The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare, for the week ending Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Today, we launch a brand new podcast, a weekly overview of Shakespeare news and notes, plus some historical dates for what happened in the last seven dates of the year in this history of the Bard, and the history of his histories.

This week’s news review contains discussions of Judi Dench joining Benedict Cumberbatch in Richard III for the BBC, Gillian Flynn revisiting Hamlet, Drunk Shakespeare and multiple new productions around the world,AND our usual recap of this week’s daily highlights in Shakespearean history.
Continue reading “The Bill / Shakespeare Project presents: This Week in Shakespeare, for the week ending Monday, June 2nd, 2014”

Drunk Shakespeare

Waking up a little hung over this Sunday morning?

Maybe then last night you encountered a little Drunk Shakespeare.

The Drunk Shakespeare Society is a ongoing theatrical revue in New York City located in a bar between Midtown and Hell’s Kitchen. Here’s a Daily Beast article highlighting it.

And looking at this video…

[can anyone say Drunk History meets the Reduced Shakespeare Company?]

…this looks like a blast.

The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis gets it right…

Every year, the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis has the staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch create a guide to that summer’s play in the form of an infographic. The theater critic comes up with the content and the former designer from the paper creates the visuals.

PDFs are available on the site, and theatergoers are encouraged to look them over (some even print them out and bring them to the plays). What’s really impressive is that these graphics get super-enlarged and put on to signs that are displayed at the outdoor venue.
Continue reading “The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis gets it right…”

Shakespeare Behind Bars… again

As we get ready to relaunch The Bill / Shakespeare Project, a news story came across the wire (ok, it came in my RSS feed, so sue me), that hearkens back to one of the first stories we covered on the site, the work of a group that brings Shakespeare and theatrical training to prisons (the earlier story was about a documentary on the group’s outreach to a Kentucky prison).

Today’s story is from a Wisconsin Public Radio station, discussing a recent visit to the Milwaukee area by the group’s founder, Curt Tofteland. The story includes and embedded recording of the radio station’s story.

The Guerrilla Shakespeare Project and “Rules for Modernizing Shakespeare”

Here’s a great article on a thoroughly modern Shakespeare company, the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project. In the linked story, the Project’s Director of Development, outlines the group’s philosophy and guiding principles in bringing the Bard into the present day.

  • Indulge contemporary sensibilities
  • Take Shakespeare off the pedestal
  • Honor what makes Shakespeare “Shakespeare”
  • Acknowledge and exploit your limitations

Sounds like a group after my own heart…

Oh, to be in New York this weekend (and to have tix)…

This weekend, my favorite Shakespearean actor Kenneth Branagh is premiering in Macbeth, which he is co-directing. The  production is a recreation of one he did last year in the UK, and it looks awesome.

Not only is he in it, but as his Lady is Alex Kingston. I crush hard over her River Song in the Doctor Who series. And as she was a great femme fatale in Croupier, I can only imagine the kind of sexy manipulation she’ll bring to the role.

I’d love to be in NYC, but even then I wouldn’t have tickets, now would I? StubHub has the cheapest ticket for the entire run at just under five hundred dollars (the highest I saw was $1500 a pop…

So in the interest in feeding your Branagh/Kingston/Bard fix, here’s a link to the BBC Radio production they did last month of Antony and Cleopatra (from a Kingston fan site; the actual play begins a few minutes into the looooong clip).



The Merry Wives… according to

’bout sums it up…'s three-panel synopsis of The Merry Wives of Windsor’s three-panel synopsis of The Merry Wives of Windsor

For more breakdowns, hit the three-panel Shakespearean breakdown page:

Blessings and Curses

For those who have read this blog for the last year, you probably know that I lost my job in late January.  Up till that point, I had worked from home and had time to do the blog.

While I wasn’t bringing in a regular paycheck, it did free me up to put more time into this blog (and the novel, of course). Long story short: I started up a new job last week… I knew it was coming and I had front-loaded some entries.

I know, wah wah, poor poor pitiful me.

But those entries have come and gone… and I’m back to a day by day blogging cycle… and the commute to my new job is killing the 1 to 1.5 hours a day I usually put into the blog (and writing the new novel has gone completely to hell)…

Not looking for pity, just wanted to let you know why some blog entries will be short or non-existent (until I get used to the commute or begin to work some days from home–a real possibility).

Thanks for your patience.

Back from Ashland!

The title says it all… saw five plays over four days (three, if you throw out the dark Monday)… three Shakespeare, one Shakespeare-based, and one not even close…

Reviews are coming via podcast… probably on Sunday, August 29…

It’s great to be back!