Introduction: Muse of Fire (04:47)
This unique feature documentary follows two actors, Giles Terera and Dan Poole, as they travel the world to discover everything they can about tackling the greatest writer of them all. Consulting a host of helpful luminaries along the way, including Ian McKellen, James Earl Jones, Judi Dench, and Tom Hiddleston, their exciting road trip takes them to Denmark with Jude Law, Hollywood with Baz Luhrman, a prison in Berlin and Shakespeare’s home in Stratford-upon-Avon. Admitting that they often struggled to understand the Bard, even finding him frightening, a host of today’s top actors speak openly about their early encounters with the most famous storyteller in history. (Credits)
The Good, The Bard The Ugly: The Plan (04:42)
Terera and Poole ask their friends about their project. Ian McKellen explains that it is a challenge to mount a play that was written over 400 years ago. Ewan McGregor discusses how to approach acting in a Shakespearean play.
The Good, The Bard The Ugly: Educating Shakespeare (02:41)
High school students discuss whether they like Shakespeare. Kids should be given drama first and will find the Bard themselves. The Shakespeare Schools' Festival creates smaller versions of his plays for children to perform.
The Good, The Bard The Ugly: Actors (03:40)
Actors discuss their ignorance about Shakespeare. The first experience informs how one feels about the Bard for the remainder of their life. Ben Kingsley recalls seeing Ian Holmes in "Richard III."
The Prince in Denmark: Performance (07:41)
Terera and Poole take a ferry and travel across Denmark to Elsimore. Jude Law discusses playing the title role in "Hamlet." Shakespeare's plays are written for an illiterate audience.
The Prince in Denmark: London Shakespeare Workout Prison Project (06:16)
The LSW works with inmates for months to introduce Shakespeare. Bruce Wall invites Terera and Poole to participate in a session at a prison in Berlin.
Shakespeare Strikes Back (05:26)
Poole takes a job renovating a home while Terera auditions for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Poole takes a job renovating a home while Terera auditions for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Judi Dench talks about people being prejudiced against Shakespeare.
Iambic Pentameter?: Learning Shakespeare (04:40)
Actors discuss grappling with the verse at the National Theater. McKellen demonstrates the rhythm using a speech from "Romeo and Juliet." McGregor describes the moment of epiphany.
Iambic Pentameter?: In Spanish (06:32)
Terera and Poole travel to Madrid to watch the National Theater of Spain perform "Henry VIII." The actors discuss how Shakespeare incorporated Spanish concepts in Catherine of Aragon's character. Steven Berkoff describes how Shakespeare put all his actors in modern costume.
The Wizard of Baz: Getting to America (03:08)
James Earl Jones describes how his uncle would recite Shakespeare in the fields. John Leguizamo thinks British actors can make the verse seem more natural. Poole and Terera plan to meet Baz Luhrmann and Leonardo DiCaprio in Los Angeles.
The Wizard of Baz: Boston (10:35)
Ed Cornely runs the Stageloft Repertory Theater, mounting one Shakespeare play a year. In "Invention of the Human," Harold Bloom asserts the Shakespeare was the first author who depicted characters. Actors discuss whether British or American actors perform Shakespeare better.
The Wizard of Baz: Charlottesville (03:00)
Rita Dove is the first United States African-American poet Laureate. Her mother would speak little lines of Shakespeare when she was a child.
The Wizard of Baz: Los Angeles (08:13)
Poole and Terera stay in the hotel where Janis Joplin died. Baz Luhrmann describes his relationship with Shakespeare's plays and directing "Romeo and Juliet." Life is both comic and tragic.
The Deep End (03:22)
Actors prepare a few speeches and interact with the public in "Pop Up Shakespeare." Good verse performed well can affect the metabolism of the listener. Actors provide advice for understanding the Bard.
All's Well that Ends Well (02:01)
Poole and Terera conclude the video appreciating the individuals they met. Be fearless when performing Shakespeare.
Credits: Muse of Fire (06:28)
Credits: Muse of Fire
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