About the Author
Author and Professor Emeritus of Theatre Cass Foster's teaching experience includes Ohio State University, Otterbein College, Central Arizona College and Mesa Community College. He directed productions or choreographed fights at Oceanside Productions, Players Theatre Columbus, University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana, Phoenix Theatre, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon Shakespeare Festival, Case Western Reserve University, Arizona Jewish Theatre and Lyric Opera.
Read an Excerpt
"You've got to be kidding!" Helena cried,
"I know, it's Hermia, you want for your bride."
"Not a chance!" said Lysander, "It's you I love!
Who will not change a raven for a dove?"
"Give me a break!" Helena scoffed in dismay,
"Do you think I was born yesterday?
Your speech to me is like a thorn;
How dare you treat me with such scorn!"
Then she stomped off, in great disdain;
Lysander followed with a loving refrain.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sixty Minute Shakespeare is, technically, cheating a bit. In this series, Professor Cass Foster has abridged Shakespeare's plays to make them a bit less intimidating. But don't misunderstand: these are not rewritten! The rich language of the originals is still here, they have just been condensed very carefully. For instance, in the original Act III, Scene I, it reads: Quince: Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we will do it in action as we will do it before the duke. And in Sixty-Minute Shakespeare, the same line reads: Quince: Pat, pat; and here's a marvail's convenient place for our rehearsal. We will do it in action as we will do it before the Duke. It has left out only the line "This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring house" which is not integral to the story. This method makes it a more simple read, which makes it much less intimidating. The book also includes brief footnotes with definitions of Old English words that help tremendously. And, at less than $9 per book, they are very inexpensive and well worth the money. In addition to being a more gentle introduction for the reader, the book also includes notes for directing the book as a play. This abridged version, with notes for efficient scene changes, rhythms, etc. also makes a gentle introduction to the actual play, not just the text. Pages are included at the end of each scene for director/actor notes. By next year, my sons will begin tackling the unabridged originals. Until then, I am enjoying this version very much and so are my boys. They are getting a true feel for the story as well as a true feel for the voice of Shakespeare. They are truly enjoying it and I think this gentler introduction will make them much more prone to appreciating the original works when we get to them.
So, when we got A Midsummer Night's Dream from Five Star Publications to read and review, I was excited! I told Monkey Man, he could finally read one of Shakespeare's books. He was very anxious to do so. Of course this is the Abridged version and I was wandering how much it would leave out. Cass Foster did a great job! While condensing the story down, he never compromised any of the key points in the story. He is a Professor Emeritus of Theatre and resides in the Garden Isle of Kauai. I was thinking this was going to be one of those books we had to read together, so I could stop and explain so of it to him, as we went. Boy, was I wrong. This book was broken down so nicely, and put into terms for kids to understand! Plus it had wonderful footnotes on almost every page, helping to understand any other phrases. Honestly, I think it even helped me to understand it a bit more.. I got the original story from the library shortly before this one arrived, so I could compare them. Sometimes, I had a very difficult time following some of the story line in the original. In the end, I did end up reading with him. Since he wanted to read it in parts. He played some and I did the others. We thoroughly enjoyed this book. I probably would still not teach this or have a student younger than a 4th grader read this. My son is an advanced reader, so this was not a struggle for him. Read more on my blog: 3 Crazy Monkey's
I read through this pretty quickly and found it enjoyable. It's an easy read for someone who's interested in Shakespeare but doesn't want to read the full play.