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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Fun fact: Ted Witzel was the first theatre artist I ever interviewed. I was still in school with barely a dozen reviews under my belt when I found myself standing on an Ossington sidewalk chatting with this monumentally intelligent Germany-obsessed enfant terrible about his original translation of Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck as he chain smoked and panicked about a lost cash box. I was terrified but that interaction was also incredibly formative as Ted Witzel’s work with his company the red light district would become a tentpole of this site’s early coverage (there are five Canadian theatre artists I closely associate with our origin story, Ted is one of them). He doesn’t scare me anymore (well, maybe a little) but Ted remains one of the most fascinating people to talk theatre with, especially Shakespeare because his compulsion to pull everything off its pedestal is what discussions about Shakespeare really need. As a director, Ted likes to take a text other people think of as broken and tear it apart to find something true inside. That’s what he did with the rarely produced and ill-loved comedy All’s Well That Ends Well for Canadian Stage’s 2016 Shakespeare in High Park so that’s the play I assigned him for his Shakespeare Series episode.
Matthew Edison on Hamlet
Lauren Horejda on The Merchant of Venice
Jessi McCarthy & Owen Schmitt on Timon of Athens
James Graham on King Lear
Nicanor Campos on Cymbeline
Scott Garland on As You Like It
Marcel Stewart on Macbeth
Jeannette Lambermont-Morey on The Winter’s Tale