Virtual Exhibit

Canadian Adaptations

CASP Banner

The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project

Click the following links to access the Image Gallery and the Video Gallery

The Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project (CASP) gallery explores the myriad of Shakespearean adaptations and interpretations within the context of Canadian theatrical culture. Shakespearean adaptation in Canada dates back to pre-Confederation and has continued to exert cultural force through to the present day: CASP research has identified and catalogued well over 500 such adaptations done across multiple regions, communities, languages, and ethnicities in Canada alone. The multitude of productions and adaptive inventiveness present in this gallery demonstrates an astonishingly wide spectrum of artistic creation that reveals the complex relationship Canadians have with one of the most globalized iconic cultural figures to emerge in the last several hundred years. This relationship places Shakespeare in distinctly Canadian contexts, while affirming the evolution of Canada’s cultural heritage and situating it in multiple adaptive contexts that explore what it means to be “Canadian.”


CASPAdaptation is creative energy unleashed across a full spectrum of artistic possibility: from the most orthodox and conventional, the most slavish to the “original,” through to the most extreme and anarchic undoing in the name of artistic play and freedom.

In Canada, this is particularly evident in relation to Shakespearean adaptation, which dates back to pre-Confederation and continues on in the present in myriad forms. Shakespearean referents have permeated into all aspects of Canadian popular culture and into all manners of theatrical production, from classical theatre through to community, fringe, school, and semi-professional theatre. Shakespearean adaptation is everywhere evident in Canadian mainstream culture, from CBC television comedy, such as the Royal Canadian Air Farce, and Wayne and Shuster, to theatrical productions that invoke Canada’s multicultural realities or references to Shakespeare found in popular music. Low budget, fringe, and local community productions are of significance to the spectrum of adaptation because they stretch boundaries and conventions and experiment to a degree not generally seen in mainstream theatre. Examples of this genre-bending experimental approach to Shakespeare are evidenced in cowboy-themed dinner theatre Shakespeare (Rodeo and Julie-ed), R&B adaptations in Night Clubs (Denmark and Elsinore), and rave-based fringe productions (Romeo/Juliet Remixed).
CASP Video GalleryAdaptations have served as a vehicle to affirm mainstream stereotypical Canadian identity to both national and international audiences, evident in adaptations such as Ken Hudson’s hockey-based Henry V or Rick Moranis’s and Dave Thomas’s “hoser” Hamlet, Strange Brew. Additionally, adaptations in Canada have also served as a means to reclaim or affirm the identity and culture of minorities or oppressed groups, such as French-Canadians, First Nations peoples, and Afro-Canadians. Hamlet, Prince du Québec by Robert Gurik, Death of a Chief by Yvette Nolan, and Djanet Sears’s Harlem Duet are notable examples of Shakespearean adaptations in Canada that explore specific communities within a broader Canadian context.

Click the following links to access the Image Gallery and the Video Gallery

play canadian online casino games online casinos accept canadian players