The Tempest, IN SPACE!

It is fascinating how versatile the plays of Shakespeare are. There have been thousands of different interpretations and adaptions of his works over time and the fact that we are still coming up with new ways to present his plays hundreds of years later proves their flexibility. Put Romeo and Juliet in modern NYC and throw in some dance numbers and you have West Side Story. Put some beats behind a Shakespearean sonnet and suddenly it’s a rap, as done by the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company. Put The Taming of the Shrew in a sitcom and you have the flop of a show 10 Things I Hate About You. Shakespeare’s plays can be presented in any time in any location and still have the same effect. This is especially true with The Tempest because of the ambiguity about the location and time intended. I would like to see an adaption of The Tempest where it takes place in space. Even that would make sense. And space colonization may soon become a reality so it’s not that far fetched. The character of Caliban could easily be an alien and the island could easily be Mars where the human race is trying to claim the planet that Caliban calls home. This is not something that can be pulled off with all theater productions. For instance, the musical Oklahoma probably wouldn’t make sense being put on Mars because of the specificity of location. Shakespeare’s use of ambiguity has made his works relevant for hundreds of years and I don’t see people losing interest for a long, long time.

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