People’s Platform, Supreme Court Considers Ban On Campaign Lies, Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

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Today is William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett talk to a Milwaukee actor and director whose work brings Shakespeare to life around Wisconsin. A cultural commentator discusses how we can take back power and culture in the digital age, an author falls in love with Milwaukee in this week’s Wisconsin Life, and Rob and Veronica also explore a case being considered before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether or not it’s constitutional to ban lies in campaign ads.

Featured in this Show

  • Bringing The Bard To Wisconsin

    The world marks William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday this week. While the date isn’t known for sure, many experts point to April 23 as the most likely day. One Wisconsin performer is celebrating by bringing the Bard to life here in the state.

    Ron Scot Fry is the creative director of the Optimists Theater in Milwaukee. A veteran actor and director in a number of Shakespeare’s works, he’s also taken on the role of Shakespeare himself in an interactive performance called “To Be! Shakespeare Here and Now,” which is making stops in Chippewa Falls, Madison, Milwaukee and other Wisconsin communities in coming weeks.

    Fry said he loves the opportunity to share his love of Shakespeare and his work.

    “I want everyone’s lives to be richer and everyone’s lives to contain more fascination,” he said. “Shakespeare is a perfect opportunity for people to do something that will enrich their lives that requires something from them, but makes them extraordinarily successful once they get it.”

    He said one of them most common questions that people ask him about Shakespeare is what his favorite play was — which is a tough question to answer.

    “We have actually no historical record of what Shakespeare’s favorite play was,” he said.

    Fry said that’s one example of why it can be difficult to portray Shakespeare since so little is known about his life. He draws from a wider body of knowledge about England in Shakespeare’s time and about the world of Shakespearean theater.

    He said people can learn a lot about Shakespeare from his work.

    “He’s a wickedly, wickedly funny writer. We can only assume that he was a talented comedic actor,” he said. “He must have had an absolutely delightful sense of humor.”

    Despite the immense artistic output, Fry said he sees signs of humility.

    “From things that we see in the plays, things we see in the sonnets, he was also very self-effacing,” he said.

    Fry said almost all of Shakespeare’s plays have relevance for a modern audience. He points toward “Winter’s Tale,” which he is helping produce for Shakespeare in the Park in Milwaukee this summer. While it’s not one of the more commonly performed Shakespearean plays, he said “‘Winter’s Tale’ is completely applicable to person, political, and power and gender situations that we face today.”

    For more info about Fry’s performances, visit this website.

  • The People's Platform

    The Internet has been hailed as a democratizing force. But does it really create an level playing field or merely amplify real-world inequities? How can we truly make the Internet ‘the people’s platform’?

  • Supreme Court Considers Ohio Ban On Campaign Lies

    Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging a law in Ohio that bans false statements made in campaign ads during an election. An expert on the Constitution and law explains the background of this case, how he thinks the Justices will rule, and what the implications of that ruling could be.

  • Happy 450th Birthday, Shakespeare

    As the world mark’s William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, a Milwaukee actor and director brings the Bard to life in events around Wisconsin.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Ron Scot Fry Guest
  • Astra Taylor Guest
  • Donald Downs Guest
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer

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