Claiming the right to the language of Shakespeare and the power that it represents in our culture, this collection of Anglophone Canadian adaptations manages to talk back to that authority in some surprising ways. From an adaptation of Hamlet that draws from the plays Viking origins to a rettelling of Othello in modern-day Harlem, the plays published here all serve as examples of different ways in which Canadian playwrights have addressed the strange doubleness and rejecting, citing, and rewriting, declaring Shakespeare as their own.
Cruel Tears by Ken Mitchell and Humphrey & the Dumptrucks
Claudius by Ken Gass
Mad Boy Chronicle by Michael O’Brien
Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears
Shakespeare’s Will by Vern Thiessen
Death of a Chief by Yvette Nolan and Kennedy C. MacKinnon
Ric Knowles is of anglo-Scottish heritage, and is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph, editor of Canadian Theatre Review, and past editor of Modern Drama (1999–2005). He is author of The Theatre of Form and the Production of Meaning, Shakespeare and Canada, and Reading the Material Theatre, co-author (with the Cultural Memory Group) of Remembering Women Murdered by Men, editor of Theatre in Atlantic Canada, Judith Thompson, and The Masks of Judith Thompson, and co-editor (with Joanne Tompkins and W.B. Worthen) of Modern Drama: Defining the Field. He is General Editor of the book series Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English and New Essays on Canadian Theatre from Playwrights Canada Press.