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U. Minnesota Students Plan Edgy Transgender Version of Shakespeare Play

U. Minnesota Students Plan Edgy Transgender Version of Shakespeare Play

“Shakespeare’s dead, we’re not”

In Shakespeare’s time, most of the female roles were played by male actors so this project isn’t actually edgy at all.

The College Fix reports:

Bucking the ‘cis-white-hetero-patriarchy,’ students inject transgenderism into Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s works are the most-performed plays in the entire world, and there has been no shortage of re-interpretations and re-imaginings of his stage dramas. One group of students, however, is giving one of Shakespeare’s plays a twist rarely seen on the stage, injecting “trans identity” into the play “Twelfth Night.”

At the Minnesota Fringe Festival—a nonprofit “with a mission to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences”—a group of students from the University of Minnesota is reinterpreting the play through the “lens” of “trans identity,” according to The Minnesota Daily.

“[The character of Viola] is very clearly trans to me,” [actor Henry Ellen] Sansone said. “I decided I wanted to explore [the play] through that lens.”

Sansone, who identifies as transgender, claims that “It’s almost always someone who’s cisgender playing that role…So it felt urgent, because that’s not a very visible lens in Shakespeare and the theater.”

Insisting that “Shakespeare’s dead, we’re not,” the students have committed to the “in no way mainstream” reading of the play. “I don’t care what Shakespeare’s original intention was,” Sansone says. “[L]et’s be real, we know 10 things about Shakespeare for certain.”


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Considering that men often played women in Shakespeare’s day, how “edgy” could this be?