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Podcasts

Pop Sonnets

PopThis podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, is a conversation (with music) with Erik Didriksen, who takes hit songs from artists like Taylor Swift and Coldplay and rewrites them as Elizabethan-style sonnets. The Tumblr where Didriksen has posted these sonnets has become so popular that he’s published a book, Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs. He was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

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Kill Shakespeare Comics

Kill shaxJPEG comixXThis podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, looks at a comic book series in which Shakespeare’s most popular characters team up in rival, warring camps bent on seizing control of the kingdom that is the world of Shakespeare’s plays.  It’s called Kill Shakespeare, and Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col have been publishing the series since 2010. Barbara Bogaev interviewed the authors while they were at Comic-Con in New York in 2015 for the release of their new book — a volume that combines all the Kill Shakespeare comics in a single book, complete with annotations by leading Shakespeare scholars.

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Murders have Been Performed too Terrible for the Ear

RomeoJuliet_streetfighting_crTeresaWoodThis podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, looks at how, from the duels in Romeo and Juliet to a brutal mob in Julius Caesar, street fighting transforms several of Shakespeare’s plays. We also look at how much it reflects (or differs from) the mean streets of Shakespeare’s day. Rebecca Sheir talks violence in Elizabethan times with Vanessa McMahon, author of Murder in Shakespeare’s England, and Casey Kaleba, an expert in Elizabethan street crime and one of the Washington, DC, area’s most sought-after fight coaches for stage plays.

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Our Own Voices With Our Own Tongues

OthelloThis podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, revisits the era when Jim Crow segregation was at its height, from a few years after the end of the Civil War to the 1940s and 1950s. Rebecca Sheir talks about black Americans and Shakespeare in that time with two scholars of the period, Marvin MacAllister and Ayanna Thompson.

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Freedom, Hey-Day! Hey-Day, Freedom!

medium-pictureofaldridge.gifThis podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, is the second of two podcasts on Shakespeare and the African American experience. It examines some of the many ways—including, but not limited to, performance—that black Americans have encountered, responded to, taken ownership of, and sometimes turned away from Shakespeare’s words. Rebecca Sheir narrates this expansive, interview-filled look at the intersection between African American life and Shakespeare, from stage productions to personal and academic encounters with the texts.

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Auditioning for Shakespeare

Audition BookThis podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, demonstrates how actors can learn to read Shakespeare’s verse so that they understand the rhythm of each line, the importance of punctuation, and the way that one piece of text should vocally build upon another.

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That Old And Antique Song We Heard Last Night

This podcast, part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library, looks at musical hints in Shakespeare that have been flying over the heads of most audiences and readers for 400 years.  Ross Duffin is the author of the award-winning Shakespeare’s Songbook, a title that only suggests the book’s broader story. Duffin includes the songs performed within Shakespeare’s plays—but also those that are not sung, but simply alluded to. Familiar to audiences of the day, these songs’ words or phrases added meaning to the plays—long-lost implications and suggestions that his book seeks to restore.

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All Mirth and No Matter

Part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library.  Modern audiences sometimes go from roaring with laughter to scratching their heads when it comes to enjoying Shakespeare’s jokes four hundred years later.  This podcast looks at how (and why) has “what’s funny” has changed over the years—and what’s still a guaranteed belly laugh.

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Shakespeare and Insane Asylums

Part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library.   Plenty of people today consider Shakespeare a literary genius, a pillar of theater history, a gifted writer of timeless love poems, and more. But even the most over-the-top contemporary admirer of Shakesepeare is unlikely to consider him a pioneer of modern medical science… much less forensic psychiatry. Hard as it may be to believe, however, there was a strange period in American history when that’s exactly how William Shakespeare was seen in both law and medicine.

 

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Bless Thee! Thou Art Translated

Part of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series for the Folger Shakespeare Library.  What happens when Shakespeare’s work is translated into foreign languages? Is it still Shakespeare, or does something fundamental to the original evaporate in the process?  This podcast explores that question.

 

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