Shakespeare Unlocked: Learn Classical Acting
4.6 (22 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,685 students enrolled

Shakespeare Unlocked: Learn Classical Acting

How to use your voice and body to perform classical monologues on stage with confidence, clarity and emotion
4.6 (22 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,685 students enrolled
Created by Linda Taimre
Last updated 7/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $83.99 Original price: $119.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Perform a Shakespearean monologue with confidence and clarity
  • Understand your strengths and weaknesses as a performer through individualised feedback on your performance
  • Know how to approach a Shakespearean monologue or text, analyse it and understand it
  • Learn how to warm up your body and voice to perform anywhere
  • Bring clarity of thought and expression to your classical and contemporary acting
  • Speak Shakespeare and be understood by your audiences
  • Learn how to be focused and free from distraction on stage
  • No knowledge is required
  • It is recommended to know a Shakespeare verse monologue off by heart - but if you don't, don't worry. I will recommend some choices which you can then learn along the way.
  • A pen, paper, and ideally a camera (for example, your smartphone camera)

Do you want to be an actor?  Are you an experienced contemporary actor looking for some help with classical texts?  Or, have you stepped on stage so many times that you're feeling lost for inspiration and need a fresh perspective to bring your performance to life?

If so, this course is for you.  In this course, experienced performer and teacher Linda Taimre takes you through how to use your body and your voice to express yourself on stage.  While the focus is on Shakespearean text, the methods and techniques that Linda teaches are foundational to all types of acting.  

After this course, you will feel confident to tackle any Shakespearean monologue or scene.  You will know how to bring your performance to life and have it filled with emotion, truth, and your own vibrant presence.

Start today and take your acting to the next level.

Who this course is for:
  • People who are completely new to acting
  • Contemporary actors who don't have experience in Shakespeare
  • Film/TV actors who don't have experience on stage
  • Experienced actors who are looking for a fresh perspective on their craft
Course content
Expand all 40 lectures 03:35:31
+ Introduction
2 lectures 05:08

Welcome!  In this video, I will give you a some information on my background.  I'll then detail what you will need to get the most out of this course.  I'll include some links for you to assist with choosing a Shakespearean monologue.

After that, it's time to get started on the course - we kick off with a series of lectures about you, your body, and your voice...

Preview 02:04

This video outlines what you will need in order to take full advantage of this course.

Preview 03:04
Complete this assignment once you've chosen your Shakespearean monologue. This is designed to give you a reference point for your performance, so we can compare to another performance after you've completed the course.
Your Performance
1 question
+ You
17 lectures 01:45:29

In this video, I introduce the key concept of body awareness.  You will learn the reason why body awareness is crucial for an actor, and how to start cultivating this vital skill.

Preview 07:09
For this assignment, make sure you've watched the Body Awareness lecture video. This assignment builds on the foundations of Body Awareness that you have learned.
Cultivate Body Awareness
1 question

In this, I will teach you about how to ensure you're always pushing yourself (safely) to maximise your growth.  Note that you know your body best, so do not do anything that will endanger your body and cause you pain.  Keep yourself safe and free of injury.

Introduction to Body Warm Up

In this lecture, I take you through the 'body' part of your warm-up.  This is a great video particularly for beginners who aren't aware of how to start getting your body moving and flexible.  If you are experienced with yoga/stretching, you may not need to watch the first section, however it's essential that you tune into the section regarding spinal rolls (from 13:10 onwards).

Body Warm-up

In this lecture I discuss the importance of freeing your body and your reactions and weakening your judgemental eye to make your performances have more impact and more truth.

Free Your Movements and Reactions
This builds on the video Free your Movements and Reactions. Try this assignment after watching that video.
Practisting letting your body be free
1 question

Here I discuss an important principle of movement as an actor: economy of movement. This encompasses two main ideas: what action do I need to do, in this moment, to best express myself? And, to do that action, what parts of my body do I actually need to move to make that action work?

Economy of Movement

Here I introduce the importance of breath, and why I'm going to encourage you to spend a large part of your warm-up time doing the most natural thing in the world.

Introduction to Breath

In this lecture, I give an overview of how breathing actually works in the body. This is to make sure you understand why we spend so much time on it, and why it's so important to get it right.

How the Breath Works - An Actor's Point of View
This is a simple exercise for you to do every day (if possible).
Deep Breathing
1 question

This video is about tension, and the damage that it does to your expression as an actor. Further, I talk about how damaging it is for your breathing, and introduce an exercise to help you to get rid of some of that tension.

Tension is Breath's Enemy

It might sound like a funny title - to rediscover something that you do day in, day out! But it's time to see what is different about your breath and how to use it as an actor.

Rediscover your Breath

This lecture will give you a brilliant exercise designed to start improving your breath capacity. More breath means more power, more volume, more emotion, and better acting.

Build your Breath Capacity
This exercise is based off the lecture about how to build your breath capacity, so make sure you've watched that before taking this on.
Increasing your Breath Capacity
1 question

In this video I introduce a simple yet powerful exercise which will help you control your breath and last a long time on stage.

Improve your Breath Control

Your diaphragm is an incredible muscle, and it's key to producing flexible, strong sound. Here, I give you an exercise that will have you flexing your diaphragm and building your strength.

Flex your Diaphragm
This assignment comes after you have watched the lectures 'Improve your Breath Control' and 'Flex your Diaphragm'. Make sure you've watched them before attempting this.
Flex and Control
1 question

Your voice is your primary tool when it comes to speaking Shakespeare, so here I talk about how your voice works, from an actor's point of view.

Introduction to Voice

This is a short exercise which gets you warming up your voice in a gentle, safe way. This is perfect to do everyday to start improving your voice quality and your range.

Warming up your Voice Gently

Next step in any voice work is to start releasing the vibration and forming audible sound. In this lecture, I give you an exercise that will help you to freely let your voice ring out.

Release the Vibrations

In this lecture, we build on the foundation of your strong, free voice by opening up three main resonators - your chest, mouth, and head. Working on these resonators will bring life and colour to your voice, allowing you to fully express yourself.

Building your Resonance

Now that your voice is stronger, more free, and more resonant, it's time to start shaping it into words. This means it's time to start exercising your articulators! This lecture includes exercises on tongue stretches, consonant practice, and tongue twisters.

Exercise your Articulators
This assignment comes after all of the exercises in the body, breath, and voice lectures. Only complete this as part of your full warm-up after doing your body and breath exercises.
Voice warm-up
1 question
+ The Text
10 lectures 01:04:05

This is a short introduction video to get you thinking about the play.

Intro to the Play

Here I talk about the importance of the context of the play - the setting, the era, the political atmosphere, and more - all of these things have an impact on your performance.

Uncover the Context

What do you know about your 'character' - or, you? What do others think of you? What do you think of you? All of these questions, and more, are important to consider when rehearsing your monologue. This lecture will give you practical tips on how to explore these questions, and how to put them into practice.

Discover Your 'Character'

In this video I discuss the importance of relationships, and understanding 'you' in relation to the other characters on stage. Important elements to consider include the relative status of the characters, the past history, and the actual relationship (family, friend, etc.).

Discover the Other Characters

This is your chance to express your inner emotions, your thoughts, your private joys and personal battles. What an exciting moment!

Intro to Your Monologue

Shakespeare wrote in verse for a reason - and that reason is primarily rhythm. In this lecture, I encourage you to feel that rhythm and use it to your advantage. Plus, I talk about breathing and how the rhythm of Shakespeare and breathing at the ends of lines makes your performance more natural.

Feel the Rhythm
This assignment comes after the lecture 'Feel the Rhythm'.
Beat out the rhythm
2 questions

Why is there a full stop in the middle of a line? Verse structure, as Shakespeare used it, can really hold some great insights into how to perform. I discuss these questions and more in this lecture.

Using the Verse Structure
This assignment comes after talking about how to use the verse structure.
Mark the punctuation
1 question

Shakespearean vocabulary can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming! Here I talk about how to approach a monologue, even if it seems like it's written in a foreign language.

Approaching the Vocabulary
This assignment should be completed after watching the lecture regarding vocabulary in Shakespeare's work.
Understand the Vocabulary
1 question

In this video, I talk about the value of 'I', 'me', 'you', 'if', repeated words, contrasting words, and more. Once you can apply this to your own work, you really have the blueprint of a clear, captivating Shakespearean performance.

Find those Key Words
This is an assignment designed to follow on from the lecture 'Find those Key Words'.
Key Words
1 question

This video is full of tips on how to learn your words - a classic challenge of actors everywhere!

Tips for Learning Your Words
+ You and the Text
7 lectures 32:28

We've worked on you. We've worked on the text. How do we marry these two things together?

Intro to You and the Text

Thousands of people have performed Shakespeare in the past. What's the point in you doing it now?

You are the Difference

Now that you understand the technical side of things, it's time to bring your own personal connection to the text.

Find Your Connection

This video is all about your thoughts and how they are directly expressed through your performance. If you don't understand what you're saying, nobody else will either.

Clarity of Thought

This lecture builds on having clarity of thought, and letting that clarity be expressed at the speed of thought. Shakespeare doesn't have to be slow and ponderous, let it come out as you are thinking it (not before, not after).

Expression of Thought

In this lecture I talk about the most important aspects of rehearsal - and that is connecting with your as-of-yet unknown scene partner, the audience.

How to Rehearse

Your performance is upon you! Whether it's a play or an audition, here are the vital things you need to know when going into performance mode.

Opening Night
This assignment should be completed after you have finished the three sections, You, The Text, and You and the Text.
Your Performance - revamped!
1 question
+ A Lifelong Practice
4 lectures 08:21

Do you like to people-watch? Do you watch enough plays or films? When you're doing this, make sure you engage your actor brain and critique in order to properly learn how to make your performances the best possible.

Learn from Others

Here I talk about the importance of learning other people's perspectives - both on acting and performance, but also in everyday mindfulness.

Consume Everything

This a quick, daily warm-up that you can follow. If you can do this every day, you will see amazing results and improvements in your performance ability. This does not include all of the exercises that I taught in earlier lectures, this is intended as a rapid warm-up for when you don't have a lot of time to spare. When you have time, be sure to use it on a fuller, longer training session.

Your Speedy Warm-up

This is only the beginning! You have begun to learn an exciting, challenging new craft. I encourage you to keep exploring, and keep in touch with your news about performances, your acting work, and your feedback.

Get Excited