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Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.
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Location:

Washington, D.C.

Description:

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

Language:

English

Contact:

201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003 2025544600


Episodes

Imagining Shakespeare's Wife

9/18/2018
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The family. The cottage. The age difference. The pregnancy. The children. The second best bed. The grave. We know so little about Anne Hathaway, but it hasn’t stopped us from speculating about her life for the past 300 years. In this episode, we talk to Katherine Scheil, a professor of English at the University of Minnesota, about the many, many versions of Anne Hathaway. In her new book, Imagining Shakespeare's Wife: The Afterlife of Anne Hathaway, Scheil looks at how historians,...

Duration:00:35:30

Steven Berkoff: Shakespeare's Heroes and Villains

9/4/2018
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Since the 1990s, playwright and actor Steven Berkoff has been traveling the world performing a one-actor show called "Shakespeare’s Villains." It’s fitting, coming from the actor perhaps best known for playing Beverly Hills Cop’s Victor Maitland, that Berkoff promotes the show’s examination of Iago, Shylock, Richard III, the Macbeths, and others as “A Master Class in Evil.” Now, Berkoff has made a film of his performance. With additional material from "Henry V," it’s called "Shakespeare’s...

Duration:00:32:27

Pop Sonnets (rebroadcast)

8/21/2018
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Here’s the assignment. Fourteen lines in iambic pentameter, with an a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g rhyme scheme. Now: add Taylor Swift. It’s astounding and gratifying that Shakespeare—a 450-year-old playwright—continues to pop up in popular culture. Our guest on this podcast episode is Erik Didriksen, who takes hit songs from artists like Taylor Swift and Eminem and rewrites them as Shakespearean sonnets. The Tumblr where Didriksen posted his sonnets became so popular that in 2015, he...

Duration:00:24:31

Joe Papp and Shakespeare in the Park

8/7/2018
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Joe Papp was responsible for some of modern American theater's most iconic institutions: New York City's free Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater. The whole idea of "Off-Broadway." We spoke with Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan about Papp's life and work, from his hardscrabble childhood, through the frightening era of Joe McCarthy, to the founding of Shakespeare in the Park and the Public. Ken's epic oral history of the early years of the New York Shakespeare Festival and...

Duration:00:35:32

Derek Jacobi: Playing Hamlet

2/20/2018
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Renowned actor Derek Jacobi talks about the Shakespearean role for which he is best known, Hamlet. Beginning at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1957, Jacobi has acted this role on stage nearly 400 times, and as you can imagine, he’s devoted hours to thinking about Hamlet’s words, Hamlet’s motivations, and the best way to play the role. Derek Jacobi was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. This is the first of a two-part interview. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published February 20, 2018....

Duration:00:29:07

Bernard Cornwell: Fools and Mortals

2/6/2018
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Bernard Cornwell, a bestselling writer of historical fiction such as the Sharpe series, has turned to the world of the Elizabethan theater. His newest novel, Fools and Mortals, is a tale of love, intrigue, opulence, and violence, all narrated by William Shakespeare’s brother Richard. Bernard Cornwell was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published February 6, 2018. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Masters,...

Duration:00:32:01

Orson Welles

1/23/2018
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Orson Welles is perhaps most famous for his panic-inducing radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds and the award-winning film Citizen Kane. For his entire life though, Welles's obsession was Shakespeare. He produced and starred in Shakespeare plays on Broadway and directed and starred in multiple versions of Shakespeare's work on film, including Chimes at Midnight. Our guest is Michael Anderegg, the author of Orson Welles, Shakespeare, and Popular Culture. From the Shakespeare Unlimited...

Duration:00:30:56

Marketing Shakespeare

1/9/2018
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Getting audiences interested in Romeo and Juliet might be easy. But what about those more unfamiliar Shakespeare plays? Here’s an insider’s take on marketing and promotion at America’s Shakespeare festivals and theaters. Our guests are Katie Perkowski, Director of Marketing at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, Alabama; Jeff Fickes, who is Communications Director at the Seattle Shakespeare Company; and Emma Corey, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Hudson Valley...

Duration:00:35:28

Sights, Sounds, and Smells of Elizabethan Theater

12/13/2017
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Sixteenth-century theater companies used a variety of physical and sensual staging effects in their productions to create a full-body experience for playgoers: fireworks hissing and shooting across the stage, fake blood, fake body parts, the smell of blood and death, and more. Farah Karim-Cooper and Tiffany Stern are the editors of a 2013 collection of essays, Shakespeare’s Theatre and the Effects of Performance, written by themselves and nine other theater historians. Tiffany Stern is a...

Duration:00:32:12

Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare in China

11/29/2017
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In 2015, on a state visit to Great Britain, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping called 17th-century Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu the “Shakespeare of the East,” and ever since, the Ministry of Culture for the People’s Republic has made a concerted push to elevate Tang to the status of Shakespeare. This episode explores just who Tang Xianzu was, and – more broadly – looks at what role Shakespeare plays in modern-day China. Our guests, Wei Feng and Alexa Alice Joubin, study the intersection of China...

Duration:00:36:07

Shakespeare and Science Fiction

11/14/2017
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Shakespeare and his plays crop up in science fiction in a number of surprising places, from classic stories like Isaac Asimov’s “The Immortal Bard” to TV shows like Star Trek and Doctor Who. And it’s not just these more recent works: a production of Macbeth figures in Mary Shelley’s post-apocalyptic novel The Last Man, written in the 1820s. Our guest on this episode is Sarah Annes Brown, a professor of English Literature at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England, and co-director of...

Duration:00:28:34

Edward St. Aubyn on Dunbar

11/1/2017
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The author of the Patrick Melrose novels talks about adapting the story of one of Shakespeare’s most dysfunctional families for the Hogarth Shakespeare series. In Edward St. Aubyn’s version of “King Lear,” called “Dunbar,” Lear becomes a media mogul whose evil daughters have locked him away in a psychiatric hospital. Edward St. Aubyn is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published November 1, 2017. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved....

Duration:00:30:34

Myths About Shakespeare (rebroadcast)

10/17/2017
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Even if you’re not a Shakespeare scholar, there are things you have learned about Shakespeare and his plays throughout your life – that it’s bad luck to say the name of “the Scottish play” or that Shakespeare hated his wife. Are any of these stories true? And whether they are or not, what do they tell us about previous eras, and our own? (This episode was first released on April 22, 2015.) From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. Emma...

Duration:00:26:24

Shakespeare in Swahililand

10/3/2017
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Two literary scholars discuss Shakespeare’s influence on the politics, history, and literary culture of East Africa. Edward Wilson-Lee, the son of white wildlife conservationists, spent his childhood in Kenya and now teaches Shakespeare at the University of Cambridge in England. Over the past few years he has spent extended periods back in Kenya, as well as in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, researching his book, Shakespeare in Swahililand. Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o, the renowned Kenyan...

Duration:00:34:29

Barry Edelstein: Thinking Shakespeare

9/19/2017
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How do actors breathe life into Shakespeare’s texts? How do they take language that’s centuries old and make it sound so real and immediate? Barry Edelstein, the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director at The Old Globe in San Diego, is one of the nation’s most experienced Shakespeare directors. Join him for an abbreviated version of Thinking Shakespeare Live!, his master class for acting that pulls back the curtain on the rehearsal room. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published...

Duration:00:35:04

Shakespeare and War

9/6/2017
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In his one-man show "Cry Havoc!" actor Stephan Wolfert, a US Army veteran, draws together lines in Shakespeare’s plays spoken by soldiers and former soldiers—including Macbeth, Othello, and Richard III. He puts those words to the task of explaining the toll that soldiering and war can take on the psyches of the men and women who volunteer for military duty. He is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published September 5, 2017. © Folger Shakespeare...

Duration:00:35:11

Bernstein, Shakespeare, and West Side Story

8/22/2017
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Next year, 2018, is the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. To honor him, we’re taking a look at the creation of "West Side Story," Bernstein’s most significant contribution to the world of Shakespeare. To help us out, we’ve invited in two guests with extensive knowledge. Mark Horowitz is archivist for the Leonard Bernstein Collection at the Library of Congress—nearly 400,000 items, including music manuscripts, letters, photographs, audio and video recordings, fan mail, and even...

Duration:00:31:52

Shakespeare's Kitchen

8/8/2017
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How and what did the Elizabethans eat? The kitchens of Shakespeare’s time looked very different from our kitchens today, and that’s not all that has changed when it comes to habits of diet, food preparation, and especially, the way food is served. In this episode, noted food historian Francine Segan leads listeners through a recipe for a salmon pie from the 1600s. She is interviewed by Neva Grant. From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. Published August 8, 2017. © Folger Shakespeare...

Duration:00:32:17

Akala and Hip-Hop Shakespeare

7/25/2017
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“Is it Shakespeare, or is it hip-hop?” British poet, rapper, and educator Kingslee James Daley, who goes by the stage name Akala, likes to recite a passage and then challenge his audience with this question. Since 2009, under the auspices of his “Hip-hop Shakespeare Company,” Akala has been going to community centers, prisons, and schools in immigrant and underserved communities, using the tools of hip-hop to spread an understanding of the relevance of Shakespeare’s poetry. Akala is...

Duration:00:33:20

Creating TNT's ‘Will:’ Craig Pearce and Shekhar Kapur

7/11/2017
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'Will,' the new series on TNT, tells stories derived from what we often call Shakespeare’s “lost years”—the time before he made a name for himself as a writer. The series takes advantage of that gaping hole in Shakespeare’s biography to weave an intricate and exciting tale of art, strife, death, love, poetry, and violence in Elizabethan England. Executive producer/writer Craig Pearce and executive producer/director Shekhar Kapur tell us about adapting Shakespeare's biography—or lack...

Duration:00:36:43