Pub Date2020
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Shakespeare’s Auditory Worlds: Hearing and Staging Practices, Then and Now

Laury Magnus and Walter W. Cannon (eds)
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

nspired by the verbal exuberance and richness of all that can be heard by audiences both on and off Shakespeare’s stages, Shakespeare’s Auditory Worlds examines such special listening situations as overhearing, eavesdropping, and asides. It breaks new ground by exploring the complex relationships between sound and sight, dialogue and blocking, dialects and other languages, re-voicings, and, finally, nonverbal or metaverbal relationships inherent in noise, sounds, and music, staging interstices that have been largely overlooked in the critical literature on aurality in Shakespeare. Its contributors include David Bevington, Ralph Alan Cohen, Steve Urkowitz, and Leslie Dunn, and, in a concluding “Virtual Roundtable” section, six seasoned repertory actors of the American Shakespeare Center as well, who discuss their nuanced hearing experiences on stage. Their “hearing” invites us to understand the multiple dimensions of Shakespeare’s auditory world from the vantage point of actors who are listening “in the round” to what they hear from their onstage interlocutors, from offstage and backstage cues, from the musicians’ galleries, and often most interestingly, from their audiences.