All posts by Bill Walthall

After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English and a teaching credential, Bill Walthall returned to his hometown in Ventura County, California, to teach English and drama at Oxnard and Hueneme High Schools. Having spent a decade in the classroom, he took a year off to recharge his batteries, but was pulled into the private-sector rat race as a technology consultant. In the last handful of years, however, he has rekindled his passion for literature and education. He launched his blog, The Bill / Shakespeare Project, where he brings not only a fun, accessible yet still scholarly approach to a play-by-play analysis of Shakespeare’s works, but also the latest and greatest in Willy Shakespeare headlines every week in his “This Week in Shakespeare” podcast.

Paging All Casting Directors!

OK, so you’re a director… and you’re about to mount a production of The Comedy of Errors (or it could be a movie version)…

who would be your dream cast?

And, why, gentle reader, why should you do this???

a free Bill / Shakespeare Project tee-shirt to the best/most original/most well-reasoned/funniest casting director

That’s why!

Enter by commenting to this blog entry.  Contest entries due before 12 Noon (Pacific) on Friday, July 24.  I’ll announce the winner in the last podcast of the month (Sunday, July 26).

Good luck!

THAT Discussion (or, The King of Repurposing Strikes Again!)

OK, this is a distillation of the presentation I gave to Kyle’s seventh grade English class a couple of years back, entitled “Shakespearean Verse…Scansion: The Audience’s Meaning and the Actor’s Guide”

For Shakespearean study, language is the key.  WHY?

  • No (or very limited) stage sets
  • No (or very few) stage directions in the text
  • No (or very limited) special effects
  • No (or very limited) stage sets
  • No (or very few) stage directions in the text
  • No (or very limited) special effects

All of this information must be conveyed through LANGUAGE
Continue reading THAT Discussion (or, The King of Repurposing Strikes Again!)

Podcast 03: The Comedy of Errors Overview

This week’s podcast includes a plot synopsis of The Comedy of Errors, an announcement concerning the opening of a Bill / Shakespeare Project store, a request for upcoming blog and podcast topics, and a review of the Shakespeare Behind Bars DVD.
Continue reading Podcast 03: The Comedy of Errors Overview

Need a tee-shirt to adorn your body?

As you may have noticed (or not, it IS at the bottom of the side navigation bar), we’ve opened a Bill / Shakespeare Project store at

thumbnail of BSP t-shirt
thumbnail of BSP t-shirt

Currently, we have three styles:

  • “Shakespeare sucketh not” on the front/schedule and URL on the back
  • URL on the front
  • project name on front/schedule and URL on back

We also have hoodies, bags, journals and clocks.

ALL items are at cost (we make no money… we just want to spread the word!)

Show your Bard-a-phile status and pimp the site!

Don’t Forget to Vote

… for your favorite play… there’s a survey in the side navigation bar just below the jump-link to our Facebook page…

As of right now, Macbeth is in the lead with a whopping two of seven votes, followed closely (duh) by Hamlet, Henry V, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and The Taming of the Shrew.

I’ll keep the survey up at least for the month of July… if you’ve got ideas for the next survey, post a comment!

Act Five: Hey, Abbott (er, make that Abbess)!

Act Five’s single scene brings all together.  The scene begins with Angelo and his creditor discussing the situation again.  AS and DS arrive, and after some confusion, the creditor draws his sword to arrest then and get the money owed to him.  AS and DS escape to sanctuary in the Priory (Abbey).  The Abbess comes out to see what is going on, and she questions the newly arrived Adriana on the social aspects of AS’s state… her initial finding is that Adriana is to blame: “The venom clamors of a jealous woman / Poisons more deadly than a mad dog’s tooth” (V.i.69-70), but she exits to tend to his madness with “wholesome syrups, drugs and holy prayers” (V.i.104).  Upon her exit, the Duke arrives with Egeon to oversee the Syracusian merchant’s execution.
Continue reading Act Five: Hey, Abbott (er, make that Abbess)!

Check out: Shakespeare Behind Bars

If you do Netflix (or if your DVD rental vendor of choice has a good selection of independent docs), do yourself a GREAT favor and check out Shakespeare Behind Bars, a documentary made back in ’05 about a volunteer theatre project at a Kentucky prison.

Thanks go out to BSP commenter Mashaw for pointing me in the direction of this film (her friend Shana was the directory of photography for the piece).

Check out their website.

It’s great stuff…