175 episodes

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

Folger Shakespeare Library: Shakespeare Unlimited Folger Shakespeare Library

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 597 Ratings

Home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Advancing knowledge and the arts. Discover it all at www.folger.edu. Shakespeare turns up in the most interesting places—not just literature and the stage, but science and social history as well. Our "Shakespeare Unlimited" podcast explores the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us.

    Geoffrey Marsh on Shakespeare's Neighbors

    Geoffrey Marsh on Shakespeare's Neighbors

    What would we find out about you if we got to know your neighbors? What if we took a walk around the neighborhood where you live?

    That's the way that Geoffrey Marsh hopes to learn more about Shakespeare in his new book, Living with Shakespeare. Starting with a 1598 tax roll that lists Shakespeare's names among the residents of St. Helen's parish, the historian and director of the theater and performances collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum meets the people and explores the places that surrounded Shakespeare in the late 1590s. The people include lord mayors, an unusual concentration of doctors, and Shakespeare's saavy but combative colleague James Burbage. The places include St. Helen's Church, the Theatre, and a notable well about a hundred yard's from Shakespeare's house. Geoffrey Marsh is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

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

    Geoffrey Marsh is the director of the Theatre & Performing Arts department of the Victoria and Albert Museum. His new book, "Living with Shakespeare: Saint Helen’s Parish, 1593–1598," was published by Edinburgh University Press. It became available in the US on May 30.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published May 8, 2021. ©Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “We’ll Wander Through the Streets and Note the Qualities of People,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript of every episode, available at folger.edu. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 32 min
    Race and Blackness in Elizabethan England

    Race and Blackness in Elizabethan England

    When did the concept of race develop? How far should we look back to find the attitudes that bolster white supremacy? We ask Dr. Ambereen Dadabhoy, an assistant professor of literature at Harvey Mudd College, and the author of a chapter in the monumental new Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race called “Barbarian Moors: Documenting Racial Formation in Early Modern England.” Dadabhoy takes us back to Shakespeare’s London—a more diverse city than you might have imagined—to look at the racial ideologies reflected in two plays: George Peele’s The Battle of Alcazar and William Shakespeare’s Othello. Plus, we learn more about race in medieval crusade and conversion romances, and get a sense of how Dadabhoy approaches issues of race in her Shakespeare classes. Dadabhoy is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

    Dr. Ambereen Dadabhoy is an assistant professor of literature at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. Her chapter in the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race is called “Barbarian Moors: Documenting Racial Formation in Early Modern England.” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. Dadabhoy held fellowships at the Folger in 2011 and 2016, and participated in a Folger NEH Summer Institute "Shakespeare from the Globe to the Global" in 2011.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published May 25, 2021. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “In the Old Age, Black Was Not Counted Fair,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript of every episode available on folger.edu. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 33 min
    All the Sonnets of Shakespeare

    All the Sonnets of Shakespeare

    Over 400 years after Shakespeare’s sonnets were first published in 1609, what is left to learn? "All the Sonnets of Shakespeare," a new edition of the sonnets published in 2020, takes some bold steps to help us look at the poems with new eyes. The book, co-edited by Dr. Paul Edmondson and Sir Stanley Wells, dispenses with the Sonnets’ traditional numbering and arranges them in the order in which Edmondson and Wells believe they were written. It also includes nearly thirty additional sonnets drawn from the texts of Shakespeare’s plays.

    As a result, the collection is a fresh take on the Sonnets, Edmondson tells us, one that dispatches with the “Fair Youth” and “Dark Lady” narrative and helps us better understand Shakespeare as a writer and thinker. Edmondson is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

    The Rev. Dr. Paul Edmondson is the Head of Research and Knowledge and Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. All the Sonnets of Shakespeare is published by Cambridge University Press.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published May 11, 2021. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “He Writes Brave Verses,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript or every episode, available at folger.edu. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Evan Marquart at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 34 min
    "Richard III" in Prison

    "Richard III" in Prison

    Frannie Shepherd-Bates founded Shakespeare in Prison in 2012. Nine years later, SIP is the signature community program of the Detroit Public Theatre, and has worked on a total of eight plays with a women’s ensemble at Huron Valley Correctional Facility and a men’s ensemble at Parnall Correctional Facility.

    When one of the members of the men’s ensemble suggested that SIP should find a way to share their work to make it easier for others to approach, he inspired a new project. Shakespeare in Prison is creating a new critical edition of "Richard III" that pairs Shakespeare’s text with the perspectives of incarcerated women who worked with the play over the course of 2016 and 2017.

    We speak with Frannie Shepherd-Bates about SIP and the book, "Richard III—In Prison: A Critical Edition," which she says offers readers a chance to approach the play from a place of “radical empathy.” Shepherd-Bates is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

    Frannie Shepherd-Bates is the Director of Shakespeare in Prison for the Detroit Public Theatre, where she’s also an actor, director, choreographer, and dialect coach.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published April 27, 2021. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Your Imprisonment Shall Not Be Long,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript of every episode, available at folger.edu. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 32 min
    Simon Godwin on "Romeo and Juliet"

    Simon Godwin on "Romeo and Juliet"

    The National Theatre’s new production of "Romeo and Juliet" was meant to premiere in the summer of 2020. But when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Simon Godwin, the production’s director, was tasked with turning it into a 90-minute film shot entirely in the National’s Littleton Theatre.

    Now, as the film approaches its United States premiere, Godwin sees "Romeo and Juliet" as a play uniquely suited to our pandemic moment. We spoke with him about how the pandemic affected the production logistically and thematically, as well as about learning how to direct a film and working with actors like Josh O’Connor, Jessie Buckley, and Tamsin Grieg. Godwin is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

    "Romeo and Juliet" airs in the United States at 9 pm EDT on April 23—Shakespeare’s birthday—on PBS Great Performances. Simon Godwin is the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published Tuesday, April 13. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Never Was a Story of More Woe,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript of every episode, available at folger.edu. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 35 min
    Shakespeare and Lost Plays

    Shakespeare and Lost Plays

    Today, the texts of roughly three thousand plays from the great age of Elizabethan theater are lost to us. The plays that remain constitute only a sixth of all of the drama produced during that period. How do we make sense of a swiss-cheese history with more holes than cheese?

    The Lost Plays Database tries to fill in those holes. It’s an open-access forum for information about lost plays from England originally written and performed between 1570 and 1642. The database collects the little evidence that remains of the lost plays, like descriptions of performances, lists of titles, receipts, diaries, letters, or fragments of parts.

    David McInnis, an Associate Professor at Australia’s University of Melbourne and one of the founders of the Lost Plays Database, has collected some of his discoveries about lost plays, as well as the new theories they have spawned, in a new book, "Shakespeare and Lost Plays." We spoke with McInnis about a few favorite lost plays and how researching them is critical to understanding the works that have survived. David McInnis is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

    David McInnis is an Associate Professor in English and Theatre Studies, Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne in Australia. His new book, "Shakespeare and Lost Plays," was published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.

    From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published March 30, 2021. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Praising What is Lost,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits our transcripts. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
597 Ratings

597 Ratings

lexloma ,

Fantastic Variety

This podcast has uncovered views and ways of looking at Shakespeare that one doesn't always come to on one's own -- this has been a fantastic pandemic binge listen from Episode 1...

jconrad622 ,

Awkward interviews

I think the topics are great, but I often feel that the interviewer isn’t listening to the expert and hasn’t done her homework, which is kinda awkward. It sounds like the interviewer is trying to snow off how much she knows, whether it pertains to what the expert is talking about or not.

RocketMan* ,

Going Woke

When the podcast talks about Shakespeare it was okay, not great, but okay. The cloying interviewer was something to work around but they would usually get some interesting guests. But then they got into the woke thing and became obsessed with race and gender. Critical Theory and its recent spin off, CRT, are, in fact, obsessed doctrinaire formulations that force everything to be about race and naturally its all about victim vs oppressors. 1) Thats very bad history, 2) Well, duh, that’s marxist, and 3) It’s boring. Moreover, since the ultimate goal of CRT is to package racial animus for political gain in the present, then it simply becomes indoctrination. Like, who the heck would ever listen to a podcast about Shakespeare and want to be indoctrinated by lefty loons who in the quest to wash their liberal guilt end up advancing an ideology that hides the fact that “anti-racism” as practiced IS in fact racism? I, and many others, don’t listen to Leftist racists. This podcast is canceled.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To