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S2, Ep 5: A Midsummer Night’s Dream - The Power of Theater

Prof. Laura Bates teaches Shakespeare in maximum security prisons and shares the impact it’s had on her students. Jessica discusses the ways that theater can change our lives with our guest co-host Tonya and dramaturg Phaedra. And most importantly, the Mechanicals finally perform their play at the royal wedding!


S2, Ep 4: A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Dreams

Helena and Hermia’s big fight, quirky Shakespearean insults, and Bottom awakens from his dream a changed man. Host Jessica Hansen talks with Matt, who had a similar experience. We're joined by our Shakespeare power squad—guest co-host Tonya Beckman and dramaturg Phaedra Scott.


S2, Ep 3: A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Potion

This week’s show is all mischief—most of it by Puck. Host Jessica Hansen talks potions, drugs, and altered states of mind with guest co-host Tonya Beckman. At the top of the show, (our guest) Ryan recounts his experiences with ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic substance that is straight out of a Shakespearean play.


S2, Ep 2: A Midsummer Night's Dream - Crazy For Love

Things start to heat up. Jealousy abounds and Helena wants to be...Demetrius' pet dog?! Good thing Tonya Beckman and Phaedra Scott are here to help us break it all down. We discuss why love makes people so crazy, and hear from Evan, who went to the extreme for her crush.


S2, Ep 1: A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Elopement

Welcome to the second season of the Lean & Hungry Theater podcast! In this first episode, host Jessica Hansen takes you through our radio adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. With the help of guest co-host Tonya Beckman and dramaturg Phaedra Scott, we explore what drives people to elope as we talk about the characters in the play and hear from CJ, who eloped to D.C. last year to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage.


The Super Secret Late Night Episode

We talk all things Shakespeare over Green Hat Gin cocktails with special guest Trey Graham, esteemed reporter by day, Shakespeare aficionado by night, and returning guests Kevin Finkelstein, the director of Lean & Hungry’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and James Majewski, the actor who played Romeo. Listen to our guests answer your questions and compete in Romeo and Juliet themed games.


Episode 5: Romeo & Juliet - The End (or The One with Ryan North)

This week we hear Romeo's side of the story and unpack the famous, tragic ending of "Romeo and Juliet." For this final, star-studded episode we speak to returning guest, Michele Osherow, UMBC professor and Folger Theater dramaturg, James Majewski, the actor who played Romeo in our adaptation, Ryan North, ​author of "Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure," and Gregory Thomas Martin, who composed the music for the Lean & Hungry audio production of "Romeo and...


Episode 4: Romeo & Juliet - The Feminist

Romeo comes to Juliet’s bedroom and brings a mess of drama along with him. Our focus this week is Juliet, but host Jessica Hansen also discusses the Friar, gender in Shakespeare’s time, and bad parents with, yep, you guessed it, Director Kevin Finkelstein and UCMB Associate Professor and Folger Shakespeare Dramaturg Michele Osherow.


Episode 3: Romeo & Juliet - The Feud Gets Real

In the third episode of our season-long look at Romeo and Juliet, both angst and comic relief abound as tempers boil over in fair Verona (California, that is). Host Jessica Hansen talks about the Nurse's role, Ratcatchers, galloping apace, and even Juliet's sexuality with Director Kevin Finkelstein and UCMB Associate Professor and Folger Theater Dramaturg Michele Osherow.


Episode 2.5: Romeo & Juliet - A Midsummer Night's Panel

Well, it's the middle of the summer for us here at Lean & Hungry, which means that we're taking a short break from our podcast this week. But in the meantime, we're bringing you a lovely discussion we had with Sound Designer Roc Lee, Actor James Majewski (whose dreamy voice you probably recognize), Director Kevin Finkelstein (whose dreamy voice you also probably recognize, and Lean & Podcast Host Jessica Hansen, moderated by George Mason University's Rick Davis. There's even a special guest...


Episode 2: Romeo & Juliet - The Romance

In our second episode, we take a look at two of the most iconic scenes in all of Romeo and Juliet (and probably what you've been waiting for): The Queen Mab speech and the balcony scene. To help us out, we brought back a familiar friend, Director Kevin Finkelstein, and also called up an expert on the adolescent brain, Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt.


Episode 1: Romeo & Juliet - The Basics

In the inaugural season of the Lean & Hungry Theater podcast, we explore one of our own productions of a Shakespeare classic: Romeo and Juliet. In this first episode, Host Jessica Hansen takes you through our radio adaptation and asks: "What is crucial to understand about Romeo and Juliet?" and "How does the feud affect the characters' decisions?" with Director Kevin Finkelstein and Dramaturg Catherine Ritter.


Romeo & Juliet: Season One Teaser

Introducing the brand-new Lean & Hungry Podcast! In the upcoming weeks, we'll explore William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet from every single angle including feuds, hormones...and who knows what else? Keep on the lookout for our very first episode of Lean & Hungry, the podcast where we take the classics and present them to you piece by piece.