Podcast 165: Interview Special — Melissa Chalsma and David Melville of Independent Shakespeare Company


This week’s podcast ends an exceedingly long drought, but your patience is rewarded with a jumbo econo-sized interview with Melissa Chalsma and David Melville, the Artistic and Managing Directors, respectively, of Los Angeles’ Independent Shakespeare Company. We talk a bit about the upcoming season which will include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Titus Andronicus.

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Media Thursday: not quite the Ides of March

Today is Thursday, so that means “media day,” on which I like to focus on some Shakespeare-related work. This week, I want to preview something on the horizon:

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When in Rome…

OK, so as I’ve mentioned a number of times, I finished off my long-term sub gig at ACHS last week. I just want to share a pretty cool assessment that I put together for the end of Julius Caesar for the English 2 Honors class.

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The Winter’s Tale: Hamlet and fardels and bears, oh my

As I’m re-reading The Winter’s Tale (while in my final days in Ashland, watching some really good Shakespeare, and while attempting to write a paper on King Lear with a medical diagnosis of narcissism–the former successfully and happily; the latter…not so much), I’m noticing some words coming up with more frequency than I expected: “fardel” and “bear.”

Oh, my.

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Iachimo: little scamp or little Iago?

So, you’re a pretty nice guy. Got this beautiful fiancée or wife, and she’s totally faithful to you. And this dude comes along and tells you that she’s been disloyal. You get sad then mad, and you want her killed. We’ve seen this before in Othello and now Cymbeline. You’re the Moor or Posthumus. She’s Desdemona or Hero. And that “dude” is Iago or Iachimo.

Is similarity in the name intentional?

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Coriolanus flashback

Yeah, I know. Coriolanus was so…last month.

But when something comes onto the radar that is this fascinating–well, it’s time to put off that Act One synopsis of Cymbeline and share it with you, my band of Bard brothers…

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Podcast 152: Coriolanus — concept, cast, conclusion and wrap up


This week’s podcast concludes our two-month journey with Coriolanus. We’re going to discuss a directorial concept, a cast, a conclusion and a wrap-up…oh, and two–count ‘em two–shameless bits of self-promotion.

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Coriolanus: the wrap-up

So. Coriolanus.

It’s a strange play. Intense. Political. Intensely political. It’s a tragedy, there’s no way around it. But is Martius a tragic hero?

Now, way back when…just after we started this project, we read Titus Andronicus, and we kind of asked this very question of that play, as well.

I called that one a play of revenge, a horror show.

That was Shakespeare’s first tragedy, and this–Coriolanus–is the last.


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Coriolanus: the fly in the solo ointment

Remember how I’ve been going on and on about Martius’ one (ok, maybe technically two, really just one) soliloquy in Coriolanus? And remember how I said this says something about his anxiety when he’s around others and his calm alone? And remember how I’ve tied this to his homosociality with Aufidius?

Well, shoot. Damn, there’s another soliloquy.

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