The 6-part PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered will return in an all-day marathon on Memorial Day on WKNO/Channel 10.
In a unique series of six films, Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of its celebrated hosts – Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn, Joely Richardson, and David Tennant – to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.
Produced by Richard Denton for Blakeway Productions & THIRTEEN for WNET in association with the BBC and Shakespeare’s Globe, each episode explores and reveals the extraordinary world and works of William Shakespeare and the still-potent impact they have today. The films combine interviews with actors, directors and scholars, along with visits to key locations, clips from some of the most-celebrated film and television adaptations, and illustrative excerpts from the plays staged specially for the series at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
Several events are planned in relation to Shakespeare Uncovered. Visit the Shakespeare Uncovered events page for information.
“The Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man”
One of the coolest things as part of our Shakespeare project, was to partner with Tennessee Shakespeare Company to create a beautiful Shakespearean Costume Exhibit – “The Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man”. If you missed the exhibit, join us on this virtual tour with Dan McCleary, founder and producing artistic director of Tennessee Shakespeare Company.
Explanation of the origins of “salad days”
Many of our popular expressions come directly from Shakespeare’s writing. Dan McCleary, Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Tennessee Shakespeare Company, and chef/author Jennifer Chandler explain the origins of “salad days”.
Follow this link for information about Dan McCleary and Tennessee Shakespeare Company
Follow this link to order cookbooks by Jennifer Chandler
Download Jennifer Chandler's Caesar Salad Recipe
Click the icon in the lower right corner to view full screen.
Click the title below to view the full episode of each at PBS Video.
Macbeth with Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke invites viewers on his quest to play Shakespeare’s murderous Thane of Cawdor by researching the true story and real-life events that served as the play’s inspiration. Historian Justin Champion visits the actual Scottish sites of the story on Hawke’s behalf, introducing him to Dunsinane where Macbeth supposedly lived, and to the history books that distorted the true story and consequently led Shakespeare to do the same.
The Comedies with Joely Richardson
Joely Richardson investigates (with her mother Vanessa Redgrave) the legacy of these two brilliant cross-dressing comedies, with their missing twins, mistaken identities, and characters in disguise; their connections to Shakespeare’s personal life; and the great romantic heroines created by Shakespeare in two perennially popular plays.
Richard II with Derek Jacobi
In returning to the role of a deposed monarch whose crown is taken from him, Derek Jacobi takes a 360-degree view of this great political thriller whose title character he played more than 30 years ago. Jacobi shares insights on the play’s political twists – and their modern equivalents – that have kept Richard II resonant for centuries through its understanding of power’s tendency to corrupt and distort the truth, and how quickly power may be lost.
Henry IV & Henry V with Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons uncovers the enduring appeal of Shakespeare’s most iconic “history plays,” from the true English history embedded into the works to the father-son drama that Shakespeare created. In disclosing Shakespeare’s sources – and steps the playwright took to distort them – Irons uncovers the historical truths behind the story and how they inspired some of Shakespeare’s most famous monologues.
Hamlet with David Tennant
An acclaimed Hamlet in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s hit production (also a recent Great Performances production), David Tennant meets fellow actors who’ve tackled this most iconic of roles, including superstar Jude Law, and compares notes on the role’s titanic challenges. Tennant digs deep into the text about the doomed Danish Prince alongside the actors Simon Russell Beale and Ben Whishaw. With them he works to plumb the deeper meanings of the play and the reason it is widely considered the greatest of Shakespeare’s canon.
The Tempest with Trevor Nunn
Trevor Nunn, the legendary director who has helmed 30 of Shakespeare’s 37 plays – and aims to complete them all before he retires – takes us through the magical and mysterious world created in the playwright’s last complete work. Nunn considers The Tempest as Shakespeare’s farewell from the stage, and explores the biographical nature of the play and its connection to the playwright’s often troubled family life.
Shakespeare Uncovered is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the generous support of the project's lead foundation sponsor, the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation. Major funding is also provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Polonsky Foundation, Virginia and Dana Randt, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and PBS.