Shakespeare's gifts to us are many: fact
Whilst this will always be true, the world today is very different from the world of his time. We believe that there is much more to Shakespeare than is immediately obvious from the legacy of his plays and poems.
Shakespeare was a genius, and people who love and admire his work show him an awful lot of respect. Sometimes so much respect that they, wrongly in our opinion, believe it's sacrilege to 'mess' about with his work. Our viewpoint is rather different. Time, the great healer, is also the great destroyer; it gets to us all, even Shakespeare.
Our belief is that over the hundreds of years that have passed, and the many hundreds of years yet to happen, the works themselves are in danger of becoming fossilised.
And not only would that would be a dreadful tragedy in itself, it would be doing his work, and people throughout time, a great disservice.
For us it is important to keep a grounded perspective on his achievements; Shakespeare is only a point (notwithstanding maybe the most significant point) in the continuum of human understanding and development. If the real significance of Shakespeare is to be fully explored, it is imperative that we keep alive the tradition by creating new work out of his processes and his own body of work.
It’s not been easy trying to get inside the mind of this most incredible genius of words, yet our journey over 20 years ago has been exhilarating, to say the least.
Originally set up as The Shakespeare Bones Project, in 2013 we expanded our approach to become the alternativeShakespeare Collaboration.
Our focus is on Shakespeare's life and work, BUT also the work that has come out of those, both to date and to come. To that end our work centres around:
Understanding what, how, and why Shakespeare achieved what he did, and also what his work has directly or indirectly inspired since his death
Helping to displace Shakespeare from the popular view as the apex and focal point of human understanding and development, preferring instead to see him as the most significant point to date of that ongoing process
Learning as much as possible about the human condition by seeing his plays and poems not just as great works of literature but, more importantly, as phenomenal repositories of knowledge, insights, and guides to the human condition
Recognising that his real benefit to us is in many ways still to be fully realised, by discovering in his works the raw material (words, language, themes, characters, ideas etc) that may yet be further worked upon or developed in new ways
Applying the many changes, discoveries, and limitations in society and knowledge that have come to pass since Shakespeare's time, so that his work can be better put into a contextual perspective
Creating and curating new works that perpetuate this continuum tradition and which are directly or indirectly inspired by, or come out of, his work.