Seven Classic Plays Audiobook, by William Shakespeare Play Audiobook Sample
Seven Classic Plays Audiobook, by William Shakespeare Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Yuri Rasovsky, John Glover Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: January 2006 Format: Audio Theater Audiobook ISBN: 9781483089164

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

7

Longest Chapter Length:

109:36 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

82:33 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

100:14 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

189

Other Audiobooks Written by William Shakespeare: > View All...

Publisher Description

Blackstone Audio is proud to present seven great plays in a collection that illustrates the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater: Medea by Euripides, The Tempest by Shakespeare, The Imaginary Invalid by Molière, Camille by Dumas, An Enemy of the People by Ibsen, Arms and the Man by Shaw, and Uncle Vanya by Chekhov.

A superb repertory company with distinguished guest artists has been assembled here, under the direction of veteran producer Yuri Rasovsky, who has won both an Audie Award for book production and the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcasting. These full performances use all the resources of audio to full advantage while keeping the substance of the works intact, resulting in both greater intimacy and lively theatrics.

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“Classic Plays is what audio theater ought to be. Rasovsky proves he is an audio showman, and this is a showcase for his great talents. These spoken works function so well in the audio medium with the scholarly manuscripts, astonishing period music, and the sumptuous cast.”

— Audiobook World 

Quotes

  • “An Enemy of the People is the play Ibsen wrote, with unusual dispatch…It reflects the dramatist’s belief that the so-called ‘solid majority’ of democracy is made up largely of slow-thinking ‘serfs’; it’s the enlightened few, ‘attuned to the future,’ who by rights should rule.”

    — New York Times
  • “From Euripides to Chekhov, the listener can experience the power of excellent theater…Well rendered period music lends suitable atmosphere; themes such as war vs. peace seem quite contemporary; witty and polished presentations enchant.”

    — Kliatt
  • “Rasovsky’s own translation is excellent—the text is more informal and idiomatic than some older renderings—and the minor editing is effective…The small cast keeps the production easy to follow.”

    — AudioFile

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About the Authors

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today.

Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870), French novelist and playwright, was one of the most famous and prolific French writers of the nineteenth century, producing some 250 books. He is best known for his historical novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, and he was among the first authors to fully exploit the possibilities of the serial novel. He is credited with revitalizing the historical novel in France. His riveting, fast-paced adventure tales that blend history and fiction have been adapted into nearly 200 films. His last unfinished last novel, The Last Cavalier,  lost to historians for 125 years, was completed in 2005 and quickly became a best seller.

George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Irish-born playwright, critic, and political activist, began his writing career in London. In addition to writing sixty-three plays, his prodigious output as critic, pamphleteer, and essayist influenced numerous social issues. In 1925, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1938 an Oscar for the movie version of Pygmalion.

Anton Chekhov (1860–1904), the author of hundreds of short stories and several plays, is regarded by many as both the greatest Russian storyteller and the father of modern drama. He described the Russian life of his time using a deceptively simple technique devoid of obtrusive literary devices, thereby becoming the prominent representative of the late nineteenth-century Russian realist school. His early stream-of-consciousness style strongly influenced the literary world, including writers such as James Joyce.

Euripedes (c. 480–406 BC) was one of the great tragedians of classical Athens. He is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama in modern times and is credited with pioneering developments that later writers adapted to comedy and romance. He also focused on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. 

Molière, the pen name and stage name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622–1673), was a French actor, director, and author who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature.

Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) was a major nineteenth-century Norwegian playwright, theater director, and poet. He is often referred to as “the father of prose drama” and is one of the founders of modernism in the theater. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll’s House, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, and The Master Builder. Several of his plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when European theater was required to model strict mores of family life and propriety. Ibsen’s work examined the realities that lay behind many façades, revealing much that was disquieting to many contemporaries. It utilized a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. 

Tim Campbell, winner of AudioFile Earphones Awards, is a narrator and actor based in Los Angeles, California. He studied at the University of California and earned a BA in music and theater and a certification from the prestigious Great Books program at Pepperdine University, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is also a classically trained singer and performs regularly with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Opera Chorus, as well as on studio soundtracks for film and television.

About the Narrators

Yuri Rasovsky (1944–2012) won wide critical acclaim during his forty-year career as an audio dramatist, writer, producer, and director. His numerous honors included two Peabody Awards, nine Audie Awards, and a Grammy. In 2011, his production for Blackstone, The Mark of Zorro, was nominated for a Grammy. His final production for Blackstone was Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You! He has left behind an incredible legacy.

John Glover, most famous for his roles as villainous characters on television and in films, has performed many times on stage, winning a Tony Award for his role in Love! Valour! Compassion! He also appeared in the film version.