July is starting off with a bang as Avant-Bard releases the first few episodes of their brand new podcast.
Hosted by two queer Shakespeare-obsessed losers, Matthew Marquez and Megan Scharlau, each episode takes a piece of media inspired by the plays and poems of William Shakespeare and breaks it down for the audience. Connecting the original work, its historical context, and production history, Avant-Bard will determine what makes or breaks a successful adaptation.
The series will debut July 1st, with new episodes releasing every other Wednesday. Listeners can follow along while the team offers audiences a healthy mix of nostalgia and recommendations for new media to consume. Whether you’re a lifelong Shakespeare fan or a newcomer wishing to delve into the bard’s repertoire, Avant-Bard provides enough context and laughs so you won’t get bogged down in heavy Shakespearean scholarship while still learning something new! The podcast splits focus between the historical, theatrical, and emotional components of theatre, intertwining the hosts’ personal experiences on the stage with the technical craft of film critique.
In the first few episodes, Avant-Bard runs the gamut, covering works from the classic teen movie 10 Things I Hate About You, to an obscure TV-movie that reimagines Romeo and Juliet as fae creatures.
Marquez and Megan spent their college years performing and directing Shakespeare’s works. Since leaving college, Shakespeare is a constant source of conversation, and seeing works connected to him is a vital part of their friendship. They noticed people are consistently surprised to find out films they enjoy are inspired by Shakespeare, so it seemed like time for an in-depth review. Being queer as well, they wanted to emphasize viewing these works through a queer lens and highlighting queer and diverse adaptations as well because such works have long been filtered out of popular culture in favor of more heteronormative narratives.
Marquez says: “Shakespeare is the most prolific influential Western writer of all time and given that there are infinite ways his characters and ideas can be explored in new ways, I wanted to share how much they excited me. There’s a certain vein that his themes hit and the way different artists interpret him, it’s like a constant conversation over the last 450 years.”
Avant-Bard will be available on most podcast platforms on the day of release.