A drawing of the Astor Place Riot, 1849, by Charles M. Jenckes

When an Argument Over Macbeth Incited a Bloody Riot

On May 10th, 1849, protestors rioted at Astor Place Opera House, leading to the deadliest civic insurrection in American history up to that time.
Twelfth Night party

Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and the Real “Twelfth Night”

"Twelfth Night" was more than a Shakespeare play; for a very long time it was an extremely popular European winter feast.
Heads quarters

The Statistics of Coin Tosses for Theater Geeks

At the beginning of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a coin toss lands as heads 92 times in a row, the odds of which are a mere 1 in 5 octillion.

The Art of Cutting Up Shakespeare

We should acknowledge the connection between cuts as bodily violence and cuts as violent ways of making art.
JSTOR Daily Friday Reads

Video Games, Italian Revolutionaries, and Anne Tyler

Our Friday Reads are these new books out this week, and related content you won't find anywhere else.
European Starlings

What If We Had All the Birds from Shakespeare in Central Park?

According to birding lore, two of America's most invasive bird species were introduced by a misguided Shakespeare fan named Eugene Schieffelin.
William Shakespeare

Shakespeare: Dead or Alive?

Shakespeare's authorship has been questioned by many, including Mark Twain.
Reprint of engraving by Martin Droeshout

The Artist Behind Shakespeare’s Most Famous Portrait

Though considered a limited artist, Martin Droeshout engraved the only portrait of Shakespeare, which appeared on the cover of the first folio.
William Shakespeare's King Lear

When King Lear Was a Rom-Com

The King Lear people saw for almost two centuries was very different from Shakespeare's.

Streaming Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century

What does "live theatre" truly mean when it's broadcast to cinema screens? And how does streaming Shakespeare stack up to the theatrical version?