By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK –Focusing on the controversial Shakespeare Authorship Question, the podcast series “Don’t Quill the Messenger: Exploring the Truth of Shakespeare Authorship” celebrates a lineup of 33 episodes on Dragon Wagon Radio, an independent, artist owned and produced podcast network.
As founding artistic director of the Redlands Shakespeare Festival, Steven Sabel, the podcast host, features guest scholars from all walks of life. “Don’t Quill The Messenger” takes an investigative and humorous look at the details surrounding Shakespeare’s works in an effort to get to the bottom of the story about who really was responsible for the writings.
“Underpinning the content of Shakespeare’s writing, there is so much rich background evidence to uncover – colorful stories about the real-life people characterized in the plays; their personal relationships and contemporary scandals that have never been studied in depth by traditional English scholars because their man isn’t mentioned in them,” said Julie Sandys Bianchi, podcast curator for the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, an international organization dedicated to research and discussion of the Shakespeare Authorship Question.
Episodes in the series include “Shakespeare Authorship Question 101,” “Shakespeare and the Law,” featuring experts discussing Shakespeare’s legal knowledge; “The Will of Shakespeare,” discussing the famous last will and testament of the man from Stratford; and “It was all Greek to me,” covering some of the many Greek allusions found in the Shakespearean canon.
Additional episodes include, “The ‘Truth’ of a Documentary Film,” featuring film-maker, Cheryl Egan-Donovan discussing her new film, “Nothing Truer Than Truth,” and “Love Boat to Cyprus,” featuring iconic actor and director, Ted Lange.
New episodes are released every other Wednesday as part of the Dragon Wagon Radio network. “Don’t Quill the Messenger” joins a list of podcasts on the network dedicated to “giving voice and a public platform to a wide variety of personalities and artists who are interested in putting out professional quality shows their own way,” said co-founder Jake Lloyd.
Lloyd and his partner, Zen Zenith, started the network as a means to give themselves and their creative peers a unified platform.
The network began with two series in March 2017. Today, the Lloyd and Zenith produce a dozen shows, and have cultivated more than one million downloads network-wide.
“We pride ourselves on our Punk Rock D.I.Y. methods, and are super proud to offer a wide variety of podcasts. With series featuring conversations about culture, society, music, politics, entertainment and more, Dragon Wagon has something for every podcast listener,” said Lloyd.
“I think ‘Don’t Quill’ and Steven Sabel are great facets of the Dragon Wagon family, and offer a head-turning perspective on a topic that is absolutely fascinating no matter what your beliefs on it may be,” Lloyd added. “For fans of Pen & Teller’s ‘BS,’ ‘Adam Ruins Everything,’ ‘Our Fake History,’ or the like, ‘Don’t Quill the Messenger’ is a must listen.”
Sabel served eight years as the producing artistic director of Archway Theatre Company in Burbank, California, and also writes a monthly entertainment industry column for an LA-based trade publication. He has produced/directed more than 60 Shakespearean productions.
“The flavor of the ‘Don’t Quill’ series is very light and humorous, while still addressing the available facts and evidence surrounding Shakespeare’s works, and dissecting the outright holes in the traditional narrative,” said Sabel.
Regular listeners of the series are called “quillers,” according to Sabel. His goal is to join with his fellow quillers in asking the “difficult questions that the established orthodoxy doesn’t want to answer or acknowledge.”
“It’s subversive Shakespeare,” Sabel continued. “This question has been lingering for hundreds of years, and what we encourage through the podcast is the continual asking of questions in order to get past the myths and explore the truth.”
“Don’t Quill The Messenger” is available at dragonwagonradio.com as well as other major podcast downloading sites.