Is Shakespeare a universal language? England's famed Globe Theatre is celebrating the bard's birth by staging all 37 Shakespearean dramas presented by 37 international companies in 37 languages. The six-week program, Globe to Globe, begins April 23, 2012, and will also include Shakespeare's poem "Venus and Adonis,'' which will be performed in IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, SeSotha, Setswana, Afrikaans, and South African English.
Among the companies taking part are the National Theatre of China, performing "Richard III''; Afghanistan's Roy-e-Sabs staging "The Comedy of Errors''; and a specially formed theater company from South Sudan presenting "Cymbeline.'' The national theaters of Serbia, Albania, and Macedonia will stage a "Balkan Trilogy–Henry VI''. Other highlights include London's Deafinitely Theatre signing "Love's Labor Lost''; the Chicago Shakespeare Theater performing a hip-hop version of "Othello''; Belarus Free Theatre performing "King Lear,'' and Rawiri Paraten's New Zealand company's Maori-accented version of "Troilus and Cressida.''
In a nod to the the London 2012 Olympics, the Globe is offering athletic-themed ticket pricing, with special rates for those engaging in a biathlon, triathlon, pentathlon, heptathlon, decathlon, and marathon viewings, and even an Olympian ticket for anyone seeing all 37 productions. Tickets are available online and range from approximately $8-56.