March 31-April 23: "Antony and Cleopatra"

March 31-April 23

The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory offers audiences an extremely rare experience to 21st century audiences that has been lost to theatergoers of the last couple hundred years: to hear Shakespeare's words as the Bard himself would have spoken them. When Will wrote his plays in Elizabethan England, he and his contemporaries spoke in an accent now foreign to modern voices. Father and son Original Pronunciation (OP) experts David and Ben Crystal have galvanized the movement to produce Shakespeare as they would have been heard at the Globe Theater in the 16th century, and Ben has returned to Baltimore to work with BSF in performing the romantic tragedy "Antony and Cleopatra" in OP for the first time ever. OP not only brings audiences closer to the authentic Shakespeare experience, but illuminates certain puns and rhymes and other word tricks that have been lost in the evolution of the English accent. I saw the younger Crystal's first collaboration with BSF in their OP production of "The Merchant of Venice" in 2015 and in small ways, it changed how I understood the play. So don't fear; you might get something out of Shakespeare you never knew you could. The Great Hall Theater at St. Mary’s Community Center, 3900 Roland Ave., (410) 662-9455, baltimoreshakespearefactory.org, $15-$20. (Maura Callahan)

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