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Shakespeare Innovator Rylance on Farewell Tour

Many Shakespeare fans were skeptical when the Globe Theatre opened in London 10 seasons ago.

Critics predicted that it would end up being no more than a "heritage museum" for William Shakespeare's work, with its historically accurate open thatched roof, circular stage, period instruments and men portraying female characters.

But the daring and innovative Mark Rylance was named artistic director, and the pairing has turned into a winning combination, with crowds and critics declaring Shakespeare's Globe Theatre a success.

Audiences sit on hard wooden seats, or stand in a space reserved for "groundlings."

During its current United States tour, the Globe Theatre Company is playing to audiences in more comfortable surroundings as it performs Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

UCLA Live's International Theatre Festival was one recent stop on the tour, which is Rylance's final turn as both star -- he plays Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna -- and artistic director of the Globe.

During the show's run at UCLA's Freud Playhouse, Rylance spoke with Renee Montagne about his 10-year tenure at the Globe.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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