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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Shakespeare Festival Director to Appear on 'With Good Reason'

By Brendan O'Hallarn

"Shakespeare 400 Years After," an ambitious collaborative project three years in the making at Old Dominion University to focus attention on the enduring impact of William Shakespeare's life, work and times, will be featured this week on the public radio program "With Good Reason."

Imtiaz Habib, professor of English and a renowned Shakespeare scholar, conceived and organized a weeklong public festival taking place at the University and throughout Hampton Roads from April 13-20.

Habib will be interviewed by host Sarah McConnell about the Bard and his impact on "With Good Reason," airing Sunday, April 10 at 7 a.m. on WHRV-FM 89.5 in Hampton Roads. The program also airs in different timeslots on more than 50 public radio stations from coast to coast. Broadcast times are posted on the "With Good Reason" website.

The festival, being held to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, features a comprehensive series of stage, music and dance performances, film screenings, poetry readings, pop-up shows and historical exhibitions, as well as a three-day international scholarly conference "Shakespeare and Our Times."

The anniversary event, the largest of the statewide Virginia Shakespeare Initiative, was created to celebrate and investigate the unshakeable presence of Shakespeare in modern culture.

In advance of the festival, Habib and Maya Mathur of the University of Mary Washington explore what Shakespeare's plays can reveal about life today. Also appearing on the show are Larissa Tracy of Longwood University, discussing Tolkien's influence on the HBO hit television show "Game of Thrones," and Gretchen Martin of UVa.-Wise, finding unexpected nuance in 19th Century African American literary characters.

"With Good Reason" is produced by the Charlottesville-based Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The show was created more than 20 years ago to spotlight the groundbreaking research being done at Virginia's public universities.

"With Good Reason" has twice won the Gabriel Award for Best Documentary/Public Affairs Program. It also is the recipient of top honors from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters and a second-place award in the Public Radio News Directors competition.

Audio files of the full program and its companion news feature will be posted the week of the show on the "With Good Reason" website.