WordPlay™ Shakespeare

Now, Half the Page is a Stage...

Hamlet Around the Globe

Their Hours Upon The Stage - Naeem Hayat and Tom Lawrence as Hamlet and Laertes at the Odeon Amphitheatre in Amman, Jordan. Credit Sarah Lee
Their Hours Upon The Stage - Naeem Hayat and Tom Lawrence as Hamlet and Laertes at the Odeon Amphitheatre in Amman, Jordan.
Credit Sarah Lee


Stephen Greenblatt reviews Dominic Dromgool's new book describing taking Hamlet to every country in the world - Hamlet Globe to Globe.

Shakespeare at War

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Stephan Wolfert rehearsing his one-man show, “Cry Havoc!”
SARA KRULWICH / THE NEW YORK TIMES


A closer look at how Shakespeare makes sense of war, to veterans and those who have lost friends in war.

A Hofstra Hamlet that "Would Make Shakespeare Proud"

Hofstra Hamlet

Hofstra launches its 68th Annual Shakespeare Festival with a well received Hamlet. More.

Shakespeare in Love, versus Saving Private Ryan

shakespeare-in-love
An enjoyable interview with Harvey Weinstein, explaining why Shakespeare in Love, beat out Saving Private Ryan at the Oscars. More.

A Titan Retires

Michael Kahn
Michael Kahn, a titanic figure in the Shakespeare and theater world, is retiring from his post as artistic director in the Shakespeare Theatre Company, in Washington, D.C. Key quote: "When I’m told I helped make Washington a theater town, that’s the thing I feel the best about,”. More.

Now is the Winter of Our Discontent

Richard III
A very positive review of a play that resonates in today's political environment. More.

For Shakespeare...Haters?

Shakespeare with a devil's horns, and an angel's halo
A seasoned (and quite amusing) Pittsburgh theater critic, Ted Hoover, cannot abide Shakespeare and his works. Among his pithier quotes on Studio 360: “If you had a lick of intelligence in your head , this play [Romeo and Juliet] wouldn’t happen. It only happens if you’re stupid.” Possibly... More. Oh, and NPR's Ira Glass also dislikes the bard…

It's Not Just Picard...

Michael Dorn Star Trek ActorMichael Dorn Star Trek Actor Worf
Michael Dorn (Worf in Star trek) is set to play Marc Antony.

The Limits of Technology

Visual representation of a Shakespeare set
A production photo of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s collaboration with Intel on “The Tempest.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY TOPHER MCGRILLIS / R.S.C.

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner reviews the RSC's production of the Tempest, and examines the limits of real-time computer effects blended with a live performance.

Not Guilty!

Poster for The Trial of Hamlet, showing a skull in cartoon form

The Stage Design Was Quite Laconic...

Russian actor in strange headgear and dark glasses.
We can't say we fully (or even partially) understand this review of Taming of the Shrew by the Russian Kachalov Theatre, but in the spirit of acknowledging Shakespeare's global reach, we put it forward here. Opaque though the commentary may be, it certainly seems like a visually arresting production. More.

Shakespeare in Mandarin

Poster for a performnce of Shakespeare's Hamlet in Mandarin Chinese
Tremendous article in the Financial Times detailing the possibilities and pitfalls in translating Shakespeare's works into Mandarin. More.

Calling Dr. Spooner...

Poster for the One Ham Manlet Show
We here at The New Book Press can't resist the occasional Spoonerism. So, here 'tis! More.

Westworld and Shakespeare

Image of Abernathy in Westworld
Michael Crichton leaned heavily on Shakespeare's words when writing Westworld.  What does it all mean? More.

Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet At 20

Still photo from Baz Lurhmann's Romeo + Juliet with Clare Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet
The Guardian re-reviews Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet on its 20th anniversary. More.

Welles, O'Toole, Wheldon and Milton Discuss Hamlet



A fascinating discussion about playing Hamlet from a 1963
BBC TV program (or programme, as you like it). It's a peculiarly chaotic interview, with everyone talking over each other, Wheldon (the host), not controlling the discussion at all, and some fairly poor camera work. However, it's worth listening to what Welles, O'Toole, and Milton are saying. They're thoughtful, humorous, and in their own separate ways, deeply in tune with Shakespeare's masterpiece.

Shared Light

Photo of the outside of the modern day Globe Theater in London
The Globe, which opened in 1997, is a reconstruction of a Shakespearean theatre.

Emma Rice, the Shakespeare Globe's artistic director, will  step down at the end of the 2017 season, after clashing with management over the use of sound equipment and lighting rigs. At the heart of the disagreement is whether the Globe should focus on traditional productions that mimic the constraints of Elizabethan theatre tech, or incorporate current theatrical methods (the "shared light" issue in theatre shorthand). For now, the traditionalists have won. More.

Shakespeare Embodied

Actors working on Shakespeare text on a stage floor
“We say, ‘When I say Shakespeare, you say …?' And we turn it into a kind of a call-and-response thing, and we hear things like ‘Dead!’ ‘White guy!' You know. ‘Who cares!’ ”

A great piece from WBUR on Actor's Shakespeare Project, which works with teachers to bring Shakespeare's plays to life. More.

A Child Star - But Which One?



Long did, but famous in his time, he was more known for his vaudeville and broadway performances. As a not very helpful hint - he was born Joseph Yule, Jr.