With the help of some of the best and brightest Shakespeare fans in the world, we’re diving deep into 38 plays in 35 episodes (Henrys IV & VI only get one episode a piece; sorry, Bill). In every episode of The Shakespeare Series, I’ll be joined by a different guest (or guests) to discuss a different play in the canon- from the big picture to the tiniest nerdy detail. We have guests lined up who’ve appeared in title roles on the biggest national stages and others who’ve played messengers in 20-person houses; actors, directors, scholars, and even a stage manager, calling in from Stratford, Manila, Boston, Berlin, New York, Niagara, Newfoundland, Washington DC and, of course, Toronto. Every one of them knows their stuff and every one of them was chosen for exactly one reason- a big, bold, unapologetic love of the bard.
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Married couple Jessi McCarthy and Owen Schmitt met working on a production of Romeo & Juliet but they refuse to let that story be told without clarifying that they were NOT playing Romeo and Juliet- they were stage managing and fight directing. We were in the Boston University Shakespeare Society together back in the day and they remain two of the smartest and most interesting people I know when it comes to analyzing the bard. True to “not Romeo & Juliet” form, they picked a text so off the beaten track that most people don’t even remember it exists. But after seeing a production of Timon of Athens at DC’s Folger Shakespeare Library, they just had to talk about that play, its strange flaws and its remarkable modernity.