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Noted Shakespeare Scholar Visits Campus

Ben Crystal speaking to Walker's students

Walker’s students were fortunate to spend the day with noted Shakespeare scholar Ben Crystal on Tuesday, October 9. Crystal has acted in innumerable Shakespeare plays all over the world and specializes in the original pronunciation of the lines. He has brought thousands of young people to the joys of this work and has written several books, including the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary of Shakespeare, which was shortlisted for the Educational Writer of the Year Award in 2016.

Crystal and his assistant, producer/actor Andrew Codispoti, showed Middle and Upper School students the exciting and wonderful ways we might be reading and performing these beloved hundred year-old texts. Crystal’s sessions on Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet showed many of our students what is so special about what they are reading in English class. With warmth, humor, drama and flair, Crystal and Codispoti reminded students why we still perform and watch Shakespeare plays and read the sonnets, why they matter so much now and what they have to tell us about who we truly are.

Ben Crystal is an English actor, author, producer, and explorer of original practices in Shakespeare rehearsal and production. He was the co-writer of Shakespeare’s Words (Penguin 2002) and The Shakespeare Miscellany (Penguin 2005) with his father David Crystal. His first solo book, Shakespeare on Toast – Getting a Taste for the Bard (Icon 2008) was shortlisted for the 2010 Educational Writer of the Year Award. To learn more, visit