Re-reading Shakespeare: Traditions and Innovation in understanding text

LED BY: Peter Hinton
DATES: JULY 22-26 | 2pm-6pm

This is a workshop for all theatre artists interested in re-inventing Shakespeare in contemporary performance. THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA and THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN are often noted to be Shakespeare’s first and final play, (the second being written in collaboration with John Fletcher). A comparative study provides the reader a survey of Shakespeare’s writing from the exuberant experimentation of a 26-year-old dramatist in the Elizabethan Renaissance to the recalcitrant and skeptical 50-year-old playwright, retiring in Jacobean England during the rise of Puritanism and social control. These two plays, often neglected as both too early or too late to warrant serious study, reveal a unique glimpse into a writer’s creative practice and draw our attention to ideas that prove to be modern, surprising and timely rather than timeless. Both plays explore the challenge of same-sex relationships in collision with the social demands of hetero-sexual love and marriage. In these plays the titular Kinsmen and Gentlemen, prove to be neither altogether gentle nor noble, and an array of powerful feminine and non-binary characters come into play with theatrical originality and force. Working from a discipline of textual analysis, comparative reading from social history, and an embodied scene study from both plays, this workshop aims at revealing a different perspective on Shakespeare; a collaborator, experimenter, innovator, provocateur and Queer playwright.

The workshop is for actors, directors, designers and playwrights and will welcome all perspectives and levels of experience.