Escape to the Forest of Arden

Podcast

Stroll through the U.S. Botanic Garden with uninterrupted poetry. Each new passage correlates with a number on the map, but feel free to walk your own pace so that you can best enjoy the greenery. Learn More.

Prosecast: Private Lives

Podcast

This episode invites you into the glamorous world of Private Lives as we discuss Noël Coward’s career, comedy and the never ending battle of the sexes.  Plus, you can learn from the master, as director Maria Aitken shares her experience playing and directing Coward. Recorded at the Shakespeare Theatre Company by: Hannah Hessel, Audience Enrichment Manager Drew Lichtenberg, Literary Associate Maria Aitken, Private Lives Director Sound engineering and editing by Andrew Smith. Read a transcript of this episode.

Potent Glamour – The Starry World of Private Lives

In late 1929, Noël Coward set off for an extended trip to the Far East. Planning to meet his traveling companion in Tokyo, he settled into the Imperial Hotel for an early night and recalled that “the moment I switched out the light, Gertie appeared in a white Molyneux dress on a terrace in the South of France, and refused to go again until 4 a.m., by which time Private Lives, title and all had constructed itself.”

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Coward’s Leading Lady

“Although I never knew him, Coward has had a profound influence on my life,” Maria Aitken says, and it is easy at once to see why. With her patrician good looks and posh accent, as well as her droll, understatedly wicked theatre stories, she is the spitting image of the Noël Coward aesthetic.

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Coward’s fascinating rhythms

In June of 1921, Noël Coward made his first visit to New York City. Among the many things that impressed the then 22-year-old were Coney Island at night, Harlem’s cabarets, the writers and wits that lunched at the Algonquin Hotel, and theatrical impresario David Belasco’s purple silk dressing gown. The experience that had the most significant effect on the fledgling playwright, however, came on his first night in Manhattan: seeing a Broadway show.

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Paul Huntley’s wigs make the man

When floozy Doll Tearsheet, played by Maggie Kettering, enters a tavern scene in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Henry IV, Part 2, your gaze is drawn to her crowning glory. Ringlets in extraordinary hues from rust to ruby cascade down her shoulders to perfectly cap her bawdy, worn attire. Learn more…

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