Shakespeare And Plague

Dr. Katy Reedy, a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Lake Forest College who’s working on a book-length study of contagion and performance in the early modern era, discusses her research and what we can learn (and take small hope) from the plagues that forced the theaters to close in Shakespeare’s day. Featuring the importance of recognizing that this is a marathon, not a sprint; how her examination of early modern revenge plays led to research into plague and pestilence; spatial lexicons; scant evidence; scholarly suppositions; shout-outs to James Shapiro’s The Year of Lear, Stephen Greenblatt’s Will In The World, and Folger Shakespeare Library director Michael Witmore; temporal changes and the elastic nature of time; how playwrights became pamphleteers; the invention of social-distancing; and the dangers of calling attention to the pestilential potential of a communal art. (Length 22:10) 

Episode 582. Marco Antonio Vega

Meet Marco Antonio Vega, the newest member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company! Marco performed with us last week in two sold-out standing-ovation performances in South Padre Island, TX, and comes to us from the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where he played Puck in their production of William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged). Marco talks about how he first discovered Shakespeare and reveals some of his early influences, and his gratitude to teachers, mentors, and an older sister. Featuring rapping Pucks, supportive parents, perfect background music, holy irreverence, and the miracle of completing almost a third of the canon at such a young age. (Length 18:25)

Episode 470. Theatre For Kids

A recent student matinee — typically something to be dreaded — was instead a delight thanks to the good folks at the Sunset Cultural Center in Carmel, CA, where we performed a 45-minute version of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) and taught in-class workshops as part of their Classroom Connections program. We discuss our work with children, both onstage and in classrooms, and reveal our bias towards a certain kind of theatre, talk about the fun of doing children’s theatre for grownups, give a shout-out to the New Victory Theatre in New York (which also has amazing programs for children and families), enjoy a special appearance from Neon Joe Werewolf Hunter, and bask in the holiday cheer of seeing different generations enjoying the same show. (Length 16:16)