Mail Tribune

A fresh take on ‘Julius Caesar’

By Edwin Battistella for the Mail Tribune | Jul 10, 2017 12:00 AM

Last Sunday afternoon in the intimate setting of Ashland High School’s Mountain Avenue Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival had a special treat for theater lovers.

A dozen OSF actors took the stage against a simple black curtain background. Sitting in comfortable chairs in front of music stands, they read the first draft of writer Shishir Kurup’s new translation of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” The reading was part of OSF’s innovative “Play on!” initiative. “Play on!” brings together contemporary playwrights and theater scholars — dramaturgs, as they are called — to translate all 39 plays in Shakespeare’s canon into modern poetic language.