Nov 272023

Macbeth; Act 5, Scene 1
Lady Macbeth
November 21, 2023

Elena Hollenbeak is the winner of the 2023 English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  We spoke with the talented Ms. Hollenbeak and her mentor, Dr. Lyn Ackerman, about this year’s competition and what’s so fascinating about Shakespeare.  Along the way we learn about a heart-stopping moment for Lady Macbeth. that Shakespeare might have missed, and why the state of Hawaii produces so many exceptional ESU competitors.

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Oct 302023

Romeo & Juliet; Act 3, Scene 2
October 24, 2023

Canadian actor Sara Topham met Shakespeare’s Juliet when she was just seventeen and facing the premature overthrow of a promising career.  This could be a story about how a star-crossed young dancer became one of the most accomplished classical stage actors of her generation.  Or it could be a masterclass in respecting Shakespeare’s verse.  Or it could be a love letter to a future generation of Juliets.  All we know is to breathe at the end of the line!

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Sep 292023

Hamlet; Act 2, Scene 2
September 29, 2023

Marquis D. Gibson‘s Broadway debut was as sudden as it was spectacular. Appearing in the Hamlet inspired Fat Ham, Marquis played the Hamlet character wrestling with a lot of different big questions. For Marquis, it came down to truth, connection and a big dose of relationship. What a piece of work is a man, indeed.

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Aug 292023

Unrehearsed: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Barefoot Shakespeare Company
August 29, 2023

Memorizing lines comes quickly for Andrew J. Dunn. Putting the fun back in theater is what he is all about, which is why he agreed to produce, publicize and act in the Unrehearsed Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Barefoot Shakespeare Company. He even referees in what is called an event “for Sports Fans!” where the lines between spectator and actor are often blurred.

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Jul 122023

Love’s Labor’s Lost
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
July 12, 2023

Ask Amanda Dehnert what she does for a living, and she’ll laughingly say she “imagines things.”  As a visionary theatre creator, she has worked with some of the most exciting theatre companies to emerge over the last 25 years.  Ms. Dehnert brings her unique talents to bear in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s new production of Love’s Labors Lost, for which she both directed and co-composed an original pop-rock score.  

Love’s Labors Lost Photo Credits: T. Charles Erickson

May 262023

Hamlet; Act 2, Scene 2
May 26, 2023

When it comes to Shakespeare’s secrets, “meaning” and “sense” stand separate, yet actors must master both. So asserts Dakin Matthews: actor extraordinaire, seasoned stage savant of 250+ productions, and the scribe behind Shakespeare Spoken Here. Delving daringly into Hamlet’s “Is it not monstrous…” soliloquy (Act II, scene 2), Daikin declares that in the realm of Shakespearean performance, rules crumble, crushed by the audacious.

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Mar 242023

The Winter’s Tale; Act 3, Scene 2
March 23, 2023

For Miriam Laube, 16 is a magic number. 16 years at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and 16 years away from court in Winter’s Tale (for her featured character, Hermione). With a dash of humor and a fierce sense of self, Miriam has breathed life into countless Shakespeare characters both on stage and through Play On Podcasts. Finding the honor in Hermione was both a professional and personal journey.

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Below are two songs from Miriam inspired by Shakespeare!

Feb 282023

Hamlet; Act 3, Scene 1
February 28, 2023

Drop in!   All Chukwudi Iwuji needs is the language, how the words resonate in him, their sounds and meanings and rhythms. Using these, how is he affecting the listener?  When you listen, you will know.

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Jan 282023

Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 4, Scene 1
January 27, 2023

What does it mean to be “smartly stupid,” and how might this approach help an actor reveal delightfully unexpected moments in well-worn texts?  Ian Gould credits his training at the Shakespeare Theatre Company Academy in Washington DC for this technique, which he demonstrates in his fresh take on “Bottom’s Dream” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Watch Ian Gould perform Bottom’s Monologue from the interview!

Nov 302022

Shakespeare’s Sceptered Isle

November 30, 2022

What did it mean to be “English” in Shakespeare’s day?   How may Shakespeare’s most patriotic play, Henry V, have shaped notions of English identity ever since?  Brian Carroll’s new book, Shakespeare’s Sceptered Isle: Finding English National Identity in the Plays examines hints in Shakespeare’s text about what his audiences might have thought being “English” was – and perhaps more revealingly, what (or who) wasn’t.

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