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Prologue

Host Ira Glass surveys various productions of Hamlet being staged around the country: At community colleges in Brooklyn and Honolulu, on a professional stage in Boston, and at a Shakespeare camp for kids in San Francisco—where all the scenes are death scenes.

Prologue

Ira talks with producer Blue Chevigny about how a prank caller taught her that when it comes to pursuing happiness, Carole King, the world of independent cinema and the New York City Police Department have a lot more in common than she ever imagined. He also talks with MIT Professor Pauline Maier, author of the book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence.

Prologue

When Alexa was seven, she started going through her grandfather's books. Her grandfather was a playwright and teacher, and through the books—and especially through his notes in the margins—she entered the world of 1930's American theater.

Act One

More of Alexa Junge and how Moss Hart's autobiography changed her life. She followed his path, learned specific lessons, and had a vision of him that was absolutely clear—until she met his widow.

Act Three: Medieval Times

Ira takes a Medieval scholar from the University of Chicago, Michael Camille, to Medieval Times — a chain of fake castles where visitors eat Medieval food and drink Medieval Pepsi and watch a supposed recreation of a Medieval jousting tournament. The scholar finds that there are many historical inaccuracies, but that Medieval Times does capture something essential and interesting about the spirit of the Middle Ages.

Prologue

As high-school freshmen, Kim, Tiffany, and Laura were enamored of their fellow students who netted the leads in all the school plays. They're seniors now, and they're the ones landing all the lead roles.

Act Two: Lost In Yonkers

Host Ira Glass follows the last month of rehearsals of Oak Park and River Forest High School's production of Neil Simon's Lost In Yonkers.

Act Three: From The Audience Seats

Mark O'Brien is in an iron lung and comes out for short periods of time. What does he do with those precious moments free of the machinery that keeps him alive? He goes to the theater.
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