Events list

Event details

Forthcoming events


Archive events and links


Shakespeare’s Words version 3.0


Pronouncing Shakespeare



Archive events and links

10 February 2021
A dramatic reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in OP at the University of Salzburg, Austria, 5pm.
After studying Old English, Middle English and Early Modern English, the BA-class ‘English Through the Ages: Spotlight on Systems and Usage’ (convened by Jana Pflaeging) concluded with a 60-minute dramatic reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She writes: 'A video-conferencing platform served as a somewhat unusual stage. Despite the pandemic-induced challenges, getting the chance to apply our knowledge and make a 400-year old play come to life has been a great motivation to students and lecturer alike.' She shares two student reactions: I was really excited and I enjoyed myself very much. When I prepared myself I felt like a first grader in elementary school by doing 20 minutes of reading practice almost every day. Actually I thought that I would be extremely nervous during the dramatic reading, but then it was so much fun that I forgot about being nervous. (Renate, BA student); Thank you so much for teaching us this unusual skill, I loved every second of it. (Irina, BA student) She adds: 'The transcripts, recordings and publications provided by David Crystal and Paul Maier proved invaluable to realising our project. Thank you so much for these open-access materials – and your enthusiasm for OP.'

30 October – 20 November 2020
Baltimore Shakespeare Factory presents King Lear in original pronunciation, directed by Tom Delise and performed at the Kestrel Playhouse in the St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21211. 

July 2020
The 2010 radio drama version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Kansas University,dorected by Paul Meier, is now freely available as streaming audio on Paul’s website. See and then the sub link,

9 April 2020
Publication of Sonia Massai’s Shakespeare’s Accents: Voicing Identity in Performance (CUP), which contains in Chapter 2 an illuminating discussion of OP and its recent theatrical history, placed in the context of regional and social accents generally. A must-read for anyone interested in OP.

18 December 2019
Robert Southwell’s Christmas poetry recited in original pronunciation in a project entitled ‘The Divine Infant’s Timeline’, with accompanying pantomime and originally composed music. Staged by English Philology Department Students’ Club at University of Applied Sciences in Tarnów, Poland, directed by Dr Grzegorz Nawrocki. First performance held on Wednesday, December 18 at 11.30 a.m. Venue: University aula, Mickiewicza Street 8, Tarnów, Building C, room 017.

1-2 June 2019
Extracts from King Lear in OP set to music by Adrienne Inglis, in a piece called ‘The Rage and Reconciliation of King Lear’. It was performed as part of a concert by Inversion Ensemble: ‘Heroes and Monsters: songs of legends and beasts’, Saturday June 1 at 7 pm in Westminster Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 3208 Exposition Blvd. Austin, Texas 78703, and Sunday June 2 at 3 pm in Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2111 Alexander Ave. Austin, Texas 78722.

12 April 2019 to 5 May 2019
Baltimore Shakespeare Factory production of Hamlet in OP, directed by Chris Cotterman. Performed in the Great Hall of the St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211. Performance dates were Fridays (8 pm), Saturdays (8 pm), and Sundays (4 pm). Pre-show 30 minutes before curtain. Website:

6 June 2018
Justine Viani reads Sonnet 116 in OP in an evening of ‘Bach and Sonnets’, directed by Wolfgang Mittelmaier, at Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs, 47 Frith Street, London, 6 pm (doors open at 5).

6 Apr – 29 Apr 2018
Baltimore Shakespeare Factory Othello in OP, directed by Tom Delise. Performances every Friday and Saturday (8 pm) and Sunday (4 pm) between the opening and when it closes on Sunday, April 29. Venue: St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211. Pre-show lectures are held before each Saturday performance at 7 pm. Pre-show entertainment takes place before every show beginning one half hour before curtain. Further details here.

23 Feb – 3 Mar 2018
The Underlings Theatre Co. presents Romeo & Juliet performed in OP. This production blends old and new as it weaves OP into a style inspired by 80s cult classic films such as Heathers and The Virgin Suicides. Directed by Lelaina Vogel with voice and text coaching by Daniel Thomas Blackwell. Presented at the Chelsea Theatre Works. Details here.

21 Feb – 23 Mar 2018
Twelfth Night in OP, presented by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater in partnership with UCF, an AEA, Elizabethan, all male, shared lighting, OP production (in repertory with Shakespeare in Love). Directed by Carolyn Howarth. Accent Master Coach-Paul Meier; Accent Coaches-Jim Helsinger and Dan Romano.

26 August through 22 October 2, 2017, Maryland Renaissance Festival
Love letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, performed in Original Pronunciation Performers: Fred Nelson and Heather O’Shaughnessy Director: Mary Ann Jung; Artistic Director: Carolyn Spedden; OP Consultant: Valerie Dowdle. For tickets and further information see: here.

1-3 August 2017, 8 pm,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream in OP, presented by the Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre Summer Repertory at the University Theatre Center’s Showcase Theatre. Directed by Penny Hasekoester with Dr Laura Avery as dialect coach and music director. For further information, see: here.

25-30 July 2017 Prague Shakespeare Company,
three OP productions at Divadlo na Pradle, Besední 487/3, Praha 1-Malá Strana, 118 00, Czech Republic 25 July, 19.00; 30 July, 14.00, Romeo and Juliet, drected by Steve Urkowitz 26 and 29 July, 19.00, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, drected by Lisa Wolpe 27 and 30 July, 19.00, Richard II, drected by Robert Gander, with Ben Crystal as Richard For tickets and further information see: here.

31 May to 3 June 2017, at Circa 2, Wellington, New Zealand
Crystal Clear Shakespeare Directed by Ben Crystal Presented by Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand (SGCNZ) in association with Circa Theatre & TACT. See review here

22 May 2017, 7.30 pm, Lincoln Center, New York
The History of the World in 100 Performances: the Premiere of Hamlet, with Adam Gopnik, Stephen Greenblatt, and actors Dan Beaulieu and Claire Warden performing a scene in OP. Screened live on Facebook Live. Video now available from the Lincoln Center: the OP part begins about 40 minutes in.

12 May 2017, 7.30 pm
Much Ado About Nothing, produced by Weyard Ensemble Theater and directed by Daniel Thomas Blackwell at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143.

March-April 2017
Antony and Cleopatra, produced by Baltimore Shakespeare Factory and directed by Tom Delise. At St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21211. March 31 – April 23. Performances werere Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 4 pm.

19 November 2016
British Bard-Song! A Shakespearean Pageant of Voices Performers: Cambridge Timeline Choir and Juice Vocal Ensemble Workshop: 5:30–6:30 pm, Concert: 7:30pm – 9:30 pm Venue: Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington St., Cambridge 26 November 2016 Performers: Leith Hill Timeline Choir and Juice Vocal Ensemble Workshop: 5:30–6:30 pm, Concert: 7:30pm – 9:30 pm Venue: St. Martin’s Church, Dorking, Surrey

THE SOUND OF THE FOLIO: Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation
September 15, 2016 — a 90-minute presentation at the University of Connecticut in conjunction with a 1-month residency of an original First Folio, curtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library. David Alan Stern, along with several UCONN colleagues and students, discussed the recent movement to perform Shakespeare in the reconstructed Early Modern English accent, aka Original Pronunciation. They described the phonology of the accent, the kinds of linguistic research used to explore it, the work of linguist David Crystal and actor/director Ben Crystal in researching the accent and bringing it to the stage, and the history of OP productions since the Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2004. The presentation included live OP performances by participants (including Nathan Markiewitz, co-director with Ben Crystal of OP Pericles), video excerpts from several OP productions, and recorded audio and/or video appearances by David Crystal, Ben Crystal, Paul Meier (director of the Midsummer Night’s Dream at U of Kansas), Tom Delise (director of Merchant of Venice at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory), and William Sutton (sonnet specialist and member of Ben Crystal’s PIP Shakespeare ensemble).

Master Henslowe’s Diary in OP, an imaginative presentation by Ben Crystal and Passion in Practice, based on a play written by David Crystal (available in the Books and Articles section of David Crystal’s website): Shakespeare’s Globe, Thursday 26 May, 7 pm. Followed by a Q & A session.

Marlowe’s Dr Faustus in OP, presented by Ben Crystal’s Passion in Practice company: Shakespeare’s Globe, Sunday 22 May, 4 pm. Followed by a Q & A session.

At home, in Her chambers, Her mantel removed and withdrawn in Her nightwear, with Her musicke, Her wordes and Her teares, we join Her Majesty and Her writings with songes and musicke for the Virginalles in a remarkable spoken, sung and played programme of Dowland, Byrd, Morely and Gibbons with the readings in original pronunciation of Shakespeare sonnets and the poems and writings of Her Majesty Elizabeth Regina of England and His Majesty James VI Rex of Scotland, in costume and leaden painted visage. Performed by the EGG Ensemble: 17 March 2016 8 pm, Luftraum, Maienstraße 4, 10787 Berlin, U-Bahnhof Nollendorfplatz, Tel: 030 211 58 90; 5 May 2016, 8 pm, Kammermusiksaal Havelschlösschen, Waldmüllerstr. 3, Potsdam Klein Glienicke,Reservations: 0331 7481496?; 22 May 2016, 5 pm, Schlosskirche Köpenick, Alt-Köpenick 1, 12557 Berlin

King Lear, directed by Murray McGibbon. Wells-Metz Theatre, Indiana University, May 5, 6 at 7.30 pm, May 7 at 2.00 and 7.30 pm, May 8 at 2.00 pm. Reviewed by Terri Bourus here.

Interview with David Crystal on OP in Exeunt magazine, 5 May 2016: here.

Pericles: Recomposed, with Ben Crystal’s Passion in Practice Shakespeare Ensemble and L’Arte del Mondo with Daniel Hope. Tuesday April 5, 6.00 pm, Savannah Music Festival, Lucas Theatre for the Arts.

Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s production of The Winter’s Tale. Directed by James Keegan. Fridays (8 pm), Saturdays (8 pm), and Sundays (4 pm) from April 1-24 at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21211.

The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespearean Pronunciation, by David Crystal, published by Oxford University Press on 24 March 2016, with an associated audio file.

Henry V in OP for Shakespeare’s Globe, in the Read Not Dead series, with Ben Crystal’s Passion in Practice Shakespeare ensemble, Sunday 26 July 2015 at 16.00. Preceded by an illustrated lecture by David Crystal with the Ensemble on Thursday 16 July at 19.00. Also at The Loft, 47/49 Tanner Street, London SE1 3PL, 3-5 August 2015.

Scenes from As You Like It in OP. Narrated by Jennifer Geizhals, directed by Louis Scheeder and Daniel Spector. Wed and Thurs, 29/30 July 2015, 7pm, the Circus Room on the 5th Floor at 721 Broadway, New York City.

The Merchant of Venice in OP, directed by Tom Delise, various dates between 27 March and 25 April 2015, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory.

John Donne’s poem An Epithalamion, or Marriage Song On the Lady Elizabeth and Count Palatine Being Married on St. Valentine’s Day and his A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day read by scholar and author Seth Lerer in OP, with songs by Campion, Dowland and others sung by Hallie Fishel with John Edwards on Renaissance lutes. 8pm, 7 March 2015, Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave, Toronto.

Pericles in OP, Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, 29 January 2015 at 18.00, with Ben Crystal’s Shakespeare Ensemble and music (Richter’s Four Seasons Recovered) by the Trondheim Soloists, with violin soloist Daniel Hope; introductory talk by David Crystal. Part of the Interplay series. Panel discussion followed. The performance was critically acclaimed in the Swedish press, such as this one from Dagens Nyheter: here. Louie Woodall was there to write a series of reports for The Shaksepeare Standard:
Part I
Part II
Part III

The OP Globe Macbeth was reprised on December 6/7 2014 at 47/49 Tanner Street, London, reviewed here and here.

Twelfth Night in OP, Classical Actors Ensemble, Minneapolis, MN, 1-23 November 2014. See here.

Julius Caesar in Original Pronunciation, presented at the Edinburgh Fringe, 3-9 August 2014, 16.10 pm, Gryphon@WestEnd (Venue 109), University of Houston-Downtown, University Theatre, 85-min version.

A series introducing OP in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe on the 10th, 17th, and 20th July 2014. David and Ben Crystal presented two illustrated talks, with members of Ben’s company, Passion in Practice, and the series concluded with a production of Macbeth in OP. For some reflections and pictures, see here and here.

Ben Crystal’s company, Passion in Practice, is here.

David and Ben Crystal, OP talk at the Shakespeare Institute Summer School, Stratford upon Avon, 15 August 2013; also at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, 10 October 2013.

Follow-up to the Open University video here.

The video itself can be seen on YouTube here.

Live stream of OP seminar with Tim Carroll and Paul Meier from the Stratford (Canada) Festival, Saturday Jun 1, 2013 9:45am — 1:00pm EDT.

Lecture by Dean Hoffman, ‘Materialism, Mimetics and Monophony: Novelistic Discourse in the Sloane Life of Robin Hood’. International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 2013. Also: ‘”It is our maner to leave but a little behind”: Speech-Act and Real Time in Performance of the Sloane Life of Robin Hood’. International Medieval Congress, Leeds (UK) July 2013.

As You Like It, OP performance by ROSTRA at Bangor University, Wales, 19-21 April 2013, viewable here. Macbeth OP, directed by Hamilton Meadows, American Theatre of Actors, 314 W 54th St, New York City, 1-24 February 2013.

Katherine Twaddle, opera studies coordinator at Desautels Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba, rehearsing (January 2013) for a performance of Act 2 Scene 1 of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ in OP.

‘First Contact’, exhibition opening 23 September 2012 at the Fisher Museum, Harvard Forest, 324 North Main Street, Petersham, MA; trailer by Roberto Mighty.

Scenes from Shakespeare in OP, youth project at the King’s Theatre, Southsea, UK, directed by David Barrett, May 2012.

Virtual St Paul’s Cross Project, digital recreation of a day’s worship, including an OP John Donne sermon (1623), read by Ben Crystal, directed by John Wall, 2011-12. Progress reported here.

The Life of Robin Hood (c1600), in a text taken from the British Library’s Sloane Manuscript #780, narrated in OP by University of North Carolina-Charlotte professor and author, Dean Hoffman; performed 3 October 2012 at the basilica of Belmont Abbey College, near Charlotte, North Carolina, by Carolina Pro Musica for the 2011-2012 Arts at the Abbey season, featuring 17th century dances and ballads composed by Morley, Ravenscroft, Holborne, Weelkes and others. Video clips from a perfprmance at St Martin’s Episcopal Church, Charlotte: here and here.

Cymbeline, directed by Chris Coleman, by Portland Center Stage, at the Ellen Bye Studio, 128 NW Eleventh Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97209, January 31 – April 8 2012

‘Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation’, CD of extracts from the British Library, March 2012: for information look here

Twelfth Night, directed by Hamilton Meadows, at the American Theatre of Actors, Chernunchin Theatre, 314 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019, February 15-19 2012

Hamlet, University of Nevada Repertory Company, directed by Rob Gander, dramaturge Eric Rasmussen, artist in residence Ben Crystal, 1-20 November 2011

Selection from the York Mystery Plays, 7 July 2011, Sylvia Reuter, Institut für Anglistik, University of Leipzig

William Byrd ‘s Great Service, recorded by Musica Contexta, May 2011, directed by Simon Raven; available 2012 from Chandos (CHAN 0789)

Shakespeare in Clark Park, extracts directed by Alex Torra, Philadelphia, 2 May 2011

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, University of Kansas, directed by Paul Meier, 11-21 November 2010; audio production aired on Kansas Public Radio 12 April 2012; an mp3 download of the radio production is available from here; DVD available from Films for the Humanities here

Concert of songs from Middle English to Modern English, Sylvia Reuter, 25 June 2010, Institut für Anglistik, University of Leipzig

Twelfth Night, Circle in the Square Theatre School, New York, directed by Edward Berkeley, 6-7 June 2010

As I Pronounced It To You: Shakespeare as it Originally Sounded, extracts directed by Alex Torra, 14 August 2007, Playwright Tavern, New York

Two actors from the Troilus company add a commentary in OP on this CD produced by Shakespeare’s Globe

Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare’s Globe, directed by Giles Block, Wednesdays 24 August – 28 September 2005

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s Globe, directed by Tim Carroll, 25-7 June 2004

December 18. 2019