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Catch up on what’s happening in the world of Shake 38. In this section, Rick shares interviews with the site’s contributors, stories from Shake 38 events taking place around the globe, and thoughts on what’s fascinating the team today.
In 2010 I created SHAKE 38 as an around-the-clock, urban Shakespeare marathon throughout the streets of St. Louis. I was tired of the assumptions about Shakespeare (he’s boring, old, confusing!) and wanted to re-imagine how his works could be created and shared. The premise was simple: make the play happen anyway you see fit. We called upon anyone to choose a play and a way to “perform” that play. Every hour-on-the-hour for 38 hours straight, my greyhound Luke and I found ourselves someplace new watching people engage with the Bard in a way that reflected them, their art, and their city. For some it was a traditional performance, but for others (and this is what we wanted!) it became an exercise in personal reflection and expression.
The Rogue Chefs, an underground dining group, created multi-course meals inspired by Henry V. A group of women in South City read Measure for Measure while they exercised at a gym; each time the scene changed they changed equipment. An independent bookstore that focuses on rare books engaged its surrounding residents in an all-day preparation of a meal; throughout the day neighbors stopped by to help with the meal for that evening that included a public reading of Titus Andronicus and a pig-roast! Professional artists and amateurs; from the very young to the very wise. We asked people, “What does this play mean to you? Now do it any way you see fit.”
Today SHAKE 38 includes more than 1,500 participants each year and has expanded to a five-day event throughout the city. On April 23, 2014, we will launch SHAKE38.com, a forum for people from around the world interested in provocative, timely ideas about William Shakespeare. We’re putting together a group of curators who will lead the conversation through a variety of posts. We’re looking for songwriters, theorists, illustrators, divas, fashionistas, photographers, chefs, politicians, provocateurs, designers, mathematicians, scholars, gamers, comic book writers, and “roles yet to be named.” SHAKE 38 is a global sharing of ideas and creations all inspired by William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare productions are at an all-time high around the world. His works resonate with every culture and with all ages. With new creative tools at our disposal, we want to see how Shakespeare’s works are conceived. Our inaugural class of “Regulars” (what we call curators) will help craft the tone and diversity of perspectives of people around the world engaging in the works of William Shakespeare.