Created by Australian actor, Sally McLean in 2015, Shakespeare Republic is an internationally award-winning, female-led and culturally diverse anthology series produced by Incognita Enterprises that celebrates not just the world’s greatest playwright, but also his insightful understanding of the big issues of his time. Insights that still hold relevance today and form the basis for a truly diverse, inventive and epic journey into the nature of being human.
Built on the premise of taking a selection of Shakespeare pieces and making them more accessible to modern audiences by setting each piece in a contemporary situation, while playing with gender and embracing diversity, the series is now moving into it’s third official season, with an expanding universe of mini-series, short films and special projects.
This new stand-alone season of Shakespeare Republic is our response to the global pandemic that began shutting down the world in March of 2020 and still sees parts of the world in lockdown, waiting for the virus to run it’s course (or until we get a vaccine).
In March 2020, we began inviting actors from around the globe to submit a 1-2 minute Shakespeare monologue as a self-test (filmed on their phones at home), to be considered for inclusion in this once-off stand alone season of the series. We realised, for the first time, that we could truly take this work global – one of the silver linings of this situation – and what better way to celebrate our 5th Birthday year than to challenge ourselves with this new way of filming with actors all over the world?
As of early April, rehearsals with the first round of actors had begun and we will soon be filming the first block of episodes – directed by Republic Creator/Director, Sally McLean with the actors being advised by our various Heads of Departments – all done remotely via the Internet.
As each episode is filmed, edited and completed, it will be uploaded onto the Shakespeare Republic Facebook Page and showcased here on the official site – available for free for the world to see. All teasers and behind the scenes videos will be made available on Incognita Enterprises YouTube channel as well.
So what can you expect from this special season? Well, with previous episodes featuring Hamlet as Media Advisor to a Government Minister, Juliet as one half of a same-sex couple in a Skype conversation, Phebe as an entitled Gen Y drunk texting, Macbeth as a politician about to metaphorically knife an opponent, a female Hamlet weary from the corporate cut and thrust, a performance of Sonnet 18 as a eulogy, Viola as inner-Melbourne hipster, Jaques as a melancholic barfly, Katherina as an ambitious politician’s wife, Henry V as a member of a laser strike team – and everything in-between – anything is possible!
What we can tell you is that we will still be adhering to our simple manifesto –
Shakespeare Republic’s mission is:
TO ENGAGE NEW AUDIENCES with Shakespeare’s works through the use of “bite-sized” pieces of text, that reduce the anxiety many feel around attending a full Shakespeare play, thereby introducing new audiences to the work who might not otherwise engage;
TO EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN MODERN AUDIENCES ABOUT THEIR WORLD using Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre text; and
CHALLENGE THE CONCEPT OF “TRADITIONAL” SHAKESPEARE, while still remaining true to his original text.
We hope you enjoy the ride!
For more about the main series, visit the official site here: http://www.shakespearerepublic.com