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  • 1.  Adaptations

    Posted 11-04-2016 08:04
    I'm looking for a really good Shakespearean (preferably comedy) play adapted to modern language. All the adaptations I'm seeing are either just cuttings or, if they are modern language, are parodies. I'm currently looking at Orson Scott Card's adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, but wanted to get others' input and suggestions. 

  • 2.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-05-2016 10:05
    Hello! If you have a little time to wait, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is in the process of reworking/adapting and modernizing all of the Shakespeare works. They have hired many playwrights and dramaturge artists for this project. I do not know the exact publication date but it is very soon.

    Warren Kerr - Theatre Arts
    Auburn H.S. 🎭

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 3.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-05-2016 10:27

    What not use the originals? I'm trying not to be too much of a purist but I"ve never seen an "adaptation" of a Shakespeare play that did not insult the audience's intelligence. I've taught the text to ages from 4th grade to high school and the best production I ever did was Macbeth with 7th graders. I still look at the video and marvel.

    John Perry
    Drama Instructor
    Atherton High School
    Louisville KY

  • 4.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-06-2016 13:52

    I always make cuttings to Shakespeare's work.  To me that's part of the directing research process.  But I'm not sure if folks consider that adapting the work or no.  We're still saying much of the original text, just making choices about what works for us.

    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC

  • 5.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-07-2016 08:12

    I would love to do the originals and tried a few years back. But my current crop of students has trouble learning lines if they are not written in a way they follows their natural speech patterns as it is. I can't imagine trying to get them to learn Shakespearean dialogue. Plus I've heard that I have several students interested in auditioning who have not done theater with me before.  I always end up with a few seniors who want to do something different before they graduate to have the experience. So I'm looking for something with a large cast, and Shakespeare seems to fit that bill. 

    But I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence. That's why I'm asking for suggestions. 

    Christina Iman
    Ripley WV

  • 6.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-08-2016 06:37
    How about Ken Ludwig's Midsummer in Jersey?

    Sent from my iPad

  • 7.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-08-2016 06:39
    Or try Rough Magic, written by one of the writers of Glee (a playwright first). It's about a woman who can read characters out of books, and The Tempest characters do, with surprising results.

    Sent from my iPad

  • 8.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-10-2016 10:22
    I just finished my fourth production of Shakespeare in 12 years, at the high school level.

    In each case, I made what I deemed to be minimal adjustments to the script so that the cast (and the audience) could understand the plot. The casts' interp and blocking conveyed the rest of the meaning. No, the audience didn't get it all. But they got it well enough to enjoy it thoroughly.

    In adjusting lines, I did my best to keep the rhyme, and the rhythm. The task was complex and time-consuming, but well worth it. It helps that I have taught  several different Shakespearean plays to all ages of (14-18) for many years.

    I hope that helps.

    Michael Corliss
    Livonia Stevenson H.S.
    Livonia, MI

  • 9.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-06-2016 06:42

    My history class and I abridged and translated Much Ado About Nothing a few years ago. As we shorted it to about an hour, it requires a narrator. Let Me know if you're interested.

    Sheryl Davis
    Secondary Language Arts/Drama Director
    Sanford NC

  • 10.  RE: Adaptations

    Posted 11-10-2016 12:46

    I would also say to do the original versions. Yes, the language is difficult. You will need to build in more time into your rehearsal schedule to give them more time to grapple with the language, but they can and will succeed. To be honest, the rhythm of the iambic pentameter can be helpful in memorization, if they learn how that works. My first year at my school, we did Macbeth. A lot of students were very hesitant going in, and it definitely was a struggle in the beginning. But we worked at it, and worked at it, and in the end, the language wasn't a problem.

    Christopher Hamilton
    Drama Teacher
    Kennewick WA