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Shakespeare Studies   Tags: drama, performance, shakespeare, theatre  

A guide for students and professors interested in the study of Shakespeare's life and works
Last Updated: Aug 26, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This is a selective guide to some of the many resources available for Shakespeare Studies. This page will be your gateway to books, journal articles, video, and web resources. If you have any problems, just click on the Chat with me link, email me or just stop by my office. I'm here to help!

Here are a few other subject guides that will be of interest to you:


Hogarth Shakespeare re-imagines Shakespeare's plays with new series

For generations, Shakespeare’s works have been performed, read and loved throughout the world. His plays have been reinterpreted for every new generation: as teen movies (10 Things I Hate About You/Taming of the Shrew), musicals (West Side Story/Romeo and Juliet), science-fiction films (Forbidden Planet/The Tempest), Japanese warrior tales (Throne of Blood/Macbeth) and novels (A Thousand Acres/King Lear), to name a few. The time is ripe for a dedicated series of stand-alone retellings that will form a covetable library as well as a celebration of Shakespeare for years to come. The Hogarth Shakespeare will be a unique series to delight existing Shakespeare lovers and bring the world’s favourite writer to a new readership, young and old.

The Hogarth Shakespeare programme will launch in 2016, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This international publishing initiative is led by Hogarth UK and published in partnership with Hogarth US, Knopf Canada, Knaus Verlag in Germany and Mondadori in Spain; and Random House Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. The novels will be published simultaneously across the English-speaking world in print, digital and audio formats. Hogarth is currently in discussion with a number of writers, with further announcements expected soon.

Some of the writers already signed up are Margaret Atwood (“The Tempest”), Howard Jacobson (“The Merchant of Venice”), Anne Tyler (“The Taming of the Shrew”), Jo Nesbo ("Macbeth"), and Jeanette Winterson (“The Winter’s Tale”).  I can't wait to see what they do with the plays!

Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive

The Global Shakespeares Video & Performance Archive is a collaborative project providing online access to performances of Shakespeare from many parts of the world as well as essays and metadata provided by scholars and educators in the field. The idea that Shakespeare is a global author has taken many forms since the building of the Globe playhouse. Our work honors the fact and demonstrates the diversity of the world-wide reception and production of Shakespeare’s plays in ways that we hope will nourish the remarkable array of new forms of cultural exchange that the digital age has made possible. Global Shakespeares is a participatory multi-centric networked model that offers wide access to international performances that are changing how we understand Shakespeare’s plays and the world.


The Mousetrap: Building a Better Shakespeare Podcast

The Mousetrap is a place for people to come together to share their love of the plays and poems of William Shakespeare. We are critical omnivores; there is nothing about which we cannot develop a reasoned opinion. But what we love most is sitting around with a glass of wine or a tumbler of bourbon and talking about the Bard. Or sometimes yelling about the Bard. Occasionally fighting about the Bard. And some of us know how to use swords!

But here at The Mousetrap we’re always civil, kind, and respectful, and we never type in all caps. We just want to share the joy and jealousy, the frustration and fascination as we investigate Shakespeare’s life and work. Anyone who wants to join in our exploration is welcome; We’re all here to learn.


Celebrate the Year of the Bard!

In 2014, the Free Library of Philadelphia, in partnership with The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and numerous other cultural organizations from around the region, is offering up Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450—a year packed full of engaging, enlightening, and entertaining programs and events designed to celebrate Shakespeare in all his classic and modern incarnations. Throughout 2014, the Year of the Bard will offer Shakespeare buffs and newcomers alike a plethora of fun and festive ways to get in on the celebration. Every month throughout the year will feature numerous activities, including films, talks, an insult contest, digital and live exhibitions, pop-up and theatrical performances, and of course a big birthday bash on April 23. So check out our calendar of events and our Shakespeare blog, and get in on the fun!


The Winter's Tale - Musical - @ Public Theater

Public Works at the Delacorte Theater
Musical Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s THE WINTER’S TALE
Music and lyrics by Todd Almond

Conceived and directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet
Choreography by Chase Brock 
September 5 – 7, 2014

Conceived and directed by Obie Award winner Lear deBessonet with musical adaptation by Todd Almond and choreography by Chase Brock, Public Works’ THE WINTER’S TALE brings Shakespeare’s tale of mystery and magic to life as never before.  Featuring Public Works’ signature blend of professional actors, community members, and special guests, 200 New Yorkers will come together to tell Shakespeare’s beloved fable of hard won joy and the promise of renewal.  



Marlowe's Tamburlaine I & II and Two Gentlemen of Verona at TFANA

by Christopher Marlowe
Directed by Michael Boyd
Featuring John Douglas Thompson

November 1 – December 21, 2014

Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Parts I And II was last seen in New York sixty years ago. Michael Boyd, former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, stages both parts of the wildly popular play that launched Christopher Marlowe’s career in the late 1580s. John Douglas Thompson (Macbeth and Othello for Theatre for a New Audience) stars as Tamburlaine, the unstoppable and ferocious low-born conqueror who humbles kings and emperors, sweeping methodically across vast territories while gathering ever more strength from his driving will, his boundless self-image, and his astonishing outpouring of stunning verse.

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jessie Austrian and Ben Steinfeld

April 24 – May 24, 2015 - Four Weeks Only!

Crackling and quick-moving, The Two Gentlemen of Verona may well have been Shakespeare’s first play. A seemingly simple tale of shifting devotions among mismatched lovers, it helped launch the genre of rom-com. Yet its delightful madcap surface conceals undercurrents, as its putative hero proves a cad and a faithless friend.



New Resource! - Digital Theatre Plus


At the heart of Digital Theatre Plus is the ethos to share the best of British theatre with teachers and students all over the world. Digital Theatre Plus captures the moments before the curtain rises and after the curtain falls, providing valuable insight into the play making process. We share the hidden drama of the weeks, days, and hours before ‘lights up’ on stage. By revealing the world of the rehearsal room, dressing room, backstage and beyond, our documentaries and interviews introduce theatre as a vibrant, exciting art form through a familiar and accessible medium.


Understanding Iambic Pentameter

Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS

In a unique series of six films, Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biograohy, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of its celebrated hosts - Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson, and David Tennant - to tell the stories behind the stories if Shakespeare's greatest plays.

Visit the PBS Shakespeare Uncovered page to access full length videos of the series and other related resources.

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Maximum Shakespeare from the New York Times

The New York Times is currently featuring Maximum Shakespeare: an online discussion of the playwright and his works.  It features interviews with actors and discussions about the challenges they face in acting Shakespeare.  It also has short videos of actors - currently featuring Orland Bloom and Samuel Barnett - speaking short speeches from the plays they are currently seen in.  Here is the link to the artilces: "Players, Here’s the Drill: David Harewood and Orlando Bloom on Shakespearean Warm-Upsand "What Makes a Great Shakespearean? Mark Rylance and Other Standouts Share Secrets of the Trade."  Keep checking back as more content is added regularly.


New Resource: Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP)

The Database of Early English Playbooks allows scholars and students to investigate the publishing, printing, and marketing of English Renaissance drama in ways not possible using any other print or electronic resource. An easy-to-use and highly customizable search engine of every playbook produced in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the beginning of printing through 1660, DEEP provides a wealth of information about the original playbooks, their title-pages, paratextual matter, advertising features, bibliographic details, and theatrical backgrounds.

New Resource! Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare

This database includes the complete text of 11 major editions of Shakespeare's works, from the First Folio to the Cambridge edition of 1863-66. It also includes 24 separate contemporary printings of individual plays, selected apocrypha and related works, and more than 100 adaptations, sequels, and burlesques from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. It is also an historical archive of Shakespeare editing. The major 18th- and 19th-century editions are included, providing a history of the scholarly foundations of the modern Shakespeare text.


Bobst Info

Test your Hamlet knowledge

Can you name all the different words in Hamlet's 'To Be Or Not To Be' Soliloquy?

Sporcle games provide mentally stimulating diversions.  Check the site for the many games featuring Shakespeare's plays and test your Shakespearean knowledge!


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