Late in September the University of Lethbridge featured a trio of dedicated and talented writers from the faculty, among them John Poulsen and his book, Shakespeare for Readers’ Theatre, Volume 1.
The Lethbridge Herald covered the event and had this to say:
John Poulsen, a professor in drama education at the University of Lethbridge, launched his new book titled “Shakespeare for Reader’s Theatre” this past week. He’s taken “Hamlet,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream” and made them user-friendly.
“‘Romeo and Juliet’ runs about 25,000 lines. My version runs about 5,000 lines but it keeps all of the good lines. ‘Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou?’ ‘A rose by any other name,’ they’re all in there. What I have taken out is the longer lines that are more difficult to understand and more difficult for students to chew their way through.”
Obscure references that Elizabethan audiences would have readily understood have been removed and students have responded positively to the abridged versions.
“Shakespeare is extraordinary. The goal is to show he is still extraordinary,” Poulsen said.