What Country, Friends, Is This?: Directing Shakespeare with Young Performers


ISBN: 9781848428034
Author: By Max Hafler
Publication Date: 5/08/2021
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Extent: 336pp.
Availability: Available


A highly practical, comprehensive guide to exploring Shakespeare with young people – ideal for directors, youth theatre leaders, workshop facilitators and teachers.

Experienced teacher, actor and director Max Hafler tackles the myths that Shakespeare’s work is like a foreign country, not for the faint-hearted, or only for a privileged few. In this book, he shows how you can embrace the challenges of doing Shakespeare with young people, and make the plays accessible and exciting for all.

Beginning with a series of workshops that introduce the skills and principles of voice and acting, he sets out, step by step, how to use devising, develop short scenes, explore soliloquies, and unlock the themes, characters, stories and language of the plays.

The holistic approach includes dozens of exercises – many inspired by Michael Chekhov’s innovative technique – which will help young actors explore their voice, imagination and body, and lead to performances that are richer, focused and more fulfilling.

There is also useful advice on preparing for a production, editing and transposing the text, rehearsing scenes, and fostering an ensemble. Above all, this book will equip you to engage and empower young people, and to help them discover for themselves the joy of working with Shakespeare.

Praise for Max Hafler’s Teaching Voice: Workshops for Young Performers:

‘A useful book for teachers, youth theatre leaders, facilitators and indeed anyone who works with young people… plenty of exercises, warm-ups and advice about how to use the techniques in the rehearsal room’ The Stage

‘Through years of experience, Hafler has developed a great understanding of what can work with teenagers and shares it generously with those who work in the field’ Word Matters (Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama)

‘It is clear that the original, imaginative and fun exercises that are found within this book have been thoughtfully put together by someone who has a wealth of experience in his field and that each session has been successfully tried and tested with his own students’ Drama Magazine

‘A must-own… full of exercises and advice to explore’ Teaching Drama

Additional information


ePub, Mobi, Print