, with
extensive features-including all of Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems
with the best quality text available for free on the Internet.
"By quality, we mean 'remaining faithful' to Shakespeare's original folio
and quartos," said Ron Severdia of Mill Valley, founder of
PlayShakespeare.com. "For teachers, students, theatrical professionals or
just fans, now quality Shakespeare text is at your fingertips. Other text
available for free on the Internet just isn't comparable; you'd have to
purchase a text to get this quality."
In his development of the website, Severdia (an actor who has performed
Shakespeare in Europe and the United States and holds a Royal Academy of
Dramatic Arts Shakespeare Certificate), consulted a team of Shakespearean
scholars that includes Julian Lpez-Morillas and Barry Kraft, both noted
Shakespearean actors and authors.
"The text can be freely used without copyright or royalty fees for study,
research and performance," Severdia said. "All we ask is that those using
the text gathered from the website credit PlayShakespeare.com."
The website features a user-friendly approach to the text, including an
"inline glossary." Scroll over an arcane or confusing word and a box pops
up for easy reference of characters, locations and terminology.
"As far as we know, PlayShakespeare.com is the first website to feature an
inline glossary," said Severdia. "It's a unique tool that makes reading
and understanding Shakespeare really easy."
Other features on the website include ongoing reviews of Shakespeare
productions on stage and screen by a network of noted critics; a "Links"
page showcasing the largest and most comprehensive up-to-date list of U.S.
and International Shakespeare companies, festivals and organizations, plus
a monologue search site and resource site for teachers and students; a
discussion forum; and a "Facts" page that includes Shakespeare's biography
and play chronology.
PlayShakespeare.com has already demonstrated that it has worldwide appeal.
Since the site went live in April 2006, it has generated nearly one
million worldwide visits from countries including India, Malaysia, Germany
and the United Kingdom.
"What a fantastic site!" said Robert J. Williamson, Artistic Director of
The British Shakespeare Company, located in London.
"This new site on Shakespeare performance is very welcome. The input of
stage professionals will be a great gain for academic users; and it's an
excellent opportunity for them both to engage in dialogues within the
theatre profession and with those who enjoy its products," said Hugh
Macrae Richmond, Director of the Shakespeare Program, University of
California at Berkeley.
"This is a great way for directors to discuss ways they're interpreting
Shakespeare, how set designers approach designs for performance, and how
young actors are approaching it," said James Dunn, awarding-winning
Shakespeare director and professor emeritus of the College of Marin Drama
Department. "There are other places online to read the plays, but I really
love the way the texts are organized. It's a great idea! Outstanding!"
"Our website will be a work-in-progress with the text continuously updated
and maintained, using our forum and its input from scholars and
professionals devoted to the original works of Shakespeare," said
For interviews or more information contact:
Ron Severdia - PlayShakespeare.com
[Editor's Note: Ron Severdia has been a member of SHAKSPER for a sometime.
Through e-mail, he provided me wonderful suggestions about tweaking my
home theater system. Of course, my receiver and speakers needed to be
upgraded, but I find the results breath-taking. -HMCook]
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook,
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions
expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor
assumes no responsibility for them.