Rarely Performed Shakespeare

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 18

"As jewels lose their glory if neglected,
So princes their renowns if not respected."
Pericles (2:2:12–13)

Every year, theaters across the United States and the world treat us to Shakespeare—which usually means such frequently produced plays as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. Some Shakespeare plays, however, are rarely performed today.

Why is that, was this always the case, and what is it like to stage those plays now? Rebecca Sheir, host of the Shakespeare Unlimited series, talks with historian Richard Shoch and two contemporary directors—Stephanie Coltrin, of California's Little Fish Theatre, who directed King John, and Noah Brody, co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater, which staged Cymbeline.

Taking its title from the words of another rarely seen drama, Pericles, this podcast explores the changing fortunes of these plays over time—and the theatrical challenges and rewards of staging them for modern audiences.

  • Noah Brody is co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater, which produced Cymbeline in 2011 and, in 2014, at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
  • Stephanie Coltrin is the managing director of Little Fish Theatre in California; she directed King John for Shakespeare by the Sea in San Pedro in 2013.
  • Richard Schoch is a professor in the School of Creative Arts at Queens University, Belfast.

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From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. © January 14, 2015. Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved.

Written and produced for the Folger Shakespeare Library by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. Edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington.

We had help from Geoff Oliver at the Sound Company in London and Angie Hamilton-Lowe at NPR West in Los Angeles.

 

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Want more? Browse our full list of Shakespeare Unlimited episodes. Listen on SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Play, and NPR One.