Go Deeper Fringe Festival 2016 Spotlight: Messing with Shakespeare

Fringe Festival 2016 Spotlight: Messing with Shakespeare

Posted August 25th, 2016

Drawing inspiration from the immortal works of the Bard of Avon, these shows provide fresh interpretations for the well trodden material. If you’re looking for unique perspectives on some of Shakespeare’s classics, be sure to check them out!


(photo by Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez)

Bedlam: Shakespeare in Rehab @ St. John the Baptist Church
Manayunk Theatre Company

Bedlam: Shakespeare in Rehab takes everything you know about classic theater and turns it on its head. Shakespearean Heroines are ripped out of their respective stories and thrown into a haunting, run down institution. Characters and audience alike are immersed in a world of mental health. More info and tickets here.

omeletto body

(photo by Oreste Montebello)

Omeletto: Like Hamlet, Only Scrambled @ Liberty Lands Park
Ombelico Mask Ensemble

Told through the lens of commedia dell’rte, the story of Hamlet gets a deconstructed re-imagining that only Ombelico Mask Ensemble can deliver. Come and see your favorite commedia characters’ (Arlecchino, Pantelone, Capitano, and the rest) take on the Bard. Performed in English, Italian, and French. More info and tickets here.

ophelia fringe


Drowning Ophelia @ The Iron Factory
Ensemble Atria and EagerRisk Theater

Jane doesn’t know what to do with the literary character who has taken up residence in her bathtub. She doesn’t want Ophelia interrupting the obsessive order of her life with obnoxious songs. Ophelia doesn’t care about what Jane wants, only what she needs. But, how do you move on when reconciliation is not an option? More info and tickets here.



Shakespeare at the Bar: The Taming of the Shrew @ City Tap House
Margo Jones Syndicate

Fire up your Tinder profile (seriously) and get ready for Shakespeare @ the Bar, a no‐holds‐barred experience of Shakespeare like no other in Philadelphia! Grab a beer at City Tap House (3925 Walnut St.) and drink in The Taming of the Shrew! This lightly rehearsed production of the Bard’s most irreverent romantic comedy exposes one man’s lusty, raucous scheme to “take one for the team” and get filthy rich in the process!



(photo by Luca Del Pia)

Julius Caesar. Spared Parts @ The Navy Yard, Building 694
Romeo Castellucci / Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio

Famed Italian director Romeo Castellucci re-envisions his groundbreaking 1997 production Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) as a series of “fragments” rearranged and positioned against each other—a clash between the ethereal and the obscure, the power of rhetoric and language stripped to its source. A Julius Caesar who “speaks” only through gestures—an old Caesar, no longer possessing power, his gestures move the air and produce a sound. Mark Anthony’s funeral oration delivered by a man without vocal chords, whose voice is produced solely from his stomach and esophagus. A third actor delivers a dialogue on the state of Rome, an endoscope inserted through his nostrils so the audience can see his vocal chords vibrating in real time. In life, in theater, what do words hide, where does their power emerge from? More info and tickets here.

King John


King John @ Hawthorne Park
Revolution Shakespeare

Intrigue. Murder. War. This King John is set in a future after the collapse of civilization. A corrupt ruling class, after seizing power, finds itself embroiled in a vicious struggle for total dominance. With political relevancy that mirrors our own time, King John asks “Where do you stand?” More info and tickets here.


MACBETH (Owen Metsileng) and LADY MACBETH (Nobulumko Mngxekeza) - photo by BRETT BAILEY & MORNE VAN ZYL

(photo by Brett Bailey & Morne Van Zyl)


Macbeth @ Prince Theater
Third World Bunfight

In a country of multinational double-dealings, ethnic conflict, ruthless militia, blood minerals, and glittering Chinese imports, a warlord, General Macbeth, and his ambitious wife murder the king and unleash atrocities on the crumbling province that they seize. Set in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Macbeth uses the Verdi opera (condensed to 100 minutes and infused with African rhythms) to bring themes of greed, tyranny, and corruption in postcolonial Africa to the stage. More info and tickets here.