Posts By: Austin Tichenor

“Eventful history:” The Shakespearean success of The Crown

“It’s no wonder that The Crown — nominated for a record six Golden Globes in this Sunday’s annual awards ceremony — is so successful and popular,” writes Austin Tichenor. “Its depiction of an English monarch struggling to rule Britain while navigating political threats and family tensions is downright Shakespearean.”



Razing the Theatre, raising the Globe

The story of the Globe Theatre’s beginnings is one of intrigue, legal hairsplitting, holiday opportunity, and the disassembly of another playhouse.




“In the brave squares”: The Show Must Go Online

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).


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 »