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Welcome to Episode #014 of That Shakespeare Life, the podcast that takes you behind the curtain and into the life of William Shakespeare.

I believe that if you want to understand Shakespeare's plays, then understanding the life of William Shakespeare, the man, is essential. This podcast is designed to help you explore early modern England as Shakespeare would have lived it by interviewing the historians, performers, authors, and experts that know him best.

Douglas joins us today to discuss marketing in the 16th century. With new plays performed as often as every afternoon, and a large portion of his target audience being illiterate, how did Shakespeare fill seats and manage to sell enough tickets to stay in business? 

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Douglas Bruster is a professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. His research centers on Shakespeare, drama, and literary history. His discoveries have been featured in such venues as The New York Times and National Public Radio. Douglas has written extensively on Shakespeare, publishing six books on Shakespeare and early modern drama including Drama and the Market in the Age of Shakespeare, as well as Shakespeare and the Power of Performance. He is editor of Thomas Middleton’s The Changeling, the morality plays Everyman and Mankind, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to the University of Texas, he has taught at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Paris.

In this episode, I’ll be asking Douglas about :

  • The flags above The Globe and their meaning
  • Getting the word out about plays when your population can't read
  • How did Shakespeare tell people what plays would be performed?
  • …and more.

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