Learning Shakespeare should be fun! If the plays are read the way Shakespeare wrote them, it is. Actress Kris Dean ("Shakespeare's Women Speak") shows how to decode his language to understand the text and characters. Shakespeare wrote acting instructions into the lines, because the original actors had no rehearsals or directors! I use the First Folio method of teaching Shakespeare, developed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, to show how language creates the characters. They’re often not the ones you think you know. For example, Juliet isn’t a lovesick, swooning girl; she’s a rebellious, chatty, teenage drama queen. In The Taming of the Shrew, Kate's not really a shrew, and at the end of the play, she’s not really tamed: she and her husband Petruchio are hoodwinking their friends. Clues to a character’s personality are in the spelling, capitalization, rhythm, strange words, punctuation, and even passages that make no sense. All these devices create the real characters and spontaneous fun. It’s my mission to help people love Shakespeare’s work as much as I do, or at least, to understand it and give themselves a fair chance to enjoy it!
Ms. Dean (SAG-AFTRA) trained at the Royal National Theatre Studio of Great Britain, and also studied with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with British director Patrick Tucker, renowned for his critically acclaimed staging of Shakespeare’s plays as they originally were produced. She holds an M.A. from Stony Brook University, a B.A. from Colgate University, Teaching Artist Certification from the Roundabout Theatre Company Education Program, New York State permanent teaching certification, a NYC Dept. of Education Teaching License, and an FCC Broadcasting License. Kris won grants from the Westchester Arts Council and New York Foundation for the Arts to write and perform her original one-woman show about stereotypes, “Bombshells, Goombahs, Nonnas, and Wiseguys: Will the Real Italian Americans Please Stand Up?” which she has performed in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. Most recently, she created a one-woman show, “Shakespeare’s Women Speak,” in which she portrays female characters as they were written, not the way they’ve been interpreted after editorial changes. Kris’s stage credits include Off-Broadway, The Nuyorican Poets Café, La Mama Galleria, West Side Repertory Theatre, Boston’s Improv Asylum, and The Provincetown Theatre. Her TV, film, and radio credits include MTV2, WBAI Radio, America's Most Wanted, Radiant City (with Kirstie Alley), and Sweet Dreams of a Pierogi Fiend (debuted at The Kitchen film series in NYC). Articles about her have appeared in BackStage, A&E Monthly, The Cape Cod Times, and The Provincetown Banner, among other publications.