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Latest edition: Shakespeare Death-Day Anniversary Special

Episode Details

Original tape date: September 25, 2015.

First aired: April 23, 2016.

Theater Talk presents highlights of its interviews with eminent Shakespearean scholar James Shapiro to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the day that Shakespeare died (April 23, 1616).

Shapiro, a Columbia University professor, first discusses his book Shakespeare in America, an anthology of writings about the Bard's impact on our culture, talking about topics ranging from The Astor Place Riot and Orson Welles' "Voodoo" Macbeth to King Lear's relationship to the Pullman labor strike and the time Ulysses S. Grant played Desdemona.

Shapiro then talks about his book The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606. In or about that year, Shakespeare wrote three of the greatest tragedies of all time: Macbeth, King Lear and Anthony & Cleopatra. Shapiro details the political changes and other circumstances in England that may have inspired and influenced these plays, as well as his take on the personality of the elusive 16th Century playwright and poet.

Guest List

James S. Shapiro Professor, Columbia University

  • Frank Langella in "The Father"
  • Sunday, May 1 - 12:30pm
  • Monday, May 2 - 7:30am, 1:30pm, 7:30pm
  • "The Humans"
  • Saturday, May 7 - 8:30pm
  • Sunday, May 8 - 12:30pm
  • Monday, May 9 - 7:30am, 1:30pm, 7:30pm
  • "The Crucible"
  • Saturday, May 14 - 8:30pm
  • Sunday, May 15 - 12:30pm
  • Monday, May 16 - 7:30am, 1:30pm, 7:30pm
  • tba
  • Saturday, May 21 - 8:30pm
  • Sunday, May 22 - 12:30pm
  • Monday, May 23 - 7:30am, 1:30pm, 7:30pm
  • tba
  • Saturday, May 28 - 8:30pm
  • Sunday, May 29 - 12:30pm
  • Monday, May 30 - 7:30am, 1:30pm, 7:30pm