global shakespeares

Prerequisites: None

Load: 8 2-hour sessions over 2 weeks

Time Outside Class: 1-2 hours/day reading and rehearsing lines

Why is Shakespeare’s drama being performed 400 years after his death, in cultures and languages so different from his own?  We will explore modern cinematic and theatrical collaborations with Shakespeare from around the globe, using an online library of films and clips to enrich our understanding.  Then we will bring our own interpretations to life through group performance work. Core texts will be The Tempest and King Lear.

No experience with Shakespeare or performance required: just a willingness to participate and learn! 

This course teaches Shakespeare in a totally different way. We looked at different adaptations of Shakespeare’s play: Hamlet and The Tempest, and did some comparisons of how the directors made certain decisions on the way the storyline is carried out. Apart from adaptations, we also were exposed to spin-offs of these plays from different cultures, namely Middle Eastern and Chinese. At the end of the course, we chose one extract from The Tempest and acted it out in front of the class. Overall, the class was eye-opening and engaging!
— Clifford Kosasih, SWAP 2015

This class draws on a large project at MIT that archives global performances of Shakespeare's work. See the site here: