Isaac Butler is a writer and theater director, most recently of The Trump Card, a meditation on the peculiar rise of Donald Trump with the solo performer Mike Daisey. Butler also wrote and directed Real Enemies, a collaboration with the composer Darcy James Argue and the video artist Peter Nigrini, which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and named one of the top ten live events of 2015 by the New York Times. He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Minnesota, and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, Slate, American Theatre, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other publications.
On this week’s episode, Steve, Dana, and Julia are joined by New Yorker staff writer Doreen St. Félix to talk about I May Destroy You. Then, Steve and Dana are joined by Isaac Butler, writer and co-host of this season of Slate’s Working podcast, to discuss the filmed version of Hamilton, now streaming on Disney Plus. Finally, the panel dives into Julia’s comfort-watch pick of the week: the 1996 disaster film Twister.In Slate Plus, the hosts continue to talk with Isaac about Hamilton, its ending, its significance in 2020, and more.Podcast production by Cameron Drews. Production assistance by Rachael Allen.Outro Music: Smartface by SmartfaceEndorsementsDana: Scott Brick’s narration of Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton.Julia: The movie Dave.Steve: “Wanting Wrong” by Anne Enright in the New York Review of Books.Slate Plus members get a bonus segment on the Culture Gabfest each episode, and access to exclusive shows like Dana Stevens’ classic movies podcast Flashback. Sign up now to listen and support our work.
On this week’s episode: Dan and Jamilah are joined by Isaac Butler to answer a question from a mom trying to make up for a verbal slip in a moment of frustration. And we have a question from a mom who wants to fend off family pressure to baptize her child. For Slate Plus: a mini Mom and Dad are Fighting reunion! Dan talks to Allison Benedikt about her adventure taking Sam to the Westminster Dog Show. Sign up for Slate Plus here.Recommendations: Dan recommends Every Kid Outdoors, a program that allows 4th graders to get into all federal lands for free. Jamilah recommends Harlem's Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson and Christian Robinson. Isaac recommends digging into the Sondheim back catalogue, specifically Company, with your kids. Join us on Facebook and email us at to tell us what you thought of today’s show and give us ideas for what we should talk about in future episodes. Got questions that you’d like us to answer? Call and leave us a message at 424-255-7833. Podcast produced by Rosemary Belson.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
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The first season's tragic structure comes into focus in the finale, "Nobody Is Ever Missing". For this pivotal episode, Gabi and Brendan are joined by expert guest Isaac Butler, who speaks on the show's relationship to Shakespeare. live theatre, and the poetry of John Berryman. Isaac Butler is a writer, director, and the host of Slate's Lend Me Your Ears podcast. He is a co-author of The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America, and is currently at work on a book about method acting. Follow him on Twitter at @parabasis.
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Creator Details

Episode Count
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17 hours, 43 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 965853