Image courtesy State Library and Archives of Florida

Within seconds of hearing someone speak, we make judgments about that person and their background, just based on their accent. Linguistics professor Steven Weinberger (George Mason University) explains how and when we develop accents and how they affect our identity. Also featured: Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century writings may seem impenetrable, with strange pronunciation and incomprehensible phrases. But retired English professor Alan Baragona (Virginia Military Institute) says the best way to approach Chaucer is to read it out loud and listen to the musicality of the words.

Later in the show: Real life fights are always sloppy and chaotic. The trick to staging a good fight in a play (or film) is to “order chaos.” Gregg Lloyd (Christopher Newport University) is a professional actor and fight director who has mastered the art of creating the illusion of violence on stage, making it look effortless. Plus: An “aural landscape” created for a movie or the stage may work well and be essential, but people tend not to notice background sounds that reinforce theatrical experience. Sound designer Michael Rasbury (University of Virginia) has composed scores and created sound effects for major theatrical productions across North America. He also co-wrote and scored the music for the play “Max Understood,” about a day in the life of a young boy with autism.

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