No two theater directors approach Shakespeare’s plays in the same way. When it comes to setting, blocking, costuming, casting, and cutting, there are countless ways directors can shape Shakespeare to make his works their own.
It’s with this sense of infinite possibility in mind that we invited two theater directors to join us for a conversation about how they approach Shakespeare. What goes in to directing one of Shakespeare’s plays? Where does a director start? What do directors think about as they kick off rehearsals?
Laura Gordon is a Milwaukee-based freelance theater director. She has directed at theaters including Utah State University, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, and the American Players Theatre.
Vivienne Benesch is the Artistic Director of PlayMakers Rep at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She has directed at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory, The Juilliard School, and, in 2019, Folger Theatre, where she staged Love's Labor's Lost. Gordon and Benesch are interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.
From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published July 21, 2020. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “A Bill of Properties Such as Our Play Wants,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.