Shaking Up Shakespeare: Episode Launch 1
Shaking Up Shakespeare is a ten-episode podcast series that aims to examine the legacy of William Shakespeare’s work, specifically in the context of Canadian theatre culture and Canadian society more broadly. Building on recent conversations about diversity and casting practices, colonial structures, and accessibility, the series brings together the voices of many individuals with diverse perspectives on Shakespeare.
Between September 2022 and June 2023, the project team interviewed over 30 individuals who all have a connection to Shakespeare or have been impacted by his work in some way. We spoke with actors, directors, playwrights, and dramaturges, as well as intimacy professionals, theatre students, scholars, critics, arts administrators, and educators. Rather than celebrating Shakespeare, no questions asked, the series takes a critical perspective, acknowledging a host of issues including gender discrimination, racism, and ableism, both in Shakespeare’s plays and in productions of his plays.
We acknowledge the role of educational institutions and theatre festivals in perpetuating Shakespeare’s cultural dominance in Canada and consider how this dominance reflects a larger colonial legacy that continues to harm so many lives today. We also shine a light on the artists who are grappling with Shakespeare, reworking and adapting his plays to meet the needs of contemporary audiences, including those whose stories have existed in the margins for far too long.
JANUARY 15, 2024
Episode 1 – Shaking Up Shakespeare
Episode 2 – Shakespeare 101
Episode 3 – Whoa Hamlet! Celebrity Shakespeare from Kenneth Branagh to Paul Gross, with a dash of Keanu Reeves