The 50/50 Shakespeare Project™ does not claim to artistically improve Shakespeare’s plays. The project aims to advance gender equity in the workplace of Shakespeare practitioners.
Our adaptations require careful reallocating of both lines and action to balance Shakespeare’s male and female narrative voices; we also adjust the gender identification of certain characters, always adhering to the structure of Elizabethan society; then we alter the power dynamics imbedded in the composition of the play to shift the status and responsibility of his women’s roles; and finally, we make sure to retain all his most famous lines – though perhaps they are spoken by someone new.
This approach to adaption allows theaters to adhere to modern-day practices of gender inclusion, without ill-considered cutting & pasting, knee-jerk re-gendering or cross-gendering solutions, or the optics-casting of a female in the role of Hamlet or Prospero, which generates only one job.
We always consult with leading academics to ensure our text is authentically in the spirit of Shakespeare's work so that producers can champion an equitable workplace without sacrificing the integrity of the playwright's intention.
"Bold and brilliant, exhilarating and experimental, Hamlet 50/50 gives us a wholly new and thrilling approach to gender equity in Shakespeare productions, transforming both process and reception for actors and audiences alike"
Professor Peter Holland;
Chair, International Shakespeare Association.