Original A Midsummer Night's Dream now on DVD Special
Shakespeare devotees currently have A Midsummer Night's Dream available in its original 16th century pronunciation on DVD. Paul Meier, director of this project, told Digital Journal that a radio drama, in post production, will be released soon.
Speech expert, master teacher and coach Paul Meier has been involved in dialect training for over 25 years and is known for his expertise in London, the United States, and worldwide.
Meier as a member of the BBC Drama Repertory Company
, became acquainted with the Bard’s plays years ago as an actor working alongside British Theatre icons, Paul Scofield, Richard Burton, Flora Robson and Derek Jacobi.
Inspired by renowned language expert, David Crystal’s, Pronouncing Shakespeare
, Meier went ahead and produced and directed A Midsummer Night's Dream
, the fifth fully produced OP Shakespeare play in living memory and Meier says, most likely the first OP production of the Bard’s 16th century comedy in North America. "Only Americans with Mid Western accents were used," Meier said, and he added that without coaching them in the dialect of that period "we are perpetuating theatrical myths that are simply not borne out in reality."
Meier has made his production script freely available
Meier mentioned to Digital Journal that besides his expertise in dialect coaching in the world of theatre, he has worked as a coach and consultant on many films including Arlington Road
. His recent projects include coaching Slum Dog Millionaire
's Dev Patel in the indie drama Cherry
and working with Australian, Drew Pearson to perfect his South African accent in Ronnie Riskalla’s The Day Hollywood Died
- both films pending release.
Meier founded IDEA a free, online archive
of primary source dialect and accent recordings in 1997 and is currently a professor in the Theatre Department of the University of Kansas.