Mike Lew on Teenage Dick

Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 174

In Mike Lew's play Teenage Dick, Richard, a high-school senior with cerebral palsy, is determined to become class president by any means necessary. Commissioned by theater artist Gregg Mozgala and Apothetae, the company Mozgala started to talk about the disabled experience, Lew's comedy drops Shakespeare's Richard III in a modern Amercian high school. Barbara Bogaev interviews Lew about about the play’s origins, tropes around disability, and how his story reframes Richard's motivations.

Listen to Shakespeare Unlimited on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, NPR One, or wherever you find your podcasts.

Teenage Dick will be onstage three times this fall and winter, in a production directed by Moritz Von Stuelpnagel: at Washington, DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company September 22 – October 17, at Boston's Huntington Theater December 3 – January 9, and at California's Pasadena Playhouse February 1 – February 27. Get $30 tickets to Teenage Dick at Woolly Mammoth this fall using the code FOLGER30.

Playwright Mike LewMike Lew is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, The Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Ma-Yi Theater in New York, and the former La Jolla Playhouse Artist-in-Residence. His plays include Tiger Style!, Bike America,  microcrisis, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published September 14, 2021. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Plots Have I Laid, Inductions Dangerous,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Evan Marquart and Susan Palyo at VoiceTrax West in Studio City, California. Leonor Fernandez edits our transcripts.

Previous: Mona Awad on All's Well


Related

The Folger Shakespeare: Richard III
Read Shakespeare's play online with The Folger Shakespeare

First Quarto: Richard III
Browse images of the earliest published edition of Richard III, from the Folger's collection.

In the Giving Vein: The Pop-Cultural Legacy of Olivier’s Richard III
Austin Tichenor examines the cultural footprint of Olivier's film adaptation of the play.


Transcript

MICHAEL WITMORE: The boy who wants to be king of the high school is disabled. He’s also cunning and cruel. If that scenario doesn’t ring a bell, think: Shakespeare.

From the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is Shakespeare Unlimited. I'm Michael Witmore, the Folger’s director. Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s most enduring villains, and back before the COVID pandemic started, a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic had begun making the rounds. The play, from the mind of Mike Lew, was called Teenage Dick, and, along with the unique title, it came with a substantial twist. Lew took most of the plot and characters of Richard III and moved them to a modern day American high school.

In Teenage Dick, the Richard character has cerebral palsy. Buckingham, who’s called “Buck,” is in a wheelchair. King Edward is Eddie, the quarterback. Clarence is Clarissa. And, as in Shakespeare, everyone’s in a life-or-death struggle to be class president. Yes, it’s a comedy.

Now that the pandemic seems to be lifting, Teenage Dick has three productions scheduled: one here in Washington, DC at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, one at the Huntington Theater in Boston, and one at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Mike Lew joined us from his apartment in New York to talk about the play’s origin, tropes around disability, and just how similar Richard III is to high school.

We call this podcast episode “Plots Have I Laid, Inductions Dangerous.” Mike Lew is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

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BARBARA BOGAEV: Mike, there's so many ways to go with Richard III. How did you end up with it as a comedy set in high school?

MIKE LEW: I have received a commission from Gregg Mozgala who runs a company called the Apothetae. He started the company as a way to talk about the disabled experience. He himself has cerebral palsy and was trying to create more roles for disabled actors.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard]

RICHARD:
Senior election are now upon us, and from here I will vault past my current inglorious station. Not by campaigning, not by a pity vote, but by systematically destroying the competition. Yeah! I’ll take down Eddie and Clarissa, and hold dominion over this whole school.

LEW: So he fully came up with like, “I would like to commission you to write an adaptation of Richard III set in high school called Teenage Dick.” And I just really loved that title. And the idea was to really reappropriate this character and look at tropes around disability.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard]

RICHARD:
He makes sport of government, while I am not one shaped for sports. I, Richard, am junior class secretary.

LEW: He kept on sending me these short video clips of sports teams in high school, sort of, ostentatiously including a disabled student. And the frustration of that—I guess, you'd call it like virtue signaling now. Feeling as though there are a few depictions of disabled people that are honest. That it's either that historically you're this devil or that like some kind of angel and feeling like there's not very much wiggle room in there.

And so for whatever reason, I think that that kind of got under his skin. He sort of conceived of this idea of, like, “What if I stuck Richard III in high school and how would he react to this?”

BOGAEV: I totally get it.

LEW: Because if you look at the text of Richard III, it's a morality tale that like, this is somebody who should not have been king, who aspired to be what society told to him he should be. Then society, like, violently strikes him down because of it. So yeah, take all that and put it in high school.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard]

SPEAKER:
So then, Machiavelli lists four pathways to power. Can anybody name me the first.

RICHARD:
Oh!

SPEAKER:
Yes, Richard.

RICHARD:
The first pathway to power is fortune. Whether by being born into royalty or having a principality bestowed upon you, fortune is the easiest path.

SPEAKER:
Good! And the second?

RICHARD:
Second is virtue. Through strength of character, a prince may inspire in his failings a sense of virile agitur and amore patriae.

BOGAEV: Yeah, I was asking because some of the scenes that deal with disability, they really, really do hit well. And I'm thinking—especially the one in which Anne who's the cool girl in school, she's agreed to go to a dance with Richard but she has to teach Richard how to dance.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Tiffany Villarin is Anne.]

ANNE:
Five, six, seven, eight.

BOGAEV: And while they're doing that, she asked him what it feels.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and  Tiffany Villarin is Anne]

ANNE:
What’s it like? Like, the way that you move. What does it feel like to you? I’m obsessed with movement, and the way that you move is natural to you, but it seems so counter natural to me, and yet, also quite fluid. Does it hurt your joints, even, moving that way? If that’s too much to ask, I’m sorry.

RICHARD:
No, it’s fine.

BOGAEV: And he has this great answer.

[Clip continues]

RICHARD:
You know how sometimes in winter, when you’re about to slip on an ice patch you didn’t know was there, you, like, brace yourself before you’re about to slip on the ice?

ANNE:
Yeah.

RICHARD:
Well, that is what it’s like for me all the time.

LEW: Because I, myself, am able-bodied, a lot of the sort of lived experience parts of Richard's character are coming from Greg very generously using his own experience as a jumping off point. So he commissioned it and also ended up acting in the world premiere of it. I developed the play alongside him and another actor Shannon DeVito, who played Buck.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew.]

RICHARD:
Oh, Buck!

BUCK:
Hey! Did you hear the good news? Eddie’s running for reelection.

LEW: I am bringing this Shakespearean historical, I do it in this, you know, wry, cheeky sensibility and all these political underpinnings to what I'm doing. But then also really leaning on my actors to check me in terms of whether what I'm creating resonates with them.

So it was like a really bespoke play process where I would try a scene and then I'd be like, “How does this feel on you?” And they'd be like, “That doesn't feel so great.” And then I would work with them.

That also carried through when we did a production at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The actor playing Richard had hemiplegia as opposed to CP, and so then I did the same kind of thing where I adapted lines to fit him. So all of that has been this really fascinating exercise in bespoke playwriting.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and Shannon DeVido is Buck]

BUCK:
Oh, you are evil.

RICHARD:
No, you are.

BUCK:
Okay, but, Miss York locks up all her [expletive]. It’s not like I’ve access to it.

RICHARD:
Access? Are you kidding? You’re a total kleptomaniac, Buck. Don’t you remember, you’re the one who taught me how to do this.

BUCK:
Hey, my keys! Oh yea, I did teach you that. Well, I got to go.

RICHARD:
Verily, Buck. Hide thee, hence.

BUCK:
Okay, thou hast to stop talking like that. Seriously, [expletive] stop.

BOGAEV: It fits the setting so well, because I was thinking that issues of difference are so heightened in high school. I know this high school setting wasn't your idea initially, but did it immediately resonate with you because of this similarity?

LEW: There are a lot of precedents for Shakespearean adaptations that take place in high school. And for me, what I'm tapping into is that when you watch a Shakespeare play, the stakes of, like, royal ascendancy feel pretty far away from what we're experiencing right now. And in a way, high school is a really good analog because everything feels so huge and the power grabs are so raw.

You know, so there's something funny about putting a Shakespearean context in high school too, because it feels very safe and yet tragedies happen in high schools all the time. So there's a sense that like, “Oh, this feels life or death, but eventually you'll grow out of it.”

But A, that's not always the case and, B, something that Greg talked about a lot was when he was growing up, this feeling that, “Oh, this is going to be my life state for the rest of my life and that it's not just something that I grow out of. That I'll always be a disabled person, so how do I navigate that?” And so that felt like a really natural fit to me to stick it in high school where everything feels huge, and sometimes it actually is.

BOGAEV: Yeah, and we have that whole genre of adaptations, like 10 Things I Hate About You. It seems like really your choices are high school or war.

LEW: Right, yeah. And I think, you know, like in a lot of the theater adaptations that are doing a direct production of a Shakespeare play, but maybe putting a historical gloss on it, that's always sort of, like, Vietnam War, Iraq war. But here, high school just feels like it fit.

BOGAEV: There are parents, though, in the world of teenagers, and parents loom large in Shakespeare’s play. Richard’s mother hates him from birth, and the mother figure in the play, Queen Margaret, plays a really prominent role. But you don't have any parents in this play. What was your thinking on that?

LEW: Yeah, you know, when I started the play, I read through it from like a almost structural basis. I really kind of wanted to see, like, what the nuts and bolts were. During that process, I looked at the cast and I, you know, like on a modern theater budget could not portray everybody in there.

So Eddie the quarterback is Edward and Clarissa is Clarence. And then the character of Anne in the original looms really large for me because he has this seduction scene and it's sort of the height of his razor wit to be able to win her over, and then she dies off stage. So Margaret didn't make the cut.

BOGAEV: Right, I figured it was a budget decision.

LEW: It's partially budget and partially just sort of, like, you know, what is the core that you're trying to get at? And for me, it was about getting your way to the top by hook or by crook. And in the original, there's, like, that prominent cursing scene. And here, I think that it's a little bit more internally generated: that Richard is undone by his own psychological shortcomings, as opposed to some kind of outside force that, like, the world cast him out. It's like he sort of does this to himself.

BOGAEV: And before I go on, you said, you look to the structure of Shakespeare and into the nuts and bolts, and that can mean different things to different people. What do you mean by the nuts and bolts, specifically with Richard III?

LEW: Yeah, it starts off of a soliloquy where Richard sort of woos the audience. You become a co-conspirator with him and you, kind of, start to root for him. There's a lot of direct address, and there's a lot of him saying what he's going to do and then doing it and then saying, "See how I did that?"

BOGAEV: Great villain behavior.

LEW: Yeah, and then the scenes become a lot more impressionistic. There's a lot fewer check-ins with the audience. Then, when you get to the war part, it's all very sort of fractured and impressionistic as it goes out of control.

I don't know about like the historical audience, but, like, to me, for an audience today, what happens is that you start out on his side and then as he gets crueler, the scenes in a way get colder and they're not, like, inviting you anymore. So you turn on him. Instead of scenes that show his intellect and wit, it becomes just stuff happens to him and he reacts to it. So I mirrored that structure in this play and then stole a bunch of language too.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and Shannon DeVido is Buck]

RICHARD:
Now that Winter Formal gives way to glorious Spring Fling.

My Kingdom for some horsepower.

BUCK:
Who talks like that?

BOGAEV: There are a lot of moments when it sounds like Shakespearean language, but I guess it's not.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and  Tiffany Villarin is Anne]

RICHARD:
Is it not mean that lovers be spared the springes of previous lovers, thus new lovers fall ensnared to the selfsame traps.

ANNE:
Don’t use the word “lovers.”

RICHARD:
Don’t evade.

LEW: The way that I was trying to use that language here was sometimes direct allusion, sometimes stealing from other plays, but in all cases it was that this is the wavelength that Richard thinks on. He's so above his peers in terms of his intellect, that, like, sometimes he uses that Shakespearean language to demonstrate, like, sort of how much of a smart guy he is. Sometimes that's just the thoughts that are racing through his head while other people are thinking more sort of contemporary American language thoughts.

BOGAEV: Yeah, that comes across; the Shakespeare-esque side of Richard… that there's motive there.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and Shannon DeVido is Buck]


RICHARD:
A word with you, sirrah.

BUCK:
Dude, what did you call me? Stop talking.

RICHARD:
What does it matter what this is, if all that this is gets sepulchered in this room. So, Brooklyn High School, prepare for your fate! My first attempt at power is to land a first date.


LEW: It sets them apart and it makes it so that he's extremely gifted in one aspect of his personality, but at a deficit in terms of his empathy and in terms of his connection with other people. Then his physical disability gets tossed in there in terms of, like, complicating factor of how he perceives it himself and how other people perceive him. He feels as though he has to compensate for his disability by being the smartest person in the room and by kind of putting people in their place intellectually.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and  Tiffany Villarin is Anne]


RICHARD:

You don’t even know me. I mean, we’ve known each other since middle school, but this is the most that we’ve talked.

ANNE:
You’re right, I don’t know you. So why would I ask you out? Because I pity you?

RICHARD:
Woah, no one’s asking for pity here. Why, do you pity me? Or do you fear me? Are you afraid you’ll contract cerebral palsy just by the very taint of my touch?

ANNE:
What the…?

RICHARD:
See? You hate me for what I am.

ANNE:
No I don’t.

LEW: And then gets pushed back and he's like, “Is that pushback because people are biased against people with a disability?” Or is that pushback because he's being a dick, and he doesn't know. So that's kind of how the language goes in.

A lot of it is just the comedic sensibilities and having fun and smashing together this, like, really contemporary high school language with Elizabethan language in the same way that when you encounter Shakespeare with a production, it's pretty close to contemporary English, but it's not. And, you know, how do you reconcile that and how do you speak those words, I think is an issue that's really live for actors today and so I wanted to put that into the play.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and Shannon DeVido is Buck]


RICHARD:
And he’s not my only rival in this. I may think I’m playing second fiddle, but alas I am woefully third.

BUCK:
What are you—

RICHARD:
Ah, fiddlesticks to the fiddler who fiddles about. If my pleas fall on deaf ears, I’ll change my tune. Buck?

BUCK:
Hey.

RICHARD:
Your spirited defense of our footballer-in-chief has swayed me entirely. Eddie and I certainly have our differences but he’s not a bad chap. If you support Eddie as I do, as clearly I as well do, then what’s to be done with the Clarissa situation?

BUCK:
Wait, the what situation?

CLARISSA:
Clarissa for president! Vote Clarissa for senior class president!


BOGAEV: Another aspect that gets kind of tricky is that there are profound conversations that happen but this is a comedy. And so you're playing off of light and dark. One of these conversations I'm thinking about is between Buck and Richard, and it's about flying beyond their boundaries.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and Shannon DeVido is Buck]


RICHARD:
I have a philosophical question.

BUCK:
Oh I love those, go ahead.

RICHARD:
Do you think our social station is surmountable or is it immutable?

BUCK:
Good question. Immutable.

RICHARD:
No, but don’t you think that we can overcome our circumstance given sufficient cunning and skill?

BUCK:
No, no I don’t. But, I’m not like you, yearning to fly beyond nature’s boundaries like some sort of disabled nerd Icarus.


BOAGEV: And that's just really important stuff, but it also gets broken up with laughs, so what were you going for there?

[Clip continues]


BUCK:
Oh! Do you want to go with me to the dance? Not as like a date or whatever, but as, like, friends?

RICHARD:
Meh, I’ll pass.

BUCK:
Okay… Whatever, jerk-face. It’s fine by me. It’s not like I wanted to be the matchy-matchy disabled couple.

RICHARD:
Fine.

BUCK:
Fine? Okay, you do know the Sadie Hawkins dance is when the girl asks the guy out, right? And I’m like the only girl that talks to you.


LEW: Pretty much all of my plays are comedies, but I also think there's something that's more honest about comedy to me, or that, like, opens you up in a way to truths, and there's a great feedback loop with your audience. You know, you tell a joke and they laugh and you know that they're there with you. Then you smack them in the gut. You know, it's almost like it's the best way that I know to get right on the same page with an audience.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and Shannon DeVido is Buck]


BUCK:
Wow, no. She is out of your league. She’s hot, she’s smart, she’s super talented. You know she’s a quasi-professional dancer?

RICHARD:
But now she’s in wounded bird mode. You see, if I can get her to take me to the dance, then I will instantly vault past my station.

BUCK:
No you won’t.

RICHARD:
And for once, people might see.

BUCK:
Okay, Richard, if you had to ask Anne to the dance, that would already be a humiliating rejection situation. But getting her to ask you…? I mean, what’s your angle? Hypnosis or cash?


LEW: Traumas get the most lauded, but I'm really skeptical of them just because sometimes I feel manipulated by a trauma. I think it's actually a little harder to manipulate people with comedy because it's so… you're right there with it or you're not, and you can't really fake it, whereas I feel like you can fake a trauma like you can fake gravitas. So I find comedy to be more difficult, but in a way more truthful.

And in the same way that in Richard III, you know, he seduces the audience with his intellect that here it's very charming and disarming. That Richard makes you laugh and you're laughing with him.

I mean, this is, you know—we talked about the structure thing, right? So in the same way that it feels as though Shakespeare is letting you into this guy's head. And I, in a way, want to disarm the audience and make them feel like, “Oh, I know what this is. It's a low stakes Richard in high school and it's fun and everybody's going to be safe.” And as Richard really starts to wrestle with whether he's going to go with Anne and make a positive choice or throw her under the bus then you're conflicted about it.

But he's still joking around with Buck and they have a genuine friendship that curdles. I don't know if it's in the same way that Buckingham and Richard have. I mean, they have an alliance.

BOGAEV: They're kind of different.

LEW: Yeah.


BOGAEV: Yeah, different trajectory.

LEW: Nonetheless though… like, yeah, they have real conversations about what does it mean to be disabled and, “How do people treat me,” and how much of it is bias and how much of it is something that's in your head and...

BOGAEV: Right, and they talk about predetermination.

LEW: Yeah, and so I think that, like, all this stuff is swirling around among two people that have that connection. That was really the intent behind it; was to try to go deep on some of these questions that are really pressing for Richard to the point that he feels as though, “If I become president than somehow, I've, like, rule the social system and overcome all of the obstacles that people are throwing up at me.”

BOGAEV: Yeah, and this gets us to this issue of Richard's motivation and his role as a villain.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and  Tiffany Villarin is Anne]


RICHARD:
I never meant for you to get hurt.

ANNE:
Richard. Would take some god [explicative] responsibility for once? Look at us: Buck, Clarissa, and me. These are your friends, supposedly.

RICHARD:

So then what, I’m the villain?


BOGAEV: You know, did you want him to clearly be evil throughout? Although, it's clear at points in your play that he just doesn't even get that he's the villain.

LEW: I think that he… so in the original it's as if Richard is villainous because he's disabled. And here, what I wanted it to be was that he's a talented, smart guy who doesn't know where to put all the smart and talents. Almost as if he's trying on clothes that are too big for him and then becomes that.

The source of the villainy is meant to be more psychological and more character-driven and less, as I said earlier, like a morality tale where this person should never have been king to begin with so we, as a world, cast him out. That, instead, it's he feels so boxed in by people treating him differently because he's disabled that he doesn't know what to do with that. He can only go for this presidency by any means necessary and that's really the tragedy of it; he can't make a different choice.

He is a villain, but it's meant to be a tragedy that he chooses to be one, or that in some ways he gets boxed into being one, as opposed to, like, he was born that way.

BOGAEV: You know, in the play [Richard III], Anne is a cipher in some ways. You know, it's just hard thing to wrap your head around her choice of Richard. But your Anne, I get.

[CLIP from Teenage Dick by Mike Lew. Gregg Mozgala is Richard and  Tiffany Villarin is Anne]


ANNE:
I know this is Richard’s story, so I’ll be out of your way in a minute, but… funny how it’s always Richard’s story. You know, not Richard’s, but Hamlet’s or Henry VIII’s, or Eddie’s or Tom’s.

RICHARD:
Okay, so that got a little out of hand, but once I explain my position… what are you doing here?

ANNE:
If this were my story, it would be about how I always kept my head down and waited. Just waited patiently and survived and then left this place. Because this is not me. This is not who I am. I am not some idiot girl who got pregnant and everyone knows.


BOGAEV: I don't want to spoil the ending, but could you talk about that? What does she see in Dick and what is going on with her?

LEW: I mean, I think that the relationship here is really meant to thread a line between two people that are having a genuine connection that see each other and two people that are sort of using each other. And I've spoken to actors who have found it really hard to play Anne or sort of a chore to play Anne because it's like you're patently a foil for whoever's playing Richard.

BOGAEV: And Richard plays on some really vulnerable parts of her. mean, really there's a whole, like, political correctness thing going on. Like, it'll be a point for her to see above or overlook his disability and be the cool girl going out with this outcast.

LEW: It's funny, it's because I'm playing with trope a little bit, so it's this super-popular alpha female. All around, I think that all of these characters flirt with trope in terms of, you know, like this meathead quarterback or... And then they kind of earn the 3D character of it, hopefully, depending on production…

BOGAEV: Which is kind of the story of high school, right?

LEW: Yeah, so it's meant to be a complicated relationship that starts purely with surfaces and then they do genuinely see each other. But then he can't accept that and that's sort of their tragedy.

BOGAEV: When people walk out of the theater after seeing Teenage Dick, what do you want them to take away with them?

LEW: I really just want us all to consider the ways that we do or don't take people in sincerely. And, if you are able-bodied to think about the ways that your perceptions about disability are formed by media depictions, or by a kind of shorthand.

I hope that if you are disabled, that I have done service to this argument because, you know, again, since it's not my lived experience, it's like I'm subject to whatever scrutiny somebody brings. But I think that overall, what I'm trying to do is to just look at the way that we take people in and ask for a little bit of a wider lens.

BOGAEV: Do you want them to think differently in any way about Richard III?

LEW: I think that Shakespeare, for me, at least growing up, was so ubiquitous on the curriculum; that it's more like it's using a readily accessible forum to talk about something else. But I do hope that if you are a Shakespeare fan and if you know this language and know these plays, that this adaptation will make you think a little bit differently about it.

I mean, actually, I realized that a lot of times, adaptations are protests: somebody else has set a precedent and you are subverting it to add your own perspective to it. I've seen a lot of other plays that are doing this. Jiehae Park wrote a play called peerless, that is an adaptation of the Scottish play that is about, like, Asian tiger parenting and, like, the need to be perfect. I think, also, of David Adjmi wrote a play called 3C that's, like, a satire on Three's Company. It's sort of like, you take these existing works and twist them just enough that you're asking people to question their assumptions and to shear from the unquestioned adoration of the original.

BOGAEV: Well, thank you for the twisting of Richard III and thanks for talking today.

LEW: Yeah.

BOGAEV: I really enjoyed it.

LEW: Thanks so much.

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WITMORE: Mike Lew is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow, The Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Ma-Yi Theater in New York, and the former La Jolla Playhouse Artist-in-Residence. His plays include Tiger Style!, Bike America,  microcrisis, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It.

His play Teenage Dick is scheduled to be produced three times this fall and winter. It opens at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC on September 22 and runs through October 17, at the Huntington Theater in Boston from December 3 through January 9, and at the Pasadena Playhouse in California from February 1 to February 27. Mike Lew was interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

Our podcast episode, “Plots Have I Laid, Inductions Dangerous” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer, with help from Leonor Fernandez. We had technical help from Evan Marquart and Susan    Palyo at VoiceTrax West in Studio City, California.

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare Unlimited, please leave us a positive review on Apple Podcasts.

Shakespeare Unlimited comes to you from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is dedicated to advancing knowledge and the arts. You can find more about the Folger at our website, folger.edu. Thanks for listening. For the Folger Shakespeare Library, I’m Folger Director Michael Witmore.