This book is fantastic.  As an actor sometimes you don't have time to re-read and entire play and pick out monologues.  This book does all the work for you.  It even has a breakdown in the beginning about Shakespeare's style and doing scansion.  A must have in your actor's arsenal.–Melody Louisdhon

I stumbled upon this book about a decade ago and LOVE it.  I coach students in Shakespeare and have trained classically through an MFA actor training program.  This book is insightful, accessible, and a must have for anyone who wants to do classical monologues.  Simply put, it's worth its weight in gold. If you are looking for a special gift for an aspiring stage actor, look no further - this is it.  This would be one of my 5 must have classical acting texts along with Arden's Shakespeare, Playing Shakespeare by Barton, Speaking Shakespeare by Rodenburg, and Shakespeare A to Z. after which, I'd have the lexicons.  Great stuff!–Anonymous Fan

"Read" is a bit of an overstatement on my part, though I've sampled deeply from it - but this isn't a book to be read through, it's a book to always have by your favorite reading chair to take down and read at random. 

The selection of material is rich and the footnotes are helpful, as are the amusing sidebar paragraphs on characters and situations.  The introductory material gives a very clear orientation to Shakespeare's writing techniques and versification.  What makes this book extraordinary, however, are the detailed notes on how to speak the chosen passages to best effect, drawing attention to the brilliant poetic and dramatic devices Shakespeare has built into the text to bring about subtle interpretations.  In a relaxed and conversational manner the authors bring new life to overly-well-known speeches with their commentary on acting methods.  Often they will present two or more alternative approaches to creating the character speaking.  It's an excellent introduction to interpretation in acting, as well as to Shakespeare's craft. 

The book is a total delight and, thank goodness, enormous.  This is a best entertainment value that I won't let get too far away, even though I have no plans to start a stage career.–Stephen Brown

This book has been so helpful in my auditioning process.  THANK YOU FOR PUBLISHING THIS!!–MarkASaurus Rex

As a young actor currently studying Shakespeare in an acting conservatory, this book perfectly compliments the tools I am being taught.

It is full of information written in a clear, efficient manner and is never patronizing to the reader.  The tone has a lightness and joy that invites the actor into the world of classical text and removes any stodgy stereotypes that may surround the poet's work.

I recommend this book to any actor who is looking for some less performed Shakespeare monologues and comes equipped with an incredibly useful guide to understanding the plays themselves, as well as what is going on specifically with each monologue.

I would buy it as a gift for all of my acting friends.  Bravo to the authors.–Lena

This is a well-researched book written ostensibly by two brilliant Shakespeare lovers.  Unending joy and surprises.  Reveals all the secrets of Shakespeare's talent and more.–Richard Pyatt 

Learn the Speech!  Actors need tools for their acting toolkit and not a day goes by here at my Writers & Performers Garage in Los Angeles that I don't mention this great new tool.  With over 150 monologues, it's an essential for actor preparation.  I can't think of any recent book I've read that is more useful for actors working seriously at their craft.–Ross Brodie

Simply the best book ever to analyze Shakespeare's monologues: incisive, illuminating, deeply intelligent, always entertaining and sometimes brilliant.  Experienced actors as well as those new to the craft will find this immeasurably helpful, and they will have plenty of company.  Anyone who appreciates Shakespeare's words and work will find this wonderful book an oasis in a literary desert too often filled with mirages.–Clay Catallus


A tremendous contribution to the theater. –Jonathan L.