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Ben Spiller | 1623 Theatre Company

“Play On’s work is important because it unlocks Shakespeare, decodes the work and takes out the bumps in the road to understanding. It makes Shakespeare feel more contemporary because the work is in conversation with living playwrights who bring their voices into the mix. It’s a way in for those new to Shakespeare and it’s refreshing for those more familiar with the plays. The complete works have not been translated into modern English before and it’s very exciting.

More than half of the playwrights who have translated the plays are women and more than half are people of colour – diverse voices responding to Shakespeare. When the scripts are published, they will be invaluable to artists, educators, students and anyone with an interest in Shakespeare and new writing. The fact that these works are by playwrights with sensitivity to beat, rhythm and language – not only conveying meaning – makes them so much more vibrant than the study guide translations we already have. They will spark off productions, workshops and dissertations on the relationship between Shakespeare, living playwrights, contemporary artists and modern audiences.”

—Ben Spiller
Artistic Director | 1623 Theatre Company