I spend a lot of time on the computer, writing, editing, emailing, and more. In all of those tasks, I prefer a little background music, usually classical or instrumental jazz–nothing with words, because I inevitably end up paying attention or even singing along to the words. But when I am driving or working in the yard, I usually turn to podcasts. But I am selective. I have six I listen to regularly. The Folger Library’s “Shakespeare Unlimited” podcast is one of those.
The Folger produces a range of podcasts and recordings that explore the fascinating and varied connections between Shakespeare, his works, and the world around us. I don’t listen to every episode, but some of my favorites have been an interview with the creators of the TNT series, Will; an interview with novelist Tracy Chevalier about her recent adaptation of Othello (New Boy); an interview with the creators of the hit Broadway show, Something Rotten; and “How the First Folio Became a Star,” among others.
The episodes have a definite NPR feel to them–classy, subdued, intelligent but not too esoteric for a groundling like me. I recommend them whether you were born great, have achieved greatness, or have had greatness thrust upon you…or none of the above.