New Comprehensive Shakespeare Website Features Complete, Faithful Works at No Charge
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
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!
"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
Media contact: Kim Taylor
Email: KimTaylorpr @ aol.com