A Shakespeare Festival Presents Modern Translations. Cue the Debate (Again).


Four years in the past, the information that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival had commissioned fashionable English “translations” of all of Shakespeare’s performs drew headlines, and no small alarm, from purists who noticed it as a type of literary vandalism.

Now, the public can have an opportunity to evaluate the full fruits of the effort for itself.

The Play On! Festival, to be held at Classic Stage Company in New York from May 29 to June 30, will function readings of all 39 translations. While some have beforehand had public readings, and even full productions, that is the first time the full Shakespeare canon shall be introduced.

[Read extra about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s challenge.]

The objective of the challenge, Lue Morgan Douthit, the longtime head of dramaturgy and literary growth at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, defined at the time, was to not “improve” or junk Shakespeare’s language, however to problem a various group of playwrights to have interaction deeply with it, line by line.

More than half of the playwrights — who embrace Marcus Gardley (“King Lear”), Ellen McLaughlin (“Pericles”), Lloyd Suh (“Henry V”) and Mfoniso Udofia (“Othello”) — are ladies or folks of colour. They have been charged with contemplating meter, rhyme and rhythm, and conveying Shakespeare’s meanings and metaphors in accessible and modern (however not slang-y) English. The first rule was “Do no harm.”

“It has been an interesting couple of years for some of the writers — at least six of them are deeply engaged in writing for television,” she said. “That will certainly affect their playwriting too, I suspect.”

She added, “One of the most moving aspects of the project has been watching playwrights and actors dive into the machinations of these large scale plays.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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