Shakespeare Unlimited podcast
William Shakespeare and his works are woven throughout our global culture, from theater, music, and films to new scholarship, education, amazing discoveries, and more. In our Shakespeare Unlimited podcast, Shakespeare opens a window into topics ranging from the American West, to the real history of Elizabethan street fighting, to interviews with Shakespearean stars. As you’ll hear, he turns up in surprising places, too—including outer space. Join us for a “no limits” tour of the connections between Shakespeare, his works, and our world.
Talene Monahon on Her New Revenge Comedy, Jane Anger
Talene Monahon’s play Jane Anger was inspired by the pandemic and a radical 16th-century proto-feminist pamphlet.
Fiona Ritchie on Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble
We talk to scholar Fiona Ritchie, whose new book, Shakespeare in the Theatre: Sarah Siddons and John Philip Kemble, details their rise to fame.
Billy Collins on Writing Short Poems and Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets
Poet Billy Collins talks about humanizing Shakespeare and other literary titans, delves into his own work and inspirations, and reads from his new collection, Musical Tables.
Adrian Noble on How to Direct Shakespeare
The former Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director joins us to talk about where to start with Shakespeare, directing Kenneth Branagh’s big break, and his new book.
Ian McKellen on Richard III, Macbeth, and Gandalf
Sir Ian McKellen tells us about some of his most famous roles: playing Macbeth opposite Dame Judi Dench, King Richard III with a screenplay he co-wrote, and Gandalf the Grey in The Lord of the Rings films.
Ian McKellen on Playing Hamlet
Sir Ian McKellen played Hamlet in his thirties, and again in his eighties. He gives us his take on the Melancholy Dane.
How Shakespeare Thought About the Mind, with Helen Hackett
The Elizabethan period marked an unusually rich moment for theories of consciousness and for the representation of thought in literature, says scholar Helen Hackett.
John Adams Gives Antony and Cleopatra the Operatic Treatment
Adams talks with host Barbara Bogaev about how he turned a five-act play into a two-act opera—which scenes got the hook, new lines written in the style of the Bard, and what Shakespeare may have thought of the play’s characters.
Brett Dean and Matthew Jocelyn on Their Hamlet Opera
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 191 A new opera version of Hamlet is onstage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera through June 9. Composer Brett Dean and librettist Matthew Jocelyn talk with host Barbara Bogaev about adapting the texts of the earliest editions…
Shakespeare and Ukraine, with Irena Makaryk
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 190 Director Oleksandr “Les” Kurbas’s 1920 Macbeth was the first production of a Shakespeare play in Ukraine. Kurbas staged the play in the midst of the famine and violence of the Russian Civil War: Lady Macbeth fainted…
Leonard Barkan on Reading Shakespeare Reading Me
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 189 In Hamlet, Shakespeare writes that theater holds a “mirror up to nature.” In his new book, Princeton professor Leonard Barkan tells us that when he reads Shakespeare, it holds a mirror up to Leonard Barkan—and that…
Pamela Hutchinson on Asta Nielsen's Hamlet
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 188 In 1921, Asta Nielsen, one of the world’s biggest movie stars, had just formed her own production company, and decided to open it up by playing Hamlet. Plenty of women had done that on the stage…