Welcome to Shakespeare In the News:
updates on new films, productions, and references to the Bard in the mass
Please email me your discoveries for
posting on this page!
Also, I get lots of my news
Shakespeare Standard, a terrific web-digest of Shakespeare news,
reviews, and more.
3 September 2011
William Shakespeare: His Life and Times, (which
I co-authored with CMU Prof. Ari Berk),
Templar Books, April 2010, is the
winner of the 2011 School Library Association Children's
Choice Information Book Award!
14 April 2010
Coriolanus -- the Shakespeare play chiefly known as an opportunity for
Eric Cartman-style jokes -- will hit the big screen in a modern (Gulf-War-ish)
setting starring Ralph Fiennes in 2011. Some
early production photos here.
23 March 2010
PlayShakespeare.com -- a
new, user-friendly, and comprehensive site with all kinds of news and links,
plus the added attraction of blog-hosting services for any wannabe Shakespeare
23 March 2010
Brian Cox coaches a 2-year-old
through Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech.
Too funny to miss --
Hamlet's Facebook tweets via McSweeney's. (Unfortunately, the version that
actually looked like Facebook is offline, but you can find the text here.)
Shakespeare? or Thomas Overbury? Or Random Cute Renaissance Guy?
Katherine Duncan-Jones tries to cut through the hype about the "new" portrait of Shakespeare recently
unveiled in London.
Ron Rosenbaum, author of The Shakespeare Wars, considers (in the light of the
the question of Shakespeare's sexiness.
A fun and helpful new site,
Bardbox, collects all the YouTube videos that
have "Shakespeare" as a keyword. Some high-quality stuff, some junk, and some
really funny. Don't miss "Cat Head Hamlet"!
8 October 2008
now this is
BIG news: a new film production of The Tempest, directed by
Julie Taymor (Titus, Across the Universe), will star HELEN MIRREN
as "Prospera" -- a female version of Prospero. I saw Vanessa Redgrave perform
the same role in the New Globe's production of The Tempest in 2000. This
production has a stellar cast already -- Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred
Molina -- and may add Geoffrey Rush. Starts filming November in Hawaii, so maybe
we can expect it around Christmas 2009. I can't wait!
Helen Mirren (Left),
Jeremy Irons and Djimon Hounsou (Getty Images photos)
27 August 2008
OK, I can't resist -- some clever person has posted
27 August 2008
Another fun blog is
Shakespeare Geek, who asks intelligent questions and finds useful resources.
18 March 2007
the best Hamlet?
The Times of London's theater critic, the lushly named Benedict Nightingale,
3 October 2006
Two YouTube gems:
Sellars as Laurence Olivier's Richard III, reciting "A Hard Day's Night."
"Cat Head Theatre Presents Hamlet" -- what more can I say?
17 April 2006
If you have HBO, don't miss
Elizabeth I, starring Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons. Terrific acting and
costumes, and an unflinching portrayal of Queen Bess's tragic political and
30 March 2006
DON'T MISS THIS!!!
The Beatles as "Pyramus and Thisbe"
21 April 2005
In honor of the Bard's Birthday, I guess --
Amazon.com has just opened a "Shakespeare Store".
21 April 2005
In movie news -- Kenneth Branagh finally returns to Shakespeare and begins
principal photography today on As You Like It -- here's the scoop from
15 March 2005
Thesp to direct Kline, Howard in 'As You Like It'
Branagh will direct Kevin Kline and Bryce Dallas Howard in a film adaptation of
Shakespeare's "As You Like It" to be set in the late 1800s. HBO Films is
financing the pic, which will be released theatrically before hitting the pay
may play the small role of Touchstone, the comic relief in the film. Jimmy Yuill,
David Oyelowo, Adrian Lester and Brian Blessed are set for supporting roles.
produces the pic with Judy Hofflund and Simon Moseley. Shooting starts April 21
in England. HBO has an output deal for its theatricals with Fine Line, but it
isn't clear yet who will distribute theatrically.
marks the fifth Shakespeare adaptation Branagh has done for the screen,
including his directing debut "Twelfth Night." He also directed "Much Ado About
Nothing," "Love's Labour's Lost," "Hamlet" and "Henry V."
will play Rosalind, a part she played at the Public Theater in New York. She'll
next be seen in "Manderlay," Lars Von Trier's follow-up to "Dogville." Kline
co-stars with Steve Martin in upcoming pic "The Pink Panther."
6 December 2004
It had to happen sometime --
Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be"
soliloquy: The Powerpoint Version
31 August 2004
Welcome to a new semester! And it was inevitable, but there's now a
Shakespeare blog: check out
on the Rialto, with daily news updates and links on performances and
22 April 2004
on the upcoming (December 2004) film of The Merchant of Venice,
starring Al (Looking for Richard) Pacino and Joseph (Shakespeare in Love)
20 April 2004
If you're interested in some of the plays that have from time to time been
attributed to Shakespeare but aren't included in the official canon, here's an
informative list -- "The
23 March 2004
Fans of Looking for Richard will enjoy
this essay -- it includes interesting trivia about the film. For
example, what actress re-dubbed Lady Anne's (Winona Ryder's) lines?
16 March 2004
A little post-break fun:
Hamlet -- The
Text Adventure -- a language-only hypertext game in which you take on the
persona of Hamlet and navigate his world. Addictive!
5 March 2004
A fun project: you can download a plan for a
paper model of Shakespeare's Globe
-- it downloads onto one page which you can then blow up on a copier machine or
29 January 2004
your Tivos and VCRs for Michael Wood's In Search of Shakespeare, airing
on PBS (locally, WDCQ,
Ch. 19/35 will air the show on Wednesday nights, February 4 -25. Our own
station, WCMU, apparently will only
show the last two parts on Feb. 18 and 25). This is a very
entertaining documentary about the life of Shakespeare. Some of its
scholarship and conclusions are questionable, but it's a great visual tour
through Shakespeare's world. Access
PBS' informational website here.
Here's the air schedule for WDCQ:
Part 1: A Time of Revolution
-- Feb 5, 3:00AM and Feb 9, 10:00PM
Part 2: The Lost Years -- Feb 12, 3:00AM and Feb 16, 10:00PM
Part 3: The Duty of Poets -- Feb 19, 3:00AM and Feb 23, 10:00PM
Part 4: For All Time -- Feb 26, 3:00AM
27 January, 2004
new film of The Merchant of Venice is in production, starring Joseph (Shakespeare
in Love) Fiennes as Bassanio and Al Pacino as Shylock (this might explain
the ponytail he was wearing at the Golden Globes). Not much info yet, but
Internet Movie Database listing,
if you want to keep tabs on it.
21 October, 2003
here for access to
Holinshed's Chronicles --
Shakespeare's source for his histories, Macbeth, etc., now available
14 February, 2002
Happy Valentine's Day! Click here
for a CNN story on a British perfumery attempting to recreate a
"Shakespeare Love Potion."
11 February, 2002
A new, valuable site for the British
Shakespeare Association -- lots of info on Shakespeare productions and
scholarship, with a lively discussion board.
22 January, 2002
Another Shakespeare-based film opens soon -- Scotland,
PA, sets the plot of
Macbeth among competing fast-food moguls in a small Pennsylvania town.
Stars Christopher Walken and Andy Dick (yes, really!). Click
here for the official site and study guide. (This probably won't open
here, but we'll wait for the video).
Watch our local PBS-TV station (WCMU)
for a new production of The Merchant of Venice -- it airs Tuesday,
October 9, at 9PM on Masterpiece Theater. Click here
for the production website.
Scholars are buzzing about a possible new portrait of Shakespeare -- read a Washington
Post article about the recently-discovered portrait and its implications.
August 23, 2001
"O" (a modern updating of Othello, starring Mekhi Phifer and Julia
Stiles) is finally opening here in Mt. Pleasant, August 31, 2001 -- here's the official
May 2, 2001
Two Macbeth adaptations coming up:
"Scotland, PA" -- opening at Sundance Film Festival
but not released till Jan. 2002
Here's how Abandon Pictures describes it: "Set in the 1970's in small town
Pennsylvania, Scotland, PA is a darkly funny retelling of Shakespeare's
classic tale. When a young couple tries to rise up from unsuccessful careers
in the fast food industry, they are consumed not by their love of burgers, fries
and shakes, but by an unquenchable greed and lust for power, which ultimately
brings about their humorous, yet tragic, downfalls."
"Rave Macbeth" --
"Set in a trendy rave nightclub, this is the tale of political maneuvering
within a gang of drug dealers led by Hecate, as Dean, Marcus, and Troy
wrestle for influence. Things get heady when Lidia tries to help her boyfriend
Marcus get the upper hand... "
April 17, 2001
Almereyda's Hamlet, starring Ethan Hawke, Julia Stiles,
and Kyle McLachlan, is now available in video stores.
The setting is New
York City, 2000 -- The CEO of Denmark Corp. has just died,
and his son, Hamlet,
suspects foul play...
April 9, 2001
Too violent? Or just plain bad? For those who are waiting for the
release of "O" --
a modern updating of "Othello"
starring Mekhi Phifer and Julia Stiles --
here's some info about why it's been
postponed yet again
(latest release date: August 2001).
April 1, 2001
Just for fun -- Like Hamlet? Like cats? Click
March 21, 2001
Valentine's Day is over, but young lovers can still celebrate spring
Shakespeare Sonnet Card.
March 20, 2001
As You Like It fans -- read the prose romance the play is based on --
Rosalynde -- online.
March 19, 2001
News about a new
TNT production setting King Lear in the Wild West,
October 24, 2000
Ever wonder what a sackbut or a shawm or a zink is? Here's a fun
sent to me by a graduate student -- anyone who's interested in
Medieval/Renaissance music will enjoy this -- you can sample the sounds
October 17, 2000
Don't have a refrigerator in your dorm room? Don't despair --
still make Shakespeare
Magnet Poetry on a website!
(Your computer must be Java-enabled for
this to work, but it's fun!)