Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly upon the tongue. — Hamlet
Think Shakespeare and what come to mind are Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and the orotund deliveries of the Royal Shakespeare Company. But the English of 16th-century England was a vastly different language from the current British version — rougher and more varied in dialect and, in many ways, closer to our own American English. We can hear Shakespeare in the original pronunciation (and finally get rhymes such as "love/prove" and "qualities/eyes"), thanks to KU theatre professor and dialect coach Paul Meier, who directs, and linguist David Crystal, an authority on the language of Shakespeare and a consultant to London's Globe Theatre. A Midsummer Night's Dream plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with additional performances at the same times next weekend, at Crafton-Preyer Theatre (1530 Naismith Drive, Lawrence). Tickets are $18. Call 785-864-3982 or see kutheatre.com.
— Grace Suh