It’s been 60 years since Duke Ellington recorded Such Sweet Thunder, a jazz suite based on Shakespeare’s plays. Eleven songs are linked to Shakespearean characters like Othello and Lady Macbeth, and the final number is a tribute to Shakespeare himself.
To commemorate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe in London sent a group of actors on a two-year tour to perform Hamlet all around the world. Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe’s artistic director who directed this traveling production, has written a new book about it, “Hamlet Globe to Globe.” Read an excerpt from it.
A Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama (EMED, for short) is a large, searchable digital resource on the hundreds of commercial plays by the other authors of Shakespeare’s time—including dozens of newly edited play texts.
In honor of Earth Day, here’s a prominent early modern treatise against air pollution in London from the Folger collection: “Fumifugium,” published in 1661.
What does Shakespeare say about ecology and its politically engaged cousin environmentalism? Neither term appears in his work—unsurprising since they hadn’t been coined yet. Nevertheless, we see Shakespeare thinking ecologically in ways that resonate with our own perceptions of the environmental challenges we face today.
Every month, we share a snapshot of Shakespeare in performance around America. See what’s on this April.