New Comprehensive Shakespeare Website Features Complete, Faithful Works at No ChargeRead more...
Making its official launch on Shakespeare's birthday, April 23, the website www.PlayShakespeare.com puts Shakespeare and his works just a click away.
April 23, 2007 -- "Come hither from the furrow and be merry." 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 López-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 Severdia.
Media contact: Kim Taylor
Email: KimTaylorpr @ aol.com
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