Shakespeare

Wednesday, we’re talking about Julius Caesar. You can probably guess why we’re having the conversation. A New York production of Shakespeare’s work recently caused a stir when the play’s director made Julius Caesar look a lot like Donald Trump. The problem is of course that Caesar gets assassinated. So, we’re talking about Julius Caesar the man, Shakespeare’s play, and the relationship between art and politics.

A production of Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen is opening this weekend in Salt Lake, and if you’re intimidated by the Bard’s language, here’s the good news: it’s in modern English. Oregon Shakespeare Festival hired 36 playwrights to rework Shakespeare, among them the University of Utah’s Tim Slover. But here’s the question: after 400 years, should we be messing with William Shakespeare? Doug talks to scholars Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, James Shapiro, and to Slover about “translating” a classic.

Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016

Utah Shakespeare Festival is performing Much Ado About Nothing, and we’re using it as an excuse to talk about Shakespeare’s women. Scholar Kate McPherson says few Elizabethan playwrights created female characters as rich as the Bard, and that Much Ado is his most sophisticated play about women. It features Beatrice, a feisty and fearless lady who has forsworn love. McPherson, actor Kim Martin-Cotten, and director David Ivers join us to talk about Beatrice and the challenges and opportunities afforded women in Shakespeare’s world.

Henry V

Aug 25, 2016
Photo by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2016.

Thursday, we’re live at the Utah Shakespeare Festival with a look at the bard’s great history  Henry V. Director Brian Vaughn says the play represents a battle of conscience. Through two earlier works, Shakespeare’s audience knows Prince Hal as a wild and irresponsible young man. But now he has the crown, and must weigh right and wrong to grow into the role of king. We’ll talk about the character, how he’s been portrayed over time, and what the play has to say about leadership and authority.

Hamlet

Oct 16, 2012

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is staging Hamlet in Cedar City and it's giving us the chance to talk about the Bard's great tragedy. Among our guests is the scholar Eric Rasmussen, who says the play has not lost any relevance over 400 years. Even as he watches the Presidential debates, Rasmussen sees the question that faces Hamlet: which do you value more - action or measured contemplation? We'll talk about how Hamlet has been understood over time and what it still has to teach us today.