I’m not a huge fan of the olympics. Countries competing against each other to see who is the best?! Isn’t that what we have wars for? For years, I’ve been trying to garner support for my World Party concept. The World Party would be a place and time when representatives from different countries come together to celebrate cultural differences. Finally, London IS calling. And this world party kicks off on William Shakespeare’s birthday.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London presents the Globe to Globe Festival, April 23rd - June 10th. This 2012 Cultural Olympiad will feature all 37 plays of Shakespeare’s performed by 37 different international companies in 37 different languages. Among the selected countries, Team USA is being represented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Chicago Shakes will be producing OTHELLO: THE REMIX in the language of hip hop. The world premiere is being devised by the Q Brothers in collaboration with CST Creative Producer Rick Boynton.
Each country will have two performances of their show. The Shakespeare Globe Theatre is an open air arena. The audience seats are covered. But the *show must go on* no matter what the weather brings. Ticket packages are available. The entire 37 play festival can be enjoyed standing for 100lbs (about $150). Here’s the line up, in sequential order, to get your ethnic palette drooling...
“Venus & Adonis” - Isango Ensemble, Cape Town
“Troilus & Cressida” - Ngakau Toa, Auckland
“Measure for Measure” - Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow
“The Merry Wives of Windsor” - Bitter Pill, Nairobi
“Pericles” - National Theatre of Greece, Athens
“Twelfth Night” - Company Theatre, Mumbai
“Richard III” - National Theatre of China, Beijing
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” - Yohangza Theatre Company, Seoul
“Julius Caesar” - I Termini Co Benvenuti/Lungta Production, Teatro di Roma, Rome
“Cymbeline” - The South Sudan Theatre Company, Juba
“Titus Andronicus” - Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio, Hong Kong
“Richard II” - Ashtar Theatre, Ramallah
“Othello” - Q Brothers, Chicago Shakespeare Thtr, Richard Jordan Prods, Chicago
“The Tempest” - Dhaka Theatre, Dhaka
“MacBeth” - Teatr im. Kochanowskiego, Opole
“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” - Two Gents Productions, Harare/London
“Henry VI: Part I” - National Theatre in Association with Laza Kostic Fund, Belgrade
“Henry VI: Part II” - National Theatre of Albania, Tirana
“Henry VI: Part III” - National Theatre of Bitola, Bitola
“Henry IV: Part I” - Compana Nacional de Teatro, Mexico City
“Henry IV: Part II” - Elkafka Espacio Teatral, Buenos Aires
“King John” - Gabriel Sundukyan, National Academic Theatre, Yerevan
“King Lear” - Belarus Free Theatre, Minsk
“As You Like It” - Marjanishvili Theatre, Tbilsi
“Romeo & Juliet” - Grupo Galpao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
“Coriolanus” - Chiten, Kyoto
“Love’s Labour’s Lost” - Deafinitely Theatre, London
“All’s Well That Ends Well” - Arpana, Mumbai
“The Winter’s Tale” - Renegade Theatre, Lagos
“The Taming of the Shrew” - Theatre Wallay, Lahore
“Antony & Cleopatra” - Oyun Atolyesi, Istanbul
“The Merchant of Venice” - Habima National Theatre, Tel Aviv
“Henry VIII” - Rakata, Madrid
“The Comedy of Errors” - Roy-e-Sabs, Kabul
“Timon of Athens” - Bremer Shakespeare Company, Bremen
“Much Ado About Nothing” - Compagnie Hypermobile, Paris
“Hamlet” - Meno Fortas, Vilnius
“Henry V” - Shakespeare’s Globe, London
In preparation for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is hosting a delegation of leaders from Shakespeare festivals across Europe. The week, the world has come to Chicago! The cultural faction has representatives from Romania, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Hungary and the United Kingdom. The group will enjoy the three shows currently playing at Chicago Shakes: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Feast,” and “Short Shakes: Taming of a Shrew.” In addition, the touring assembly will also participate in activities at other Chicago cultural institutions, including; Newberry Library and Harris Dance Theatre.
The 2012 Cultural Olympiad is a once in a lifetime experience. I thought seeing the Ring Cycle over four days was a coordinated masterpiece by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. All of Shakespeare’s works performed by 37 different international companies in 37 different languages over 6 weeks. That is something to marvel and celebrate. The Globe to Globe project IS exactly the World Party that I’ve dreamt of. Now to just get there...
SIDENOTE: I am going to London, March 8th through 12th. Check back to read about my London adventure on the UK theatre scene.