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Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616

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Glenda Jackson On Playing King Lear: Gender Barriers 'Crack' With Age

Shakespeare's King Lear is one of the most challenging and prestigious roles in theater — and one that's traditionally played by a man. But now a new production of King Lear on Broadway stars Glenda Jackson in its title role. The British actor, who is 82, is fine with the gender bending casting. She recently returned to acting after 23 years away, when she served as a Member of Parliament.


Whedon's Touch Finds A Match With 'Much Ado'

Sandwiched into Joss Whedon's busy schedule of TV series and big-screen features was an unexpected low-budget adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing -- shot in black and white. Film critic David Edelstein says it's a delight.


Shakespeare, Thompson: Stick To The Print Versions.

The lives of writers drive two films opening this week: The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, dramatizes a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, meanwhile, examines who wrote Shakespeare's plays. Critic David Edelstein says both films show how hard it is to write about writers.


'Playing Shakespeare' The Way The Pros Do It

Playing Shakespeare, a 1984 series in which actors dissect some of the Bard's most famous works, shows how crucial an understanding of Shakespeare's language and versification are to conveying the meaning — and power — of his scenes.


Actor and Director Kenneth Branagh on His Comprehensive Version of "Hamlet"

Branagh stars in the new film adaptation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." There's a companion book to the new film "Hamlet" which includes the screenplay, introduction, and film diary. Branagh's other films include adaptations of Shakespeare's "Henry the Fifth," with himself in the title role, Othello, playing Iago, "Dead Again," a psychological thriller starring Branagh and Emma Thompson, and "Much Ado About Nothing," also starring himself.


Al Pacino Takes on Shakespeare in "Looking for Richard"

Pacino talks with Terry Gross about his new movie "Looking for Richard." He directed, produced and stars in this experimental film. It takes us behind the scenes of a production of Shakespeare's Richard the Third, and features Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Vanessa Redgrave and Kenneth Branagh. Pacino currently stars in the Broadway production "Hughie" by Eugene O'Neil.


Kenneth Branagh Discusses Directing and Playing "Henry V."

Actor and director Kenneth Branagh (rhymes with "Savanah"). Branagh has just made a new film adaptation of Shakespeare's "Henry the Fifth," with himself in the title role. Branagh was born in Northern Ireland, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, spent two years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as acting, managing, and directing other groups and working on several BBC productions. The new "Henry the 5th" also stars Derek Jacobi, Paul Scofield and Ian Holm.


Investigating Shakespeare's "Literary Supremacy."

Shakespearean scholar Gary Taylor. Four years ago, Taylor made headlines when he claimed to have discovered a new Shakespeare poem. Now Taylor's written a cultural history of the Bard of Stratford, called Reinventing Shakespeare. In it, Taylor asks `is Shakespeare really as great as everyone says?' Taylor looks at how changing societies have reinterpreted Shakespeare, and to some extent all great literature, to correspond with changing social mores and opinions.


Actor and Producer John Houseman

John Houseman has had an illustrious career as an actor and producer of film, television, and radio. He is known for bringing Shakespeare to diverse audiences via Broadway, the Federal Theater Project, and film adaptations of the playwright's work.


Shakespeare's Mysterious Sonnets.

Legendary editor and publisher Robert Giroux has recently tried his hand at writing. His new book is "The Book Known as 'Q': A Consideration of Shakespeare's Sonnets." Giroux calls "Q" the most mysterious work ever published, and, unlike other critics, he believes it to be an early work of Shakespeare. Giroux joins the show to discuss Shakespeare's work, life, and sexuality. Giroux also discusses some of the works and authors he has published and edited.


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