Historically authentic productions of Shakespearean plays are occasionally in and out of fashion. Recently a movement championing “original pronunciation” purports to let us hear Shakespeare’s words precisely as they would have been spoken when the plays were originally written and performed.

It is artistically irresponsible to mount a performance of a Shakespearean play — or a play from any era — without some sense of the time and culture it comes out of. Historically informed performance is extremely important if we are to be true to the stories and our own tradition.

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