So What's Up With Shakespeare Podcasts?

Some of my most potentially productive work time is during the commute. I’ve got a good hour a day where I’m going to be listening to my ipod *anyway*, so I might as well make use of it. Typically I’ll follow a variety of podcasts, and occasionally an audio book.
I’ve never been much for Shakespeare via audio. But, that can change.
So, this is an open discussion – who is putting out audio Shakespeare content? Tell me. If you’ve got your own show, this is your opportunity to plug it.
I’ll tell you what I’m looking for. I don’t want to listen to audio versions of the plays. I don’t have that level of concentration while driving. Likewise, i don’t want to listen to a show where people do nothing but talk about their own personal opinions of Shakespeare – that’s far more likely to bore me in the other direction. The ideal content for me would be a heavy amount of Shakespeare, condensed for presentation, if that makes sense. I don’t need two hours’ traffic of my MP3 player – how about doing selected scenes? Or encapsulating info on a play that maybe I’m not as familiar with, so that I can come up to speed? If somebody said “Here’s a series of podcasts where we spend 1 hour per play” I would almost certainly pick through it and grab the plays I’m least familiar with. But while I may find “Here’s a podcast on nothing but Hamlet” interesting, it wouldn’t be for me — for something like that I need to be able to read and skim, because I know that there’s an infinite amount to talk about and I want to decide for myself where the interesting bits are.
So, who’s got one?

6 thoughts on “So What's Up With Shakespeare Podcasts?

  1. Just started a new project about a month ago- Advice to the Players, on iTunes at Not quite what you're looking for- it's geared toward actors, with a heavy emphasis on character study and theme, and each episode deals with a very focused subject. Episode 1 is all about Iago, and Ep 2 has a guest actor discussing her experiences with Juliet and Desdemona. Ep 3 is slated to be with an actor who just played Caliban, and 4 with an actress who recently played Lady M. Might be worth checking out.

  2. I love listening to Teaching Company lectures. I've been listening to Elizabeth Vandiver on Greek classics–but Peter Saccio has to different classes on Shakespeare and I am looking forward to hearing them. (I check the CDs out of the library and upload them to my ipod.) There are DVDs available as well. They are available for purchase, but are expensive:

    Marjorie Garber (of Shakespeare After All fame) has a series of free lectures online. You can watch the video or download the mp3. Haven't watched them yet but I love her.

  3. [Posted for Alexi, who is experiencing some errors for some reason.]

    The ASC's podcast site is excellent:

    The "Blackfrairs Backstage Pass" ones are especially good: you get to hear a panel of actors discuss a play and their production choices for it. There's a nice one on The Tempest somewhere in the archives that you should check out, Duane.

  4. Come listen to Chop Bard––The Cure for boring Shakespeare! We've been chopping up the plays of WS since 2008 into nice bite sized pieces. We've already finished three plays: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Our Current show is Macbeth (just released Act 1 scenes 1 and 2). We are crazy enough to believe that Shakespeare is relevant, easy to understand (without dumbing him down), and very entertaining.

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