Our translations have been produced by theater companies all over the world. As of 2022, we are proud to have partnered with 17 theater organizations and seven universities who have produced our translations to make Shakespeare more accessible to modern audiences. And we are thrilled that many of our translations are available to stream as a podcast on Play On Podcasts!
To learn more about our producing partners, visit our Produce a Play page.
To learn more about our educational partners, visit our Play On Method page.
Not yet! Play On Shakespeare aims to have all 39 of our translations produced—and we’re looking for new partners who are interested in producing the premieres of our translations!
If you’re interested in hearing which plays are available as premieres or want to know how to produce a play, visit this page.
Yes. The majority of our translations are available at ACMRS Press with the goal that all 39 of Shakespeare’s texts, including Edward III and The Two Noble Kinsmen, will be available in print.
Browse the site and order a copy of your favorite Shakespeare translation at ACMRS Press.
Yes! In 2021, Play On Shakespeare began its partnership with Next Chapter Podcasts to create the Play On Podcasts series. The series showcases the translated works of our playwrights, featuring original music composition and the voices of gifted artists.
In our first season, we released five podcasts: Migdalia Cruz’s Macbeth; Ellen McLaughlin’s Pericles, Jeff Whitty’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Sean San José’s Coriolanus; and Marcus Gardley’s King Lear.
More translations are available to listen to at Play On Podcasts. Subscribe today to start your audio adventure!
To learn more about Play On Podcasts, visit this page.
An adaptation is a version of a play that takes the concepts of the original play and puts your own spin on it. For example, the film Ten Things I Hate About You is a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Our translations, however, leave all of the given circumstances in Shakespeare’s original works while making the text more accessible to modern audiences. We aim to celebrate Shakespeare’s masterworks by learning as much as we can about them and by supporting our audience’s understanding of the language while hearing and watching the plays.
Our goal was never to reinvent the plays or make changes for their own sake. We ask our writers to take all the accepted given circumstances—character, story, action, etc.—and examine Shakespeare’s language line by line, applying the same kind of rigor and pressure that he did to his language. In fact, in all of our translations, about 80% of the original language is still intact. The original plays differ enough linguistically from one another that there is no option for cookie-cutter rules; every playwright must uphold meter, rhyme, rhythm, metaphor, rhetoric, and theme of the original play. While we do support adaptations of Shakespeare, our translations focus on accessibility rather than adaptation.
We believe that every age, while hewing close to Shakespeare’s original texts on one path, creates a parallel path of experimentation, exploration, and changing the language. Intrigued by this latter avenue, we want to support the great playwrights of our generation in transforming Shakespeare’s texts through their artistry into the language of our time.
Play On Shakespeare offers a variety of programming opportunities for teachers and classrooms. We work with both theaters and educational institutions to teach our Play On Method, explore charting exercises, and create a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s text in modern translation.
For instance, our Play On Shakespeare Master Class is an immersion program that leads to a full production. In this course, students take a deep dive into one of our translations and have the opportunity to work with leading professionals in the industry.
Click here to learn more about our educational and professional development programming.
The costs associated with producing a Play On Shakespeare translation, hosting a workshop, or joining an education program, vary based on circumstances. One thing to keep in mind is that, unlike Shakespeare’s works which are in the public domain, these translations have been written by living playwrights, which means licensing agreements and royalty fees must be considered. This also means that when you produce one of our plays, you are supporting contemporary artists and their work! Play On Shakespeare is here to answer any questions you may have about this and to help you set up for success.
Please fill out this perusal form and we can assist you with your financial questions.
Play On Shakespeare hopes to make Shakespeare’s works accessible to modern audiences, and that includes the opportunity to provide a new avenue for a wide variety of people to engage with these profound stories.
Of our 39 playwrights, the majority of our commissions were awarded to womxn and BIPOC playwrights. By ensuring a truly diverse set of collaborators, we not only address a history of exclusion in the field of Shakespeare production and practice, but we also end up having a far broader array of perspectives and experiences than have historically been present at these tables, leading to deeper and richer connections to the texts and the stories of the humans who inhabit them.
Additionally, accessibility is at the core of our mission and goals: to make Shakespeare accessible to all. We are thrilled to have worked with disability justice organizations such as Theater Breaking Through Barriers, which held a workshop exploring Taming of the Shrew through a disability lens. In 2021, we worked with The Apothetae on a virtual reading of Amy Freed’s Titus Andronicus, which featured an ensemble of d/Deaf, Disabled, and non-disabled actors. And we have commissioned an ASL version of Titus Andronicus, to be written by Howie Seago, Lezlie Cross, and Christine Albright-Tufts.
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