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 fourth season, with an expanding universe of mini-series, short films and special projects.
This third season of Shakespeare Republic is our response to the global pandemic that began shutting down the world in March of 2020.
In March 2020, we began inviting actors from around the globe to submit a 1-2 minute Shakespeare monologue as a self-test audition (filmed on their phones at home). 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 by June we began filming the first block of episodes – with Republic Creator/Director, Sally McLean directing the actors live via Zoom as they recorded their episodes on their smartphones in their homes. The cast became their own crew, under Sally’s guidance, working across four different time zones and six different cities across the globe.
The season officially began streaming in August 2020 on 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 are available on Incognita Enterprises YouTube channel as well.
So what can you expect from this 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 continue to adhere 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