Shakespeare: The Ultimate Explorer and Innovator

Michael Kahn is the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. From 1992-2006, he was the Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division of the Juilliard School, where he has been a leading member of the faculty since its founding in 1968.

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Michael Kahn: Shakespeare, you know, I like to say he’s an explorer, he’s a scientist.  First of all, he’s always going into unchartered territory.  He steals stories from everybody, but what he does with those stories is clearly an act of his imagination and his will; and his intelligence and his observation.  I think he was a very, very close observer of people.

There are wonderful writers but there’ll never be another Shakespeare.  There’ll also never be another Shakespeare because there will never be a sort of renaissance of discovering the classical world, or discovering the use of language as there was then.  We’ll have all kinds of technological renaissances, but we probably won’t have a language renaissance ever again because language has “been discovered” and it’s not new to us.  If anything, we have to learn to be better at it and use it more interestingly than we do now.