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Around the World in 80 Plays

Theatre has a unique power to transport us. Around The World in 80 Plays is an audio drama series mounted by Soulpepper Theatre Company that takes listeners on a trip around the world. And CBC Radio's IDEAS will be your guide on that journey with its own radio documentaries exploring the cultural and historical context from these countries.

Chekhov's The Seagull delves into the destructive power of love

The playwright Anton Chekhov wrote to a friend that he was writing a play with "a great deal of conversation about literature, little actions, tons of love." The Seagull is not unlike our own lives, where there isn't a ready-made plot with a neat ending.

Inside the teenage brain: How science is helping us understand adolescents

Teenagers can be erratic and emotional. But recent science may just have the answer to why teenagers are the way they are — and it's not just about hormones. This new understanding is changing the way some societies see teens and it may just lead to changing the boundary between teenager and adult.

Transcript | Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell

Full-text transcript for Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell
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Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell

You hear the name ‘Alexander Graham Bell’, and you think ‘inventor of the telephone.’ But he devoted much of his life to the so-called ‘education’ of deaf people. Bell’s fraught legacy with the deaf community is explored in Veronica Simmonds' documentary, Unsound: The Legacy of Alexander Graham Bell.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

With the world in crisis, what's an intellectual to do?

In 1919, Romain Rolland wrote the Declaration of the Independence of the Mind as a call to intellectuals to rise above division, censorship and nationalism of their day. Nahlah Ayed speaks to Canadian and international thinkers to consider the role of the intellectual today, and to rewrite the declaration for our own post-truth moment.

Writers explain why we shouldn't worry about what we read — or don't read

Writer Barbara Nichol continues exploring shared assumptions about reading, readers and books with original thinkers — writers, critics, scholars and journalists. This is part two in a three-part series called Reading with a Grain of Salt.

Why cats may have more to teach us about living the good life than Socrates

Unlike humans, cats aren't burdened with questions about love, death and the meaning of life. They have no need for philosophy at all. So what's to be learned from this "unexamined" way of being? English philosopher John Gray explains.
Audio

Around the World in 80 Plays

Theatre has a unique power to transport us. Around The World in 80 Plays is an audio drama series mounted by Soulpepper Theatre Company that takes listeners on a trip around the world. And CBC Radio's IDEAS will be your guide on that journey with its own radio documentaries exploring the cultural and historical context from these countries.

100 years on, this Italian play still throws its audiences for a loop

Six characters whose story was never written take matters into their own hands by gatecrashing a theatre rehearsal, turning reality on its head. From Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Around the World in 80 Plays, the metatheatrical masterpiece of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author.

How history forgot a 20th century pandemic

How could these times ever be forgotten? Historian Esyllt Jones explains why we don’t know more stories from an even more devastating global health catastrophe — the Great Influenza of 1918 — but how its complex toll is captured in a moving short story by Alice Munro.

People are turning to this late American philosopher in troubled times

Thanks to his politically centrist views, his praise for patriotism, and his disdain for talk of 'objective truth,' philosopher Richard Rorty succeeded in enraging progressives and conservatives alike. But his friends and fans believe the rage is largely misplaced. The real Rorty was a subtle, empathetic, moral thinker whose ideas have a lot to offer in today's polarized and fractured democracies.

IDEAS schedule for May

Highlights: IDEAS collaborates with Soulpepper Theatre Company's audio drama series Around the World in 80 Plays; Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life; the fraught legacy of Alexander Graham Bell within the deaf community; and a cheerful defence of 'nihilism.'
IDEAS AFTERNOON

If a pill could ease your heartbreak or enhance your relationship, would you take it?

Love potions are the stuff of fiction, but in recent years, a field of research has emerged that is exploring how to use MDMA, antidepressants and other drugs to manipulate the neurological and hormonal processes related to falling in and out of love.

Think reading means you're smart? Think again

We tend to think that reading is a sign of intelligence, that we’re improved by it. But are our assumptions well-founded? Not really, according to an array of literary front-runners including Fran Lebowitz and Nick Hornby. Writer Barbara Nichol explores the assumptions we have about reading, readers and books in a three-part IDEAS series.

Saving Liberal Democracy: How the humanities can help humanity

Liberal democracy is in trouble. But the liberal arts — the humanities — can help save it, according to novelist and essayist Charlie Foran. He argues the humanities strengthen the defining dynamics of a vibrant democracy.
Audio

Around the World in 80 Plays

Theatre has a unique power to transport us. Around The World in 80 Plays is an audio drama series mounted by Soulpepper Theatre Company that takes listeners on a trip around the world. And CBC Radio's IDEAS will be your guide on that journey with its own radio documentaries exploring the cultural and historical context from these countries.

This play predicted Argentina's Dirty War — and has a chilling message for our own time

In her 1963 play about truth, lies and state violence, Griselda Gambaro predicted the dark period Argentina was hurtling towards. As part of a collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, we bring you inside a room where innocence doesn’t exist and even the walls themselves can’t be trusted.

How Jesus' foreskin became one of Christianity's most-coveted relics — and then disappeared

It's a relic deemed so taboo, the Vatican threatened excommunication to anyone who spoke of it. But for nearly 1,000 years before that, the 'holy foreskin' of Jesus Christ was widely considered to be the holiest of relics. IDEAS examines the story of an unlikely object of devotion.

Remembering Chernobyl 35 years later

On the night of April 26, 1986, a routine test at the RBMK #4 reactor in Chernobyl, Ukraine, went horribly wrong: in a fatal convergence of bad design and operator error, the reactor core overheated and exploded, scattering radioactive debris into the sky, from where it eventually spread over most of Europe.
IDEAS AFTERNOON

The ongoing search for the perfect climate change metaphor

Some people describe it as a war. To others, it’s a race. Maybe it’s a sickness that needs to be cured, or a puzzle that needs to be solved. There are a lot of metaphors for the fight against climate change, and picking the right one might be the key to making real progress.
Updated

Imprisoned Turkish journalist released after nearly five years in prison

Celebrated Turkish writer Ahmet Altan was freed on April 14, after international pressure helped secure his release. He’d spent four years and seven months in prison. This episode by IDEAS producer Mary Lynk recently won an Amnesty International Canada Media Award for outstanding human rights reporting. It first aired in June 2020.
Audio

Time Does Not Exist: Carlo Rovelli

In Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli's world, time does not exist. Nor, he argues, does it in our own world. We human beings, he suggests, may be the universe's only real time machine. Rovelli has spent years writing and lecturing about time, and a whole host of complex scientific conundrums — all in an effort to share the beauty he sees in uncertainty.
Audio

Around the World in 80 Plays

Theatre has a unique power to transport us. Around The World in 80 Plays is an audio drama series mounted by Soulpepper Theatre Company that takes listeners on a trip around the world. And CBC Radio's IDEAS will be your guide on that journey with its own radio documentaries exploring the cultural and historical context from these countries.

Around the World in 80 Plays: Indigenous theatre classic Moonlodge launches 'world tour'

IDEAS begins our series “Around the World in 80 Plays.” While international travel is on hold, Soulpepper Theatre Company is taking audiences across the globe with eight international audio plays. And IDEAS will be your travelling companion. Moonlodge is the first play of the series.

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