Theatre History Podcast

This podcast aims to introduce listeners to the artists, scholars, and archivists who are working to bring the history of performance to life. We hope that, by listening to this show, you’ll learn about exciting new performances, fascinating books, and valuable repositories of knowledge, all of which will help you better understand theatre’s history.

outside of a stone building
Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 2
Podcast

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 2

Theatre History Podcast #72

20 December 2018

We welcome back Stories from the Eastern West for Part 2 of their exploration of the life and work of Polish theatre director Jerzy Grotowski.

Black and white image of three people standing on their heads
Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 1
Podcast

Exploring the Work and Legacy of Jerzy Grotowski with the Stories from the Eastern West Podcast, Part 1

Theatre History Podcast #71

6 December 2018

The Theatre History Podcast is proud to partner with Stories from the Eastern West to present the first of a two-part episode on the life and work of revolutionary theatre director Jerzy Grotowski.

Title page of a restoration-era edition of Macbeth
Restoring An Alternate Version of Shakespeare’s Works
Podcast

Restoring An Alternate Version of Shakespeare’s Works

Theatre History Podcast #70

8 November 2018

The Restoration was an era of theatrical innovation and rebirth in England. It also saw a number of strikingly radical revisions of William Shakespeare's original plays. Dr. Amanda Eubanks Winkler joins us to talk about her work with the Performing Restoration Shakespeare project, which is studying these adaptations and helping to revive them for the stage.

Old print depicting a marriage
Tracing the Origins of the Freak Show with Dr. Matt DiCintio
Podcast

Tracing the Origins of the Freak Show with Dr. Matt DiCintio

Theatre History Podcast #69

22 October 2018

In this week's Theatre History Podcast, Matt DiCintio on the origins of the freak show and its lasting influence on our perceptions of disability, race, and physical difference. 

Illustration of a woman in a brightly colored dress
Learning About Mary Ann Yates with Dr. Elaine McGirr
Podcast

Learning About Mary Ann Yates with Dr. Elaine McGirr

Theatre History Podcast #68

8 October 2018

Why is Mary Ann Yates the greatest actress you've never heard of? Dr. Elaine McGirr introduces us to this eighteenth-century star and recounts her fascinating career.

Draswing of a man tied to railroad tracks.
Dr. Derek Miller on the History of Performance and Copyright
Podcast

Dr. Derek Miller on the History of Performance and Copyright

24 September 2018

In this week's Theatre History Podcast, Dr. Derek Miller joins us to talk about the origins and development of theatrical copyright.

Dr. Sara B.T. Thiel on Pregnancy on the Stage in Early Modern English Drama
Podcast

Dr. Sara B.T. Thiel on Pregnancy on the Stage in Early Modern English Drama

4 September 2018

How do you depict pregnancy when you're working with an all-male cast? Dr. Sara BT Thiel joins us to discuss this and other issues connected to pregnancy on the Stuart stage.

Playing Around with Nineteenth-Century Theatre in Dr. Robert Davis’s Broadway
Podcast

Playing Around with Nineteenth-Century Theatre in Dr. Robert Davis’s Broadway

1849

25 July 2018

Could you make it as the manager of a New York City theatre in the 1840s? That's the question that Dr. Robert Davis's game and app Broadway:1849 poses to players. Robert joins us to talk about the rough-and-tumble world of New York's antebellum theatre.

Learning About Modern Indonesian Theatre with Dr. Cobina Gillitt
Podcast

Learning About Modern Indonesian Theatre with Dr. Cobina Gillitt

10 July 2018

Dr. Cobina Gillitt joins the Theatre History Podcast to introduce us to the work of Putu Wijaya and his Teater Mandiri and to explain how modern Indonesian theatre has developed amid the turmoil of its recent history.

After the Big Top
Podcast

After the Big Top

Carlos Alexis Cruz on the Evolution of Modern Circus

27 June 2018

How has the circus changed from its earliest origins to today? CarlosAlexis Cruz joins us to explain how acrobatics and storytelling have come to replace the big top and the three-ring circus.

Theatre and Civil Rights
Podcast

Theatre and Civil Rights

Dr. Julie Burrell on the Importance of A Medal for Willie

5 June 2018

How did Black theatre connect with the Civil Rights Movement? Dr. Julie Burrell of Cleveland State University joins the Theatre History Podcast to talk about William B. Branch's one-act play A Medal for Willie and the underappreciated radicalism of theatre in the 1950s.

Chantal Bilodeau on “Breaking Up with Aristotle” and Finding New Ways to Tell Stories Onstage
Podcast

Chantal Bilodeau on “Breaking Up with Aristotle” and Finding New Ways to Tell Stories Onstage

7 May 2018

Playwright Chantal Bilodeau joins us to discuss her essay "Why I'm Breaking Up with Aristotle," and how we need to explore new forms of storytelling in order to create theatre that engages with issues like climate change.

Lost Worlds and “Pansexual Extravaganzas”
Podcast

Lost Worlds and “Pansexual Extravaganzas”

Rediscovering Weimar Operetta with Dr. Kevin Clarke

17 April 2018

Dr. Kevin Clarke of the Operetta Research Center introduces us to Weimar-era operetta, which pushed artistic and social boundaries and is finally enjoying an artistic and scholarly reappraisal after decades of neglect.

Taking Shakespeare’s Measure in the Twenty-First Century
Podcast

Taking Shakespeare’s Measure in the Twenty-First Century

Dr. Nora Williams and Measure (Still) for Measure

3 April 2018

Dr. Nora Williams joins us to talk about Measure (Still) for Measure, a devised theatre project in the US that revises Shakespeare's infamous "problem play" in order to engage with issues such as sexual consent.

Theatre History Podcast #58
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #58

What We Think About When We Think About Casting: Dr. Amy Cook’s Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting

6 March 2018

Dr. Amy Cook of Stony Brook University joins us to discuss her new book, Building Character: The Art and Science of Casting.

Theatre History Podcast #57
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #57

Dr. Claudia Orenstein on the Evolving Art of Tolpavakoothu

20 February 2018

Dr. Claudia Orenstein of Hunter College introduces us to the art of tolpavakoothu, a shadow puppet tradition from Kerala, in southern India.

Theatre History Podcast #56
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #56

How to Succeed in (Early Modern Show) Business: Dr. David Nicol’s Philip Henslowe Blog

6 February 2018

Dr. David Nicol talks about his project to turn early modern theatre manager Philip Henslowe's "diary" into a daily blog.

Theatre History Podcast #55
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #55

Examining the Controversial History of the “Mummers Wench” with Dr. Christian DuComb

24 January 2018

Dr. Christian DuComb of Colgate University joins us to talk about Philadelphia's Mummers Parade and how the figure of the "Mummers wench" has its roots in the history of blackface minstrel shows.

Theatre History Podcast #54
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #54

Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart: Tracy Heather Strain Shows Us a Different Side of Lorraine Hansberry

17 January 2018

Filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain talks about her new documentary Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, which explores the life and work of playwright Lorraine Hansberry.

Theatre History Podcast #53
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #53

Rediscovering Sheridan’s Smash Hit Pizarro with Dr. Selena Couture & Dr. Alex Dick

10 January 2018

Dr. Selena Couture and Dr. Alexander Dick discuss their new Broadview edition of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's landmark 1799 melodrama Pizarro.

Theatre History Podcast #52
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #52

Remembering Argentina’s Traumatic Past Through Theatre with Dr. Noe Montez

12 December 2017

Dr. Noe Montez of Tufts University joins us to talk about how Argentina's theatre have dealt with the legacy of the country's period of military dictatorship.

Theatre History Podcast #51
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #51

Death-Defying Acts with Amy Meyer

5 December 2017

Amy Meyer joins us to talk about acrobatic accidents in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as what they tell us about our appetite for risky entertainment.

Theatre History Podcast #50
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #50

Opening Up New Approaches to Acting with Dr. Sharrell D. Luckett

14 November 2017

Dr. Sharrell Luckett joins us to discuss her new book Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches.

Theatre History Podcast #49
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #49

Dr. Erin Mee on Modern and Contemporary Indian Theatre

7 November 2017

Dr. Erin Mee of New York University joins us for the second part of our series on Indian theatre. In this episode, she explains how modern Indian theatre developed in the decades before and after independence.

Theatre History Podcast #48
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #48

Learning About Kutiyattam with Dr. Erin Mee

31 October 2017

Dr. Erin Mee of New York University joins us to discuss kutiyattam, a style of theatre from southwestern India that brings ancient Sanskrit dramas to life.

Theatre History Podcast #47
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #47

Translating An Enemy of the People with Dr. Paul Walsh

23 October 2017

Dr. Paul Walsh of the Yale School of Drama joins us to discuss his work translating Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People for the opening production of the Yale Repertory Theatre's 52nd season.

Theatre History Podcast Announcement
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast Announcement

2 October 2017

A Theatre History Podcast announcement from Michael Lueger. 

Theatre History Podcast #46
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #46

Reimagining Shakespeare’s Legacy with Madeline Sayet

14 September 2017

Madeline Sayet joins us to talk about how she's producing Shakespeare's work with Native American artists to place them in a new, more diverse context.

Theatre History Podcast #45
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #45

Rethinking Amateur Theatricals with David Coates

29 August 2017

David Coates talks about his research into amateur theatricals in the nineteenth century.

Theatre History Podcast #44
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #44

Exploring the Performing Arts Collections at the Harry Ransom Center with Dr. Eric Colleary

21 August 2017

Dr. Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, introduces us to the treasures in the center's performing arts collections.

Theatre History Podcast #43
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #43

Being Melodramatic with the Staging Napoleonic Theatre Project

14 August 2017

The Staging Napoleonic Theatre project is working to study and stage early examples of melodrama, a theatrical genre that was widely popular in the nineteenth century.​

Theatre History Podcast #42
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #42

From West Side Story to Wicked: Dr. Stacy Wolf on Feminism & the Broadway Musical

7 August 2017

Dr. Stacy Wolf reveals the hidden feminist history of the Broadway musical in this discussion of her book Changed for Good.

Theatre History Podcast #41
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #41

Bryan Doerries and Theater of War Productions Use Classical Drama to Address Today’s Problems

31 July 2017

Bryan Doerries, co-founder of Theater of War Productions, talks about how classical dramas from the ancient world can address society's pressing issues in the twenty-first century.

Theatre History Podcast #40
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #40

Dr. José A. Pérez Díez & Dr. Matthew Steggle Introduce the Oxford Marston

24 July 2017

Dr. José A. Pérez Díez & Dr. Matthew Steggle talk about early modern English playwright John Marston and how they're editing his Complete Works

Picture from a production of Mankind.
Theatre History Podcast #39
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast #39

Dr. Matthew Sergi and the Surprising Truth About Morality Plays

17 July 2017

Dr. Matthew Sergi of the University of Toronto talks about medieval morality plays, and how performing them today gives us unexpected insights into our own world.

Theatre History Podcast # 38
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 38

Eleanor Fitzsimons on Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, and the Troubled History of Salomé

10 July 2017

In this episode, Michael Lueger talks to author Eleanor Fitzsimons about Oscar Wilde and his working relationship with Sarah Bernhardt.

Theatre History Podcast # 37
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 37

Examining the Diary of Nineteenth Century Actor Harry Watkins with Dr. Amy Hughes, Dr. Naomi Stubbs, and Dr. Scott D. Dexter

3 July 2017

Dr. Amy Hughes, Dr. Naomi Stubbs, and Dr. Scott D. Dexter discuss the diary of Harry Watkins, a nineteenth-century actor, playwright, and stage manager.

Theatre History Podcast # 36
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 36

Editing and Staging The Dutch Lady with Dr. Joseph F. Stephenson

19 June 2017

Dr. Joseph F. Stephenson of Abilene Christian University talks about The Dutch Lady, an anonymous Restoration-era play in the holdings of the Boston Public Library that he's both editing and helping to stage.

Theatre History Podcast # 35
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 35

Get Thee to a Nunnery: Learning About Medieval Convent Drama with Dr. Elisabeth Dutton, Dr. Olivia Robinson, Dr. Matthew Cheung Salisbury, and Aurèlie Blanc

12 June 2017

A conversation with members of the Medieval Convent Drama project, based at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Theatre History Podcast # 34
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 34

Dr. Mary Chinery and Dr. Laura Rattray on Edith Wharton’s The Shadow of a Doubt

5 June 2017

Dr. Mary Chinery and Dr. Laura Rattray on Edith Wharton's little-known writing for the theatre.

Theatre History Podcast # 33
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 33

Rediscovering the Victorian Theatre at the Alexandra Palace with James White

30 May 2017

James White talks about restoring the Alexandra Palace, a massive entertainment complex built in the 1870s.

Theatre History Episode # 32
Podcast

Theatre History Episode # 32

Seret Scott Looks Back on the Free Southern Theater

22 May 2017

Michael Lueger talks with director and performer Seret Scott about her work with the Free Southern Theater.

Theatre History Podcast # 31
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 31

Exploring the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’s New Jo Mielziner Acquisitions with Annemarie van Roessel

15 May 2017

Michael Lueger talks with curator Annemarie van Roessel about scenic designer Jo Mielziner’s work.

Theatre History Podcast # 30
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 30

Dr. Esther Fernandez Introduces us to the Siglo de Oro Festival at Chamizal

24 April 2017

Dr. Esther Fernandez of Rice University talks about the Siglo de Oro Festival.

Theatre History Podcast # 29
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 29

Short Day’s Introduction to Monte Cristo Cottage with Anne G. Morgan

17 April 2017

Anne G. Morgan, Literary Manager and Dramaturg at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, talks about the Monte Cristo Cottage, Eugene O'Neill's childhood summer home, and the setting of two of his plays.

Theatre History Podcast # 28
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 28

Digging up Nea Paphos with Dr. Craig Barker

10 April 2017

 Mike Lueger talks to Dr. Craig Baker from the University of Sydney about the history and layout of Nea Paphos, its hidden surprises, and the mysteries that he and his colleagues are still investigating.

 

Theatre History Podcast # 27
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 27

Learning About Ta’ziyeh with Dr. William O. Beeman

27 March 2017

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. William O. Beeman about the Iranian performance tradition known as ta'ziyeh.

Theatre History Podcast # 26
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 26

Jack Viertel Introduces the New York City Center Encores! Revival of The New Yorkers

23 March 2017

Michael Lueger and Jack Viertel talk about The New Yorkers.

Theatre History Podcast # 25
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 25

Exploring Modern Chinese Theatre with Dr. Steven (Siyuan) Liu

13 March 2017

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Steven (Siyuan) Liu about modern and contemporary Chinese theatre and performance.

Theatre History Podcast # 24
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 24

Exploring Plays About Urban Ireland with Dr. Elizabeth Mannion

8 March 2017

Michael Lueger talks with Beth Mannion about plays depicting urban Ireland.

Theatre History Podcast # 23
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 23

Is It Happening Here? Dr. Paul Gagliardi on the Return of the Federal Theatre Project’s It Can’t Happen Here

27 February 2017

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Paul Gagliardi about It Can’t Happen Here.

Theatre History Podcast # 22
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 22

Dr. Mac Test’s New Translation of La monja alfèrez

13 February 2017

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Mac Test about his new translation of La monja alfèrez, or The Lieutenant Nun.

Theatre History Podcast # 21
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 21

Director George Drance on Calderon’s Two Dreams

6 February 2017

Michael Lueger talks with George Drance about Pedro Calderon de la Barca.

Theatre History Podcast # 20
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 20

Rediscovering the Lost Lope de Vega Play Mujeres y Criados with Dr. Alejandro Garcia-Reidy

30 January 2017

A conversation with Alejandro Garcia-Reidy about discovering a previously-unknown work by Spanish Golden Age playwright Lope de Vega.

Theatre History Podcast # 19
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 19

Jeremy Morris on His New Play About Vaudeville Performer Bert Williams, The Top of Bravery

23 January 2017

Michael Lueger and Jeremy Morris discuss Bert Williams.

Theatre History Podcast # 18
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 18

Dr. Charlotte Canning on Internationalism and US Theatre

16 January 2017

Michael Lueger interviews Dr. Charlotte Canning on her new book and US theatre artists in the mid-twentieth century who shared their work abroad.

Theatre History Podcast # 17
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 17

Dr. Anita Gonzalez Introduces Listeners to 19thcenturyacts.com

9 January 2017

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Anita Gonzalez about a website that reconstructs historical performances.

Theatre History Podcast # 16
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 16

Exploring the Surprising—and Disturbing—Origins of “Jingle Bells” with Kyna Hamill

19 December 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Kyna Hamill about her research into the background of the holiday carol "Jingle Bells."

Theatre History Podcast # 15
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 15

Fiona Coffey on Women in Northern Irish Theatre During The Troubles

12 December 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Fiona Coffey about women theatre artists in Northern Ireland

Theatre History Podcast # 14
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 14

David Mandelbaum Talks About New Yiddish Rep’s Revival of God of Vengeance

5 December 2016

Michael Lueger talks with David Mandelbaum about a new production of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance.

Theatre History Podcast # 13
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 13

Staging a Medieval Play in the 21st Century with Kyle A. Thomas and Dr. Carol Symes

21 November 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Kyle A. Thomas and Dr. Carol Symes about why medieval theatre is more relevant than ever. 

Theatre History Podcast # 12
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 12

Music Theory and Musicals with Adam Roberts

15 November 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Adam Roberts about using music theory to better understand the nuances of musical theatre.

Theatre History Podcast # 11
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 11

“You Don’t Read Latino”: Discussing the History of Latinx Casting with Brian Eugenio Herrera

31 October 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Brian Herrera about contemporary and historical conversations around casting Latinx characters and actors.

Theatre History Podcast # 10
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 10

Sizwe Banzi Is Dead and the Legacy of Anti-Apartheid Theatre

24 October 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Gibson Cima of Georgetown University about Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, it’s collaborators, and it’s lasting impact on South African political theatre.

Theatre History Podcast # 9
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 9

Theatre of Cruelty on Michigan Avenue: Dr. Susanne Shawyer on Street Theatre and 1968

17 October 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Dr. Susanne Shawyer of Elon University about the Democratic National Convention of 1968 and Theatre of Cruelty.

Theatre History Podcast # 8
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 8

Fifty Years and Counting: Talking About Chicano Theatre and Political Activism with Jorge Huerta

10 October 2016

Michael Lueger talks with scholar and activist Jorge Huerta.

Theatre History Podcast # 7
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 7

Getting (Politically) Radical with Amy Brady

3 October 2016

Michael Lueger kicks off a month of interviews about political theatre by talking with Amy Brady about the Federal Theatre Project.

Theatre History Podcast # 6
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 6

Diversifying the Classics with Barbara Fuchs

26 September 2016

Michael Lueger and Barbara Fuchs discuss the plays written during Spain’s theatrical Golden Age, and Barbara’s Diversifying the Classic project, which aims to bring them back into prominence for English-speaking audiences.

Theatre History Podcast # 5
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 5

Joel Berkowitz on the Yiddish Theatre's Past (and Present)

19 September 2016

Michael Lueger talks with Joel Berkowitz about Yiddish theatre’s historical and present iterations.

Theatre History Podcast # 4
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 4

You Naughty, Naughty Men: Joshua William Gelb’s New Reimagining of The Black Crook

12 September 2016

Michael Lueger talks with director and librettist Joshua William Gelb about The Black Crook, considered by some to be the first musical.

Theatre History Podcast # 3
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 3

Eric Swanson Discusses New Musical Edwin: The Story of Edwin Booth

5 September 2016

Eric Swanson and Michael Lueger discuss actor Edwin Booth, the brother of Abraham Lincoln’s assassin.

Theatre History Podcast # 2
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 2

Like a Boss: 1940s Musicals and the “Boss Lady” with Maya Cantu

29 August 2016

Maya Cantu and Michael Lueger discuss how the musicals of the 1940s saw the emergence of a new figure: the “boss lady.”

Theatre History Podcast # 1
Podcast

Theatre History Podcast # 1

Talking About Drugs (and Theatre) with Max Shulman

22 August 2016

Michael Lueger kicks off a new Theatre History podcast series with an interview with Max Shulman, discussing drugs in American theatre at the turn of the twentieth century.

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Series are collections of content curated around a specific theme. HowlRound works with curators to develop topical pieces meant to spotlight current events and happenings within the commons.