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The State of Shakespeare

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Great Interviews with Great Artists. We’re talking Shakespeare.

Great Interviews with Great Artists. We’re talking Shakespeare.


United States


Great Interviews with Great Artists. We’re talking Shakespeare.






Toby Malone and Aili Huber

Aili Huber and Toby Malone Cutting Plays for PerformanceMay 16, 2022 Was this the kindest cut of all? It began as a friendly argument between fellow Shakespeareans, Aili Huber and Toby Malone, about how to trim the text of Richard III. They've since collaborated on a book and website with tools and hints to how to cut Shakespeare effectively. With a dose of humor and a dollop of wisdom, Cutting Shakespeare for Performance keenly tackles a sticky subject in Shakespeare. Click here to follow...


Nathan Winkelstein

Henry V: Act 1, Scene 2King HenryMarch 28, 2022 Named for the rowdy Jacobean playhouse that illegally performed plays in England during the years of Puritan rule, the Red Bull Theater is breaking barriers. Using one of Henry V's speeches, Associate Artistic Director Nathan Winkelstein reveals the power of Shakespeare and other plays of heightened language to deepen our understanding of the human condition. Follow along with the speech. First Folio Version.


Mike Lew

Teenage DickFebruary 23, 2022 What happens if you plunk down Richard III in a modern day High School? You get Teenage Dick. Teenage Dick, Written by Mike Lew, was commissioned and developed by Gregg Mozgala's own theater company, The Apothetae, which is dedicated to productions that illuminate the disabled experience. “Exhilarating. It suggests how much richer the theater will be when it is truly open to artists of all kinds. Not just because those artists deserve employment but also because...


Keith Hamilton Cobb

The Untitled Othello ProjectJanuary 27, 2022 What is the Untitled Othello Project? According to Keith Hamilton Cobb, the award-winning playwright who is the driving force behind the ensemble-based “adventure in theatre-making”, it’s much more than a deep and sustained exploration of Shakespeare’s text, it’s an “exercise in creative justice.” With this project, Keith is not just tackling Shakespeare's play, he is taking on the whole "theatre industry complex".


Paul Alan Ruben and Scott Brick

The Tragedy of MacbethAct 5, Scene 5December 10, 2021 Paul Alan Ruben has a sense for the feeling of a piece. The Grammy award winning director has finally turned his sense to Shakespeare. With Scott Brick in the title role, he has created the audiobook of The Tragedy of Macbeth. Creating this piece was a delicate balancing act between director, actor and microphone. Especially given that they were never in the same room! The Tragedy of Macbeth, which Paul directed for Dreamscape Audio, was...


Scott Kaiser 2.0

Albert's Adventures in Willy WorldNovelSeptember 30, 2021 Prolific author, and two time guest, Scott Kaiser returns to tease his latest book, Albert’s Adventures in Willy World. It’s a detective story that pokes fun at the “Shakespeare Industry”, set in a fictional wonderland which may seem oddly familiar to friends of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where Scott spent 28 seasons.


Jeffrey Wilson

Henry VI, Part 3: Act 3, Scene 2GloucesterAugust 25, 2021 Why Shakespeare? Jeffrey Wilson, the author of the book Shakespeare and Trump, explores this question in depth, centering on the character of Richard III. Why is evil so exciting and good so boring? Is deformity a sign of his evil or is the deformity and social stigma the cause of it? We explore the textual, ethical, interpretive problems that Shakespeare presents in the modern age. Click here to follow along with the text. Click here...


Patrick Harvey

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 3, Scene 1BottomJuly 18, 2021 Live theatre is back! Our guest, Patrick Harvey, is a member of the inaugural cast of the Connecticut Shakespeare Festival. He’s playing Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Hartford’s Playhouse on Park. In this interview, Patrick shares why he especially loves playing characters who speak in prose – hint: it’s not all about the verse.


Kamilah Long

Titus Andronicus: Act 1, Scene 4TamoraJune 28, 2021 Kamilah Long, the Managing Director of Play On Shakespeare, is a force of nature. Growing up in Alabama, she discovered Shakespeare and has never looked back. Kamilah has big plans for Play On Shakespeare and performs Tamora from Titus Andronicus. If you have doubts about the Play On Project, Kamilah goes a long way to dispelling them. Click here to follow along with the text. Click here for a First Folio Version of the text. Click here for...


Michael Witmore – The Folger Shakespeare Library

Twelfth Night: Act 5, Scene 1ViolaMay 30, 2021 The Folger Shakespeare Library stands in a prominent place in our nation’s capital. Since its founding, the building, its architecture, contents, and programming have been thoughtfully curated with this in mind. Dr. Michael Witmore, Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, reveals how Shakespeare’s works influenced our nation’s founders and helped to shape a philosophy of government and the very structure of our constitution. We also learn...


Barry Edelstein

Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 2HamletApril 30, 2021 The cast of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, directed by Barry Edelstein, running August 6 - September 10, 2017. Photo by Jim Cox.Louisa Jacobson as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare and directed by Barry Edelstein, runs August 11 – September 15, 2019 at The Old Globe. Photo by Jim Cox.Grantham Coleman in the title role of Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, directed by Barry Edelstein, running August 6 - September 10, 2017. Photo by Jim...


Patrick Page

March 19, 2021 Villain? Master Painter? Sociopath? Surfer? Patrick Page has spent a lifetime acting Shakespeare. He has become fascinated by villains, leading to a one man show "All the Devils are Here." What does it take to play a villain well? Patrick has some fascinating answers. Click here to see Patrick Page in All the Devils are Here.


Ten Years of Shakespeare

February 28, 2021 Jim and Gerritt celebrate ten years of The State of Shakespeare. We listen to some of our most memorable guests from the early days of the podcast and share our favorite moments from the past decade.


Susan Heyward

The Taming of the Shrew: Act 4, Scene 3KatherineDecember 13, 2020 As a young “bookworm,” she fell in love with Shakespeare’s intoxicating language. But after an early career playing Shakespeare’s romantic ingenues, Susan Heyward began to wonder whether modern theatre’s relationship with Shakespeare is as healthy as it once seemed. Is it time to break up and explore “language affairs with other playwrights"? Click here to follow along with the modern version of the text. Click here to follow...


Andrew Muir

Author and scholar Andrew Muir is fascinated with two poets: one “the greatest artist of all time” and another “the most important artist since the second World War.” They may have more in common than mere verses can express. His latest book “Dylan & Shakespeare: The True Performing of It” explores why. From live performances to influencing genres to the "instability of revered verse", Muir has spent a lifetime studying the two Bards. And it is so much more than words, words, words. For more...


Milan Dragicevich

Richard III: Act 1, Scene 2Richard, Duke of GloucesterSeptember 30, 2020 Words, words, words. Milan Dragicevich is fascinated by what he calls "the verbal surface" - a place where rhetoric lies and where you will take your voice to the borders of your personality. Milan believes that rhetoric is not just the art of persuasion but a chance to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Click here to follow along with the text. Click here for a scanned version of the text.


Paul Sugarman

Before "quarantine" and "social distancing" and "Zoom" were household words we were just beginning to grasp the impact of the sudden shuttering of our theatres. Shirine shares her thoughts on how to survive the times, the production of Timon of Athens and shares Queen Margaret's infamous speech from Henry VI, Part 3.


Shirine Babb

Before "quarantine" and "social distancing" and "Zoom" were household words we were just beginning to grasp the impact of the sudden shuttering of our theatres. Shirine shares her thoughts on how to survive the times, the production of Timon of Athens and shares Queen Margaret's infamous speech from Henry VI, Part 3.


Scott Newstok

How to Think Like ShakespeareMay 31, 2020 What can we learn about the state of modern education by taking a look back at how young pupils were schooled during Shakespeare’s day? Our guest Scott Newstok shares some collected wisdom from his book How to Think Like Shakespeare, which has us wondering: when education policy makers prioritize standardized testing, digital instruction and virtual learning environments over more traditional methods, could today’s students be losing more than they...


Hassan Jamal

The L.A. Subway Shakespeare Project April 15, 2020 What do John Cassavettes, August Wilson and the Three Stooges have in common? They all inspired Hassan Jamal to create the LA Subway Shakespeare Project. Hassan films short Shakespeare scenes in and around the LA Subways, all in one take, all on the go. Part street theater, part guerilla film, the LASSP is a unique vision in the Shakespearean landscape. Give a listen, then give a look! Click here to visit the LA Subway Shakespeare Project...