About this project
We've reached our original goal, and now we're on to the next one. If we can hit $2,000 total by our deadline, we can add pay for the cast and crew to our budget. Please keep spreading the word about Shaking Spears. We've come this far. Let's keep going!
Celebrated English playwright and poet William Shakespeare penned 10 histories, 10 tragedies, 18 comedies...and zero musicals.
We've taken four of the bard's most famous tragedies (you know, the ones you read in high school) and combined them with the music of pop princess Britney Spears to create a musical comedy with just the right balance of class and crass. Just the way Shakespeare would have liked it.
Our funding goal of $1,000 will pay for performance space, the incentives we've offered, and maybe a few props. Additional funding will go toward rehearsal space, costumes, and compensation for the cast and crew.
Thank you for your support. As William Shakespeare might have said: Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Pledge thy money to a Kickstarter project.
The T-shirt is being designed as we speak. Full disclosure: It didn't occur to me that people would be that excited about the T-shirt option, so I didn't even think about having a design in place before we launched the campaign. We've got a crack design team working on it, so keep checking back. I'll be sure to post an update once it's finalized.
Why not? People have been parodying William Shakespeare for ages, maybe even since his own time. His stories are timeless and easily shaped. And Britney, besides having a last name that is conveniently close to the Bard's, sings about timeless themes. Her music is fun. And even if you aren't a pop music fan, we think you'll enjoy the humorous way we've combined the stories and music.
You don't have to like them both to enjoy this show. You don't even have to know much about both. The writer chose the plays and songs based on the chance that the average audience member would be familiar with them. There are a few Shakespeare- and Britney-specific jokes for the connoisseurs, but no one will get lost if they miss one. And for those who really dislike one element or the other, the Shakespearean text is rewritten, and the songs are tweaked and shortened, making both words and music palatable for all.
Last year, the writer of the show was chatting with a director friend who mentioned how much he liked the concept of the mash-up musical: a well-known story from one source combined with well-known music from another source. Other groups in Chicago have done this type of show with great success, and he thought it would be fun to be involved in one. The writer (a writer and editor by trade as well as passion) thought, well, that can't be so hard. She invited some actor friends over to read the first draft and was pleasantly surprised when, afterward, they asked when opening night would be. And kept asking. So a few months later, she set out to find a venue, found one, and here we are!
William Shakespeare's works are in the public domain, so they're fair game. The music of Britney Spears is copyright protected. Licensing for live performance is based on seating in the venue (a 10,000 seat arena wouldn't get the same treatment a little 75-seat theatre like ours would get), and our venue, host to various groups, has made the necessary arrangements with the licensing bodies. So we're covered for the show. We are not covered, however, for other use of the music. This is why none of our promotional materials contain Britney's music or lyrics and why we are not offering recordings of the show or the music as pledge incentives.
Mostly yes. If you'd like a T-shirt as an incentive gift, send us a message before you pledge and tell us your city and country and how much you plan to pledge. We'll look into shipping costs from here to there and let you know if it makes financial sense for us to ship to you.
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