Staging Shakespeare Interview

by   |  10.21.09  |  221-Early Modern

    For the more than two centuries of our history, Shakespeare has remained the most produced playwright in American theaters. From Junior High productions of Romeo and Juliet and amateur community theater stagings of Macbeth to professional companies updating Hamlet to gangland Chicago or contemporary New York, Shakespeare has retained a unique relationship with the colonies founded during his lifetime (see the NEA’s “History of Shakespeare in America” ). Over the past few decades a growing number of American cities have organized free summer Shakespeare festivals, including metropolitan centers like Dallas, Austin, Houston, and Abilene.

    As we consider the challenges of bringing a 400 year old text to the stage, this week you will have the opportunity to hear an interview with an experienced actor and director. Eric Harrell has taught theatre arts at ACU and Regent University and is a member of Actor’s Equity and the Screen Actor’s Guild. His experience with Shakespeare includes appearing as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Orlando in As You Like It, Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors, as well as featured parts in Measure for Measure and Richard III.

    Before class, watch this short interview with Eric as he discusses how he would approach a summer production of Twelfth Night. He’ll take on questions about the play, the Bard, and bringing both successfully to the stage.

    The interview is led by Emily Hardegree and runs about 15 minutes.

    Staging Shakespeare – Video

    Staging Shakespeare-Audio

    This interview is based on a live chat with Eric in 2004 and is accompanied by slides from the Abilene Shakespeare Festival. If you have trouble with the video, you’ll find a transcript of the interview below.

    Staging Shakespeare transcript