Posts By: Austin Tichenor

And so they play their parts: Double-casting Shakespeare’s plays

Double-casting is a theater technique (as opposed to a literary one) that creates a meta-narrative, transforming a large-cast play into a present-tense adventure. Actors swapping costumes and changing roles (and sometimes genders) becomes part of the thrilling ride, and theater’s fundamental artifice becomes its strength. Theater’s very artificiality becomes a feature, not a bug. Shakespeare utilized this trick to both amplify subtext and heighten the drama.



“Jumping o’er times:” Visiting great Shakespeare performances past

While William Shakespeare never wrote what we might think of as a science-fiction play, he knew intuitively that the theatre — more than Doc Brown’s DeLorean, Bill & Ted’s phone booth, H.G. Wells’ 19th-century steampunk device, or the Doctor’s blue police box — is the greatest time machine there is. (Name another contraption that can… Continue Reading »


Losing the name of action: Hamlet reconsidered

During this global pandemic, when the whole world is quarantined to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hamlet seems like a character perfectly suited to our present moment. He’s also stuck at home, unable to return to school, despondent after suffering great loss, and so distraught by governmental change and the behavior of family… Continue Reading »




“A goodly prize”: Award-winning Shakespeare movies

Since we’ve just completed the annual Hollywood marathon called “Awards Season” — several self-congratulatory months filled with the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, various guild awards from around the world, the British Film & Television Academy Awards (the Baftas), and capped off by the Academy Awards (the Oscars) — it might be interesting… Continue Reading »



Have yourself a merry Shakespeare Christmas

It’s that time of year, when some of us have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, many are looking forward to (or dreading) gathering with family and friends, and a certain subset of us wonder, somewhat longingly and not for the first time — what’s the closest thing we have to a Shakespeare… Continue Reading »