Shakespeare

Nathan E. Bradshaw as Duke Vincentio and Rosemary Richards as Isabella in Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure,' on stage in Raleigh January 11th - 27th.
Courtesy of Dennis Berfield

Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” has long been considered one of the Bard of Avon’s “problem plays”: It is neither a comedy nor a drama, and it touches on some especially contentious topics. Written in the early 1600s, the play depicts sexual assault and harassment, and it poses a particular set of challenges for directors and actors staging the production today: How can a modern version provide new insight into the conversation around consent? And what exactly was Shakespeare trying to say about sexual assault? 

FT. BRAGG STORIES: Bringing Shakespeare To Bragg

Mar 29, 2018
Joseph Henderson addresses a group of students enrolled at a summer arts enrichment program at Fort Bragg.
Rodrigo Dorfman

Joseph Henderson was inspired to use his training as an actor and children's educator to help military children and their families.  

Breakwater Studios

Rwanda & Juliet: In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet asks: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The oft-quoted passage takes on new meaning in a production of Romeo and Juliet staged in Rwanda with both Hutu and Tutsi victims of the 1994 genocide. The documentary film “Rwanda & Juliet” follows the production of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy in Kigali, Rwanda in the spring of 2013.

photo of Honest Pint Theatre Company
Megan Dohm

Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" is now more than 400 years old. And while many theatergoers are familiar with its plot lines about murder, death and betrayal, each new staging of the production has the opportunity to highlight a different theme or lesser-known aspect of the story.

Host Frank Stasio previews two different interpretations today. He is joined first by 14-year-old Leo Egger, a student at Durham School of the Arts, whose passion for Shakespeare led him to direct and produce a community production in his neighborhood.

Image of group shot of Daniel Murphy, Mark Phialas, Jim O'Brien, Preston Campbell and Jason Hassell
Stephen J. Larson/ Theatre In The Park / Theatre In The Park

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England and blow up Parliament. The “official” story is that Catholic sympathizers were protesting a Protestant king, but many disagree and argue that it was a plot by Protestants to discredit Catholics.

Image of William Shakespeare.
Books18 / Flickr

Composers have been writing music influenced by stories and dramatic works for centuries, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream is no exception. It has been made into a ballet, an opera, and has inspired a great number of musical compositions, perhaps the most famous of which is the incidental music written by Felix Mendelssohn to accompany the play.

This weekend, the North Carolina symphony, in collaboration with the NC School of the Arts, is bringing this tale to life on stage. The music depicts a fanciful world of fairies, elves, and wood sprites.

Image of William Shakespeare.
Flickr/Books18

This year marks the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare, and worldwide celebrations earlier this year indicated that his life and work continue to transcend racial, ethnic and geographic boundaries. 

Jon Gardiner for PlayMakers Repertory Company

The musical Into the Woods begins like many classic fairy tales with the line “Once Upon A Time…” 

Alan Dehmer

Last week as Shakespeare fans around the world celebrated his 450th birthday, Durham's Manbites Dog Theater opened a modern adaptation of his last masterpiece, The Tempest. 

Michael Huie as Scrooge in the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival's production of A Christmas Carol.
Tom Terrell

The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, known as NCShakes, has announced that it is suspending all operations, effective immediately. NCShakes, one of High Point's main cultural attractions, has brought theater lovers to the city for 36 years.

The public mea culpa has become akin to performance art in modern times. It seems a month seldom goes by without a celebrity, public figure or politician begging for forgiveness via the mass media. Repentance and forgiveness have not always been such public, interpersonal matters, however. In the days before the Protestant Reformation, forgiveness was up to God and God alone. In her new book, "Shakespeare and the Grammar of Forgiveness" (Cornell University Press/2011), Duke University English Professor Sarah Beckwith traces the roots of our modern understanding of forgiveness to the language of William Shakespeare's later plays. Host Frank Stasio talks with Beckwith about how we say "I'm sorry."

The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival has canceled its fall season for the first time in 34 years. Administrators made the decision in light of the state budget proposal, which cuts essentially all state funds for the festival. About 15 percent of the organization's $1.1 million budget comes from the state. Artistic director Pedro Silva says the festival has to start looking for other sources of funding as the next fiscal year approaches.