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Dude, how might 'Hamlet' speak today?


If phrases like "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" make your eyes glaze over, you may have concluded Shakespeare plays are not for you. But the same play with more modern words might entice a few more people into the Shakespeare fold.

That is the essence of Play On Shakespeare, a long-term project to rework the works of Shakespeare in today's vocabulary. The latest work to emerge is a modern-verse translation of "Hamlet" by the theater company UNIVERSES, which presented several works at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Ashland New Plays Festival presents selected scenes from the new translation, onstage at Southern Oregon University this weekend (June 1-2). We get a preview in a visit from ANPF Artistic Director of Ashland New Plays Festival Jackie Apodaca and Steven Sapp, co-founder of UNIVERSES, and Lue Douthit from Play On Shakespeare.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.