11 Dec Episode 574. The Stupidest Angel

’Tis the season! Christopher Moore, the author of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal; Fool; The Serpent of Venice; Sacre Bleu; The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove: and the upcoming Noir, talks about his “heart-warming tale of Christmas terror” The Stupidest Angel, how it came to be written, how it fits with the rest of his oeuvre, and also what’s coming next. Featuring a return to Pine Cove, the fun of playing with existing characters, purposely misleading cover art, inclement weather, writing the thing you want to read, the secret to writing moving or funny novels, and how one creates a wonderful celebration of — and antidote to — our favorite winter holiday. (Length 22:45)

Continue reading

04 Dec Episode 573. Heminges & Condell

In her new play The Book of Will, Lauren Gunderson imagines what Shakespeare’s fellow actors John Heminges and Henry Condell had to accomplish to publish the First Folio, the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays. In the Northlight Theatre production in Chicago, actors Jim Ortlieb (a veteran of Broadway, TV, and film) and Gregory Linington (whose stage, film, and TV credits across the country include 12 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland) play John and Henry and share insights into what it's like to create these roles. Featuring research, textual clues, King’s Men actors defined by NBA analogies, the difference between real life and art, the anticipation of 19th century actor/managers, the trick of getting across information, and the absolute fundamental Disney-related difference between these two literary saviors. (Length 22:27) (Jim Ortlieb as John Heminges (left), Dana Black as his daughter Alice, and Gregory Linington as Henry Condell in the Northlight Theatre production of Lauren Gunderson's The Book of Will. Photo by Liz Lauren.)

Continue reading

27 Nov Episode 572. The Shakespeare Magazine

Pat Reid, the creator, editor, and publisher of Shakespeare magazine, talks about how the magazine began, why it briefly stopped, and how it has risen again. Download all the issues here, then hear Pat discuss how his love of Shakespeare led to this passion project, the complexities of publishing, the importance of fandom, the ironies of branding, the shock and surprise at immediate positive feedback, the glorious idea of treating a 400-year-long gone author as if he's still alive, the time his love's labour was almost lost, and how it seems that all's well has indeed ended all well. (Length 17:05) 

Continue reading

24 Nov Episode 571. The Scary Clown

In this delayed Halloween episode, one scary clown discusses another. Former Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey circus clown Reed Martin (right) reviews the new film adaptation of Stephen King's It, paying particular attention to the accuracy and creepiness of the infamous Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgård, left). Featuring apocryphal stories, the possible origins of coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), the difference between successful and unsuccessful adaptations of Stephen King novels, attention to detail, really scary online groups, and the realization that maybe some irrational fears aren’t quite so irrational after all. (Length 16:50)

Continue reading

20 Nov Episode 570. Book Of Will

Director Jessica Thebus (Richard III, In The Garden: A Darwinian Love Story) returns to the podcast to talk about the midwest premiere of Lauren Gunderson's The Book of Will, which she's directing at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago. Jessica talks about her approach to this play, and from where she draws her certainties and insights. Featuring surprisingly little historical fudging, labors of love, illuminating paths, avoiding traps, staying ahead of the audience, and celebrating the creation of a thing that might easily never have happened. (Length 17:51) (l-r, Richard Burbage (Austin Tichenor), Alice Heminges (Dana Black), John Heminges (Jim Ortlieb), and Henry Condell (Gregory Linington) from the Northlight Theatre production of Lauren Gunderson's The Book of Will. Photo by Liz Lauren.)

Continue reading