Understanding Shakespeare: A hands-on approach to reading a text


On Friday, 17th June, the department of English and American studies and the student-led theatre society “SASS - Students Acting Shakespeare Society” were visited by Irwin Appel, Chair of the Department of Theater and Dance, University of California Santa Barbara, and artistic director of Naked Shakes on his grand tour of Central European Shakespeare societies.

Following a talk in which Irwin Appel explained his own path from actor to theatre professor and his approach to Shakespeare specifically, SASS had the oppportunity of a hands-on acting workshop. 

An actor’s tool is the body and voice, but a good warm up is also crucial for getting into the right mind set, which proved essential for Irwin Appel’s method of “actor-generated theatricalities”. Working directly with scenes familiar to the SASS actors, seminar room 4 was transformed into the Capulet’s orchard, Tullus Aufidius’ residence, Theseus’ court and the depths of hell itself as whiteboard pens and window sills were imbued with purpose and meaning.

At the end of the two-hour workshop we were all left wishing for another day or two with our visitor!

SASS will perform again on 25th June and 23rd July at 7pm in Hof 2, Campus der Universität Wien.


Contact SASS:

@sassvienna on Facebook and Instagram


Report by Teresa Distelberger

(c) Alex Vilkaitis

(c) Alex Vilkaitis

(c) Alex Vilkaitis

(c) Alex Vilkaitis