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Brave New Shakespeare Challenge

"O WONDER! Brave New Shakespeare Challenge

How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O, brave new world
That has such people in it!"
The Tempest, Act 5, Scene 1

Brave New Shakespeare is a program of the Public Shakespeare Initiative that centers the individuals and communities of New York City as we navigate an ever-changing world with bravery, honesty, creativity, and a joyous commitment to each other.

Brave New Shakespeare is an invitation, a platform, and a resource for community, connection, and creation. It is a gathering place committed to transforming who gets to own, express themselves, and make meaning with the language of Shakespeare.

Brave New Shakespeare has four components: The Challenge, The Conversation, Community Voices, and The BNS Library.

The Challenge

Every other week, across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, we focus on a different passage or scene from Shakespeare and invite everyone to join in and create.

We kick things off by inviting members of The Public Theater community to record and share their interpretations of a passage or passages – and then IT’S UP TO YOU! Act out the passage, set it to music, dance to it, paint a picture, or translate it into your own words and language.

Be creative – we challenge you to be brave, have fun, and reimagine!

We'll post a new challenge every other Friday by 2pm ET

The Conversation

We gather artists, innovators, and teachers of all kinds for lively, informal discussions of how we can all make meaning with Shakespeare’s language, as well as the challenges of access and ownership that too often create false barriers between people and the dynamism, complexity, and richness of Shakespeare’s words and works. Listen to F. Murray Abraham, Linda Bove, and Okwui Okpokwasili discuss KING LEAR as expressed in English, ASL, and movement here.

Community Voices

Video creations in which the full range of the city’s, country’s, and world’s communities claim and transform the words of Shakespeare to express their own identities, emotions, concerns, and joys. See recent community creations here and here.

The Library

Our growing library of videos and conversations are here as a resource for everyone – at home, at rehearsal, or in the classroom. Let Phylicia Rashad, André Holland, Cynthia Nixon, Pedro Pascal, Alexandria Wailes, Francis Jue, Nikki James, Jimmy Smits, and dozens and dozens of other artists and community members help you get inspired, create, express yourself, and share!

Dive into the full range of wonderful past creations below.