Austin Tichenor writes about how the lack of biographical details about Shakespeare’s life leaves his audience always wanting more.
Posts By: Austin Tichenor
Chaotic and ineffective government may be a problem in our current life, but it makes for excellent drama in the theater — and in William Shakespeare’s hands, excellent comedy as well.
One of the lasting achievements of the extended COVID quarantine will surely be an extraordinary archive of the complete works of William Shakespeare performed on Zoom by casts from around the world, under the umbrella title The Show Must Go Online (TSMGO).
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.
Austin Tichenor writes about theater’s limitations as a historical record, given its dramatic needs and narrative imperatives.
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 »
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 »
All right, enough. We’ve all heard how super-productive William Shakespeare was when the plague shut down his theaters: He wrote his epic poems Venus and Adonis and Lucrece during the epidemic of 1592-1593, and “all of [his] Jacobean plays, from Measure For Measure through Coriolanus” during or not long after later outbreaks. But surely the… Continue Reading »
In 1599, in the 40th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, when she had no heir or obvious successor in a time of increasing instability and fears of civil war, William Shakespeare got away with depicting the assassination of a popular and powerful leader – one with no heir or obvious successor in a time of… Continue Reading »
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 »