Play On Podcasts: “Pericles” Starring Keith David, Kathleen Chalfant, Johanna Day

Play On Podcasts, a new scripted fiction podcast series presented by Play On Shakespeare in partnership with Next Chapter Podcasts, announces Ellen McLaughlin’s “Pericles”, directed by Lisa Rothe.

Cast includes Keith David, Kathleen Chalfant, Johanna Day and Many More.

First episode out now; Listen at

Building upon Play On Shakespeare’s mission to enhance the understanding of Shakespeare’s plays in performance, Play On Podcasts bring timeless tales directly to modern audiences. Following the success of “Macbeth”, the series – presented by Play On in partnership with Next Chapter Podcasts – continues today with the release of Ellen McLaughlin’s “Pericles”.

Play On Podcasts bring together a team of Award-winning sound designers, composers, playwrights, directors, and performers — with original music composition and the voices of extraordinarily, gifted artists — to create aural storytelling experiences. It’s a Shakespearean audio adventure.

“The Play On translations are heightened by the podcast medium and heighten the medium in return,” Executive Producer, Michael Goodfriend, says. “Thanks to the accessibility and immediacy of the translations, you don’t have to dig into your dictionary to understand what’s going on – and thanks to outstanding audio engineering, design, direction and the phenomenal voices of our actors, you’re dropped into the world Shakespeare created. You can visualize these tales in whatever environment you’re listening. This unprecedented endeavor has given Next Chapter Podcasts an opportunity to raise the bar for fictional podcasts across the industry. I can’t think of a better place for theater artists to ride out the closure of theater venues due to the pandemic than through virtual collaboration in their own personal studios, where Next Chapter Podcasts record them bringing voices to life as only theater artists know how.”

Lue Douthit, Play On Shakespeare’s CEO and Creative Director: “The translation is not to be a paraphrase, nor is it a literal explanation of what’s going on. The translations are not meant to be replacements of the originals. Our goal is to learn how the plays work and to create performable companion pieces. They are new plays in that way.”

With lead investment from the Hitz Foundation, which funds the Play On project and has commissioned this podcast series, Next Chapter Podcasts will adapt and produce the modernized Shakespearean scripts for multi-part audio presentations featuring the talents of extraordinary stage performers, directors and designers.

Next in the Play On Podcast series will be “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, translated by Jeff Whitty and directed by Catherine Eaton. Further details will be announced shortly.


Creative Team:
Playwright: Ellen McLaughlin
Director: Lisa Rothe
Composer: Rinde Eckert
Sound Designer: Jane Shaw

Pericles: Keith David
Gower: Kathleen Chalfant
Lychordia / Bawd / Diana: Johanna Day
Thaisa / Dionyza: Amy Kim Waschke
Cerimon / Thaliard: Barzin Akhavan
Various roles: Benjamin Bonenfant
Various roles: Christiana Clark
Antiochus / Simonides / Pandar: Jeffrey King
Marina: Jennie Greenberry
Helicanus / Philimon: John Keating
Various roles: Orlando Pabotoy
Lysimachus / Leonine: Tommy Schrider

Production Team:
Executive Producer: Michael Goodfriend
Senior Producer: Miriam Laube
Sound Engineer: Daniel Ben-Shimon
Coordinating Producer: Taylor Bailey
Managing Producer: Robert Cappadona
Casting Director: Karyn Casl
Casting Director: Ada Karamanyan
Producer, Script Adaptor: Catherine Eaton
Voice, Text: Rebecca Clark Carey


Next Chapter Podcasts is a podcast company dedicated to telling stories with a positive impact on our world by elevating bold,authentic voices. It boasts a team with decades of experience in media spanning television, radio, music and theater. NCP believes storytelling is embedded in our DNA, and the modern day audio phenomenon is a return to our primal, instinctual desire for human connection. By nurturing relationships with artists, leaders, writers and activists, NCP seeks to expand its imprint beyond podcasting by creating adaptations of content to inspire generations through compelling storytelling in a variety of formats. Shows produced by Next Chapter include Politics War Room with James Carville, The 500 with Josh Adam Myers, Tough Juice with Caron Butler, and The Ten News, with Bethany Van Delft.


The “Play On!” Project originated in 2015 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as a commissioning program called “Play on! 36 Playwrights Translating Shakespeare”. Overseen by then Director of Dramaturgy and Literary Development, Lue Douthit, the project’s aim was to commission exciting contemporary playwrights to examine the plays of Shakespeare line by line to translate words and phrases in the text where meaning has been lost as the English language has evolved. Far from a paraphrasing exercise, the playwrights were tasked with matching Shakespeare’s linguistic rigor as they approached the text – preserving rhyme, rhythm, metaphor, meter, imagery, symbolism, rhetoric and the unique structure that make his plays so timeless. The announcement set off a passionate debate over the language of Shakespeare and the notion of altering his words that spilled over into social media and onto the pages of major newspapers, magazines and journals throughout the world. Today, having successfully completed all 39 of the originally commissioned translations, Play On Shakespeare has become its own not-for-profit entity and continues to commission new artists to grapple with the language of Shakespeare. More info at


The Hitz Foundation has projects in science, the arts, and the environment throughout the world. In addition to Play On Shakespeare and Play On Podcasts, the foundation also supports several archaeological projects in northern Guatemala and funded the largest LiDAR mapping ever undertaken for archaeological research to support these projects (discovering 60,000 new Mayan structures). The foundation funds Global Digital Heritage which captures state-of-the-art 3D models of museum collections and heritage sites and shares them with the world at no cost. The foundation also supports several environmental projects including the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which protects the ecosystems and biodiversity of East Africa through conservation efforts that directly benefit wildlife, wilderness and the local Maasai communities.

Next Chapter Podcasts: Official site / Instagram / Twitter

Play On Shakespeare: 
Official site / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook

For more information, please contact Matt Gross at Heart Spade PR,
Heart Spade PR

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