Romeo and Juliet through the Ages

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 12

"For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."
Romeo and Juliet (5.3.320)

Though the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet is a perennial favorite, the world around the play has changed in the four centuries since it was first performed. Shifting attitudes about taboo love and marriage, gender roles, and even guns and street violence inform the way we read or see the play today.

Rebecca Sheir, host of our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series, talks with theater scholars and artists about how Romeo and Juliet has been cut and molded to fit certain cultural expectations in different time periods.

Among those featured in this podcast episode:

  • Libby Appel is the former director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  • Joe Calarco is the adaptor and original director of Shakespeare’s R&J.
  • Linda Charnes is professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington.
  • Michael Kahn is artistic director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.
  • Peggy O'Brien is director of education at Folger Shakespeare Library.
  • Lindsey Row-Heyveld is assistant professor of English at Luther College in Iowa.
  • Anne Russell is an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. 

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From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. © October 8, 2014. Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved.

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

The music was composed and arranged by Lenny Williams. We had help gathering material for this podcast series from Esther French.

 

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