That Shakespeare Life
Hosted by Cassidy Cash, That Shakespeare Life takes you behind the curtain and into the real life of William Shakespeare.
info_outline Ep 126: Shakespeare in Parts with Tiffany Stern 09/14/2020
Ep 126: Shakespeare in Parts with Tiffany Stern Learn about 16th century scripts and how they were written with cues, or parts, and not as an entire script the way we have them today. For Shakespeare, actors only saw their own lines with limited stage directions. Tiffany Stern explains how that works, and how we know what Shakespeare did.
info_outline Ep 125: University Spies with Robert Stefanek 09/07/2020
Ep 125: University Spies with Robert Stefanek One key method Elizabeth used to make sure the new generation of English boys supported her government and the Protestant religion was through indoctrination. What better place to teach them how to act, and how to think, than at university. Universities like Cambridge and Oxford were, during Shakespeare’s lifetime and well after, used by the government as a place to teach, as well as to root out, anyone who held sympathies for the wrong cause.
info_outline Ep 124: The Found Colony of Roanoke with Scott Dawson 08/31/2020
Ep 124: The Found Colony of Roanoke with Scott Dawson Having been considered lost for centuries, our guest today believes he has located the final resting place of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, and indeed, has uncovered artifacts that suggest they were never lost in the first place. Today we welcome Scott Dawson, archaeologist and author of The Lost Colony and Hatteras Island to tell the story of Roanoke Colony that so captured the imagination of Shakespeare’s England in the 1580s.
info_outline Ep 123: Exhumation of Richard III with Mathew Morris 08/24/2020
Ep 123: Exhumation of Richard III with Mathew Morris In 2012, in conjunction with the Richard III Society, a team of ambitious archaeologists led by Mathew Morris at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services working with the Leicester City Council mounted an extraordinary effort to locate the final resting place of Richard III. Remarkably, Mathew and his team did locate Richard III’s body, and on the very first day of their project. Mathew Morris joins us today to share about this historical find.
info_outline Ep 122: Richard Field with Adam Hooks 08/17/2020
Ep 122: Richard Field with Adam Hooks Today our guest Adam Hooks, the foremost expert on Richard Field, and author of the book Selling Shakespeare: Biography, Bibliography, and the Book Trade, and he joins us to introduce us to Richard Field, John Harrison, and their bookshop, The White Greyhound in London that would form the foundation for William Shakespeare’s success as a poet.
info_outline Ep 121: Shakespeare's French with Jennifer Nicholson 08/10/2020
Ep 121: Shakespeare's French with Jennifer Nicholson One of the most romantic moments from Shakespeare’s plays is when he writes Henry V stumbling his way through a French declaration of love and wedding proposal to Catherine of Valois in Shakespeare’s Henry V. Where did Shakespeare learn French in the first place--and does he get the language right? Here to help us explore the use of French in Shakespeare’s plays is our guest, Jennifer Nicholson.
info_outline Ep 120: Mummy Poison with Stephen Rojcewicz 08/03/2020
Ep 120: Mummy Poison with Stephen Rojcewicz One of the primary drugs used to treat epilepsy and pathological jealously was a drug called mummy, extracted from the bodies of corpses. The dark and sinister nature of the drug’s origins made it perhaps the perfect choice for Shakespeare when he uses the drug mummy as a theme throughout his play, Othello. Here to help us explore the culture, medicine, and superstition behind the drug mummy and how it was used during Shakespeare’s lifetime is our guest, Stephen Rojcewicz.
info_outline Ep 119: The Red Lion Theater Discovery with Stephen White 07/27/2020
Ep 119: The Red Lion Theater Discovery with Stephen White In January of 2019, a team of archaeologists with Archaeology South-East, part of University College London’s Institute of Archaeology, began excavations that revealed 144 timbers thought to make up the scaffolding of the Red Lion’s stage. The director of the project, Stephen White, is here today to tell us about the dig, what they have found, and what we now know about the Red Lion based on their history discovery.
info_outline Ep 118: Characters to Fit the Actor with Scott Newstok 07/20/2020
Ep 118: Characters to Fit the Actor with Scott Newstok Scott Newstok is the author of How to Think Like Shakespeare, and he joins us this week to explore his chapter of that book called “Of Fit” where he explores the historical and culture context of Shakespeare’s plays, including the idea that for Shakespeare, precision with words, actions, and even costumes, was as much a well established professional standard as it was creative genius.
info_outline Ep 117: Hans Holbein the Younger with Susan Abernethy 07/13/2020
Ep 117: Hans Holbein the Younger with Susan Abernethy People like Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves, Jane Seymore, Edward VI and many others were all given a kind of immortality when they were painted by Hans Holbein the Younger, who is arguably the best portrait artist in history. This week, our guest, Susan Abernethy is here to introduce us to Hans Holbein and how a young boy working in his father’s shop would grow up to be friends with, and the official portraitist for, some of the most notorious figures in history as well as from Shakespeare’s plays.
info_outline Ep 116: Pontefract Castle with Neil Redfern 07/06/2020
Ep 116: Pontefract Castle with Neil Redfern One of the most notorious castles in all of English history is Pontefract Castle. Known as Pomfret in Shakespeare’s plays, the bard paints a compelling story about the death of Richard II at Pontefract Castle, but what is the real history behind this iconic location? We have invited our guest this week, Neil Redfern, to visit with us and share the real history behind Pontefract Castle, as well as what’s being done today to try and save it.
info_outline Ep 115: History of Oranges with Dorian Fuller 06/29/2020
Ep 115: History of Oranges with Dorian Fuller Shakespeare references Seville oranges (puns on them, actually) in Much Ado About Nothing and orangeries became popular in England just after Shakespeare's life. Dorian Fuller this week is here to share what botanical archaeology can teach us about the arrival of oranges in16th c England, as well as the many ways Shakespeare would have used, and come into contact with, oranges as he wrote his plays.
info_outline Ep 114: The Tabard Inn with Martha Carlin 06/22/2020
Ep 114: The Tabard Inn with Martha Carlin According to a 27 page hand written document once owned by antiquary David Laing, the Tabard Inn was a meeting place for William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Ben Jonson, and other “roystering associates” of the 16th century, all of whom carved their names into the wooden panels of this iconic public house. Martha Carlin discovered this reference in 2013 and joins us today to share here story and the history of the Tabard Inn.
info_outline Ep 113: Supernovas & Eclipses with Michael Rowan Robinson 06/15/2020
Ep 113: Supernovas & Eclipses with Michael Rowan Robinson Dr. Michael Rowan Robinson has published extensively on the topics of mathematics, astronomy, and Shakespeare, and he is here today to explain the mathematical history of the bard, including the influence of Euclid, Copernicus, and Kepler on plays like Hamlet and King Lear.
info_outline Ep 112: Cutlery and Forks with Brigitte Webster 06/08/2020
Ep 112: Cutlery and Forks with Brigitte Webster It wasn't until the start of the 16th century that eating with utensils at all really came into popular fashion and when it did, they ate primarily with knives. From being carried around on one's person, to getting insulted for using a fork, and even the tradition of giving a dagger to a bride as her wedding gift, this week we explore the surprising Shakespearean history of cutlery and forks with our guest, Brigitte Webster.
info_outline Ep 111: Aqua Vitae and Scotch Whisky with Rosie Wilmot 06/01/2020
Ep 111: Aqua Vitae and Scotch Whisky with Rosie Wilmot The earliest record of whiskey on paper happens in 1494 with a reference to aqua vitae in the Exchequer Rolls, but there was a great interest--and a good deal of illicit smuggling of Scotch whiskey-- under the title "aqua vitae," & the beverage was even as a kind of holy water. Our guest this week, Rosie Wilmot of the Scotch Whisky Association in Edinburgh Scotland is here to share with you the truth about aqua vitae and Scotch Whisky.
info_outline Ep 110: The Paston Letters with Rob Knee 05/25/2020
Ep 110: The Paston Letters with Rob Knee The Paston Letters are a collection of private correspondence that details what it was like to live through the War of the Roses. We can compare these letters to Shakespeare's plays to understand characters like Jack Cade, and the character of Falstaff whom some scholars believe was based on a relative to the Pastons, a John Fastolf. Our guest, Rob Knee, from the Paston Heritage Society, is here to help us explore the Paston Letters and their role in the life of William Shakespeare.
info_outline Ep 109: 16th Century Playing Cards with Kathryn James 05/18/2020
Ep 109: 16th Century Playing Cards with Kathryn James As playing cards grew in popularity in 16th C England, so did their design and the invention of various games--some of which like Noddy and Maw show up by name several of Shakespeare’s plays. To find out the details about playing cards for Shakespeare's lifetime, we turn to Kathryn James, Curator of Early Modern Books and Manuscripts at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
info_outline Ep 108: Elizabethan Corsets with Cass Morris 05/11/2020
Ep 108: Elizabethan Corsets with Cass Morris Cass Morris has done extensive research into the history of Elizabethan corsets. Cass joins us today to set straight some myths about what women wore in the 16th century, as well as to share what she’s learned about how Shakespeare’s playing company portrayed female characters on stage, and whether items like a corset could have been used (or varied) to distinguish between the classes of women in Shakespeare’s stories.
info_outline Ep 107: Beer & Taverns with Rebecca Lemon 05/04/2020
Ep 107: Beer & Taverns with Rebecca Lemon Our guest this week, Rebecca Lemon, joins us today to explain some of the most common alcoholic beverages, the state of alcoholism in the 16th century, and what understanding these facts about the cultural relationship to alcohol can tell us about Shakespeare’s characters whose personalities were specifically inclusive of drunken behavior like Falstaff and Prince Hal.
info_outline Ep 106: Rudolf II and the Hapsburg Family with Peter Wilson 04/27/2020
Ep 106: Rudolf II and the Hapsburg Family with Peter Wilson Shakespeare comments on the threat of Don John, the war between the Spanish & Dutch, and the oddities of the strange, isolated, King of Bohemia, Rudolf II, in plays like King John, which was written the same year Rudolf II died. Jonsons’ The Alchemist specifically insults, the Hapsburg family. Here to introduce us to the life of Rudolf II, the Hapsburg family, and the Austrian/Spanish part of Shakespeare's life is our guest, Peter Wilson.
info_outline Ep 105: Guns in Elizabethan England with Grace Tiffany 04/20/2020
Ep 105: Guns in Elizabethan England with Grace Tiffany We know from the burning of The Globe theater that canons, at least, had a place in 16th century theater, so does that mean guns and gunpowder did as well? Here to help us explore the advent of the hand gun and portable firearms that took place in England during the life of William Shakespeare is our guest, Grace Tiffany.
info_outline Ep 104: Mary Queen of Scots with David Schajer 04/13/2020
Ep 104: Mary Queen of Scots with David Schajer Our guest David Schajer is the author of a series of books on the intersection between Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, and James I, the lives of which contained so much real life drama that their impact spilled over onto the stage of William Shakespeare, where many moments in his plays like Hamlet, Titus Andronicus, and Merchant of Venice which seem to belie the the thoughts of the moment, like time capsules offering a glimpse into what it was like to live through this pivotal moment in history.
info_outline Ep 103: Corn Famine & Coriolanus with Lauren Shook 04/06/2020
Ep 103: Corn Famine & Coriolanus with Lauren Shook While the King, James I, took actions to combat the shortage of corn in England, theater seems to have played a role in communicating the citizens unrest and unhappiness over the famine. Lauren Shook is here this week to help us explore The Corn Famine of 1608 and explain how the corn famine started, what James did specifically to try and combat it, how the Bible played a role in combating the famine, and why Shakespeare wasn’t tried for treason for writing Coriolanus.
info_outline EP 102: Richard Miller on Ophelia's Flowers 03/30/2020
EP 102: Richard Miller on Ophelia's Flowers Richard Miller has quite extensively put together Ophelia’s Bouquet, an article that illuminates the history of William Shakespeare that is found in Ophelia’s Flowers. Richard is here today to share the history of 16th century plants with you, and finally explain why these flowers are so important, and what you need to understand about the life of William Shakespeare when you discover Ophelia’s bouquet in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
info_outline Ep 101: John Florio with Marianna Iannaconne 03/23/2020
Ep 101: John Florio with Marianna Iannaconne Fencing language, and indeed the English language’s description of weapons overall, was influenced heavily by a man whose greatness is often eclipsed by that of Shakespeare and Jonson--that man is John Florio. Credited in print by Jonson personally, as well as praised by Salviolo, Henry Wriothesley, Philip Sydney, and other prominent 16th c figures. Here to share the Shakespeare history of John Florio is our guest Marianna Iannaconne, Director at Resolute John Florio
info_outline Ep100: David Crystal and How Shakespeare Sounded 03/16/2020
Ep100: David Crystal and How Shakespeare Sounded William Shakespeare had his own way of pronouncing words. Exploring how to define what that pronunciation was is a special field of historical linguistics called Original Pronunciation. Our guest this week, Dr. David Crystal is the leading expert in the field of Original Pronunciation and he joins us this week to talk about how an experiment he lead at The Globe theater in London taught everyone involved how important understanding the spoken language is to understanding Shakespeare’s plays.
info_outline Ep 99: Lynn Bowser and Argaty Red Kites 03/09/2020
Ep 99: Lynn Bowser and Argaty Red Kites In the late 15th century, the King of Scotland decreed kites should be killed whenever possible, and that perspective on kites contrasted starkly with the later role the kite in England, where they were a protected asset in London for eating plague spreading vermin. This week we welcome Lynn Bowser, co-owner at Argaty Red Kites, Central Scotland’s only red kite feeding station, to introduce us to the 16th century history of the persistent red kite.
info_outline Ep 98: Dawn Tucker and Elizabethan Acrobats 03/02/2020
Ep 98: Dawn Tucker and Elizabethan Acrobats I had the pleasure of hearing Dawn speak on this topic of acrobatics in Shakespeare’s England at the Blackfriars conference last year, and I am delighted to welcome her to the studio today to share with us what she found inside the Master of the Revels accounts and Chambers archive about Shakespeare’s performance history.
info_outline Ep 97: Mike Hirrel & 16th Century Props and Scenery 02/24/2020
Ep 97: Mike Hirrel & 16th Century Props and Scenery Traditional theater research into Elizabethan staging suggests that the set and scenery for a play would have been so sparse that the production relied on the strength of the dialogue to convey the elaborate and fantastic parts of the story, but if that is the case, why did Shakespeare map out Jupiter’s descent in Cymbeline with such precision? Could Shakespeare have used elaborate props and circus-like movable scenery? Our guest, Dr. Michael Hirrel believes, the answer is yes.