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The trials of being 'Mary Queen of Scots'

Director Josie Rourke, left, on the set of
Director Josie Rourke, left, on the set of "Mary Queen of Scots."

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On today's show:

It Wasn't Easy Being The Queen

(Starts at 8:30)

The new film, "Mary Queen of Scots," reconsiders the story of the Scottish monarch who reigned some 400 years ago. As director Josie Rourke put it when she spoke with John Horn, Mary was "slut-shamed," but Rourke saw her differently. The director worked with screenwriter Beau Willimon to craft a story based on the John Guy book, "Queen of Scots: The True Story of Mary Stuart." It's a story that puts Mary's life and her relationship with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I (played, respectively, by Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie), into the context of misogyny and religious prejudice of the day. As a theater director in London, Rourke has overseen all-female productions of Shakespeare plays. For this film, which is her first feature, she continues her mission to reconsider history through a modern perspective on gender, power and sexuality.

Salonen set to return to the podium

(Starts at 1:00)

When Esa-Pekka Salonen stepped down as music director of the L.A. Philharmonic in 2009, he said he wanted to devote his time to composing music. Now, in a surprise move, Salonen will succeed Michael Tilson Thomas at the San Francisco Symphony. San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman talks with John about the surprise appointment.

String Theory

(Starts at 19:30)

Fifty years ago, jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby recorded an album called “Afro Harping.” The album became well known in hip-hop circles after J Dilla, Pete Rock, Madlib and others sampled it. Ashby pioneered the use of harp in jazz and pop, a legacy that is continued today by Brandee Younger. She has collaborated with the likes of Moses Sumney, Ravi Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Lauryn Hill, and worked to reintroduce modern audiences to Ashby’s music. Younger and retired harpist, Sarah Lawrence, discuss Ashby’s legacy with Frame producer Jonathan Shifflett. They tell the story of how Lawrence came to own Dorothy Ashby’s harp.