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Chicago Shakespeare readies hip-hop ‘Othello’ for London’s Globe

The interior Shakespeareís Globe Theatre where Chicago Shakespeare Theater joins 36 other international companies 2012 as part ìGlobe Globeî 37-play

The interior of Shakespeareís Globe Theatre, where Chicago Shakespeare Theater joins 36 other international companies in 2012 as part of ìGlobe to Globe,î a 37-play multi-lingual Shakespeare celebration for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Photo by John Tramper, courtesy of the Globe Theatre.

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Updated: November 11, 2011 2:48PM

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater has been named the only U.S. company to contribute to London’s “Globe to Globe” festival, a monumental undertaking presenting all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, each in a different language.

The Globe Theatre, built on the site where many of Shakespeare’s plays premiered, will host the festival over six weeks beginning April 12 as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Chicago’s contribution will be “Othello: The Remix,” a hip-hop version of “Othello” devised by the Q Brothers of Chicago, the pair who created the hit “Funk It Up About Nothin’” several years ago.

The production will be rehearsed here, opening May 5 at the Globe, and possibly become part of Chicago Shakespeare’s lineup following its London world premiere.

If not a full-blown language, hip-hop certainly qualifies as a dialect, and this “Othello” will be the only production performed in English. Among the other participants will be: National Theatre of China (“Richard III”), Belarus Free Theatre (“King Lear”), Dhaka Theatre of Bangladesh (“The Tempest”), Compania Nacional de Teatro Mexico (“Henry IV, Part I) and National Theatre of Greece (“Pericles”).

Tickets for the London production go on sale in October at

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