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Playing Shakespeare’s Monarchs and Madmen


Edited By Louis Fantasia

Playing Shakespeare’s Monarchs and Madmen is the third volume in the Peter Lang series, Playing Shakespeare’s Characters. As in the previous volumes, a broad range of contributors (actors, directors, scholars, educators, etc.) analyze the concepts of monarchy, leadership, melancholy and madness with not only references to Elizabethan and Jacobean studies, but also to Trump, Brexit, cross-gender and multi-cultural casting. What does it mean to “play the king” in the 21st century? What is the role of an “all-licensed” Fool in the age of spin? Who gets to represent the power dynamics in Shakespeare’s plays? This volume looks at the Henrys, Richards, Hamlets, Lears and various other dukes and monarchs and explores the ways in which men—and women—approach these portrayals of power and the lessons they hold for us today.

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List of Contributors


Louis Fantasia (Series Editor) is the director of the Los Angeles Shakespeare Institute, a joint project of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and the UCLA/William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. He has served as director of the Shakespeare teacher institute at the Huntington Library, director of the London Shakespeare Globe Centre’s Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance Institute, and President of Deep Springs College. He is Artistic Associate at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. His books include Instant Shakespeare (Ivan R. Dee), Tragedy in the Age of Oprah: Essays on Five Great Plays (Scarecrow Press), and Talking Shakespeare (Peter Lang).

Chris Anthony is Assistant Professor of Acting at the Theatre School at DePaul University. Holding an M.F.A. in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts, she has taught and directed in educational, professional, and community spaces, working at the intersection of art and community empowerment. As Associate Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, she oversaw the development of the company’s Youth & Education programs: Will Power to Youth, Will to Work, and Play On for youth; Will Power to Schools and the Youth Arts Professionals Institute for classroom teachers and community arts practitioners. Will Power to Youth won the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award, was studied by Harvard’s Project Zero for the study The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education, and is featured in Ayanna Thompson’s Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America.

Dr. Michael Peter Bolus received his...

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