By Stephanie Ciccarelli
May 27, 2010
When's the last time you heard a live performance of the spoken word?
Artistic hubs such New York and Los Angeles are brimming with opportunities to hear written works performed by talented actors.
One organization in particular, WordTheatre, has become an amazing force in preserving the art of the spoken word and involves talented actors, such as Julianna Margulies (pictured at left) to give live performances to fortunate audiences.
Learn more about how the spoken word, both live and recorded, is making an impact on our culture.
From poetry readings to recitations of Shakespearean prose to avant-garde literature, spoken word performances are hotter than ever. People have always used storytelling to express ideas, share news and pass down information from generation to generation through Oral Tradition.
Spoken word performances have brought us back to our roots and are becoming part of the mainstream culture through recorded and live performances.
Audiobooks are a prime example when it comes to the mass adoption and consumption of spoken word recordings. The Audio Publishers Association recently celebrated the art of storytelling at their annual conference (APAC) and industry awards show, the Audies. During the month of June we'll be celebrating Audiobook Month and exploring some of the goodies this aspect of voice over has to offer.
While spoken word recordings are very popular, there is a trend and rise in popularity with regard to live performances of the spoken word.
Although this trend isn't unique to New York or Los Angeles, there is a very strong community of committed actors who want to use the spoken word to inspire, engage and empower diverse audiences.
One such group is WordTheatre, a 501(c)-3 nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping the love of language and literature alive through the ancient tradition of storytelling.
Since its inception in 2003, Artistic Director Cedering Fox, pictured above, and her partners have been creating, producing and recording live events featuring literary works performed by world-class authors and actors at salons in Los Angeles, New York and London. You might recognize Cedering's name from her contribution to Joan Baker's book, Secrets of Voice Over Success.
Some of the many actors who have participated in WordTheatre include James Franco (pictured below), Julianna Margulies, Angela Bassett, Michael Chiklis, Minnie Driver, Keith David, Illeana Douglas, Bill Pullman, Annette O'Toole, Zachary Quinto, Marcia Gay Harden, and Judd Nelson.
When you have star power, the arts and a cause, some amazing things can happen. One of WordTheatre LA's upcoming projects involves designing a program that will bring their actor/associates into Southern California's toughest high schools to perform short stories with the goal of igniting a new generation of literature fans.
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Photos courtesy of Bakers Man Productions
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