Shakespeare Reimagined

Bringing His Stories to the Screen

A Digital Series

In partnership with the Coolidge Corner Theatre

Hosted by Coolidge Corner Theatre

The plays of Shakespeare have been translated into more than one hundred languages, and his timeless stories have inspired great works in many art forms. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and the Coolidge Corner Theatre are teaming up to take an in-depth look at how some filmmakers have reimagined Shakespeare’s work to create compelling cinema that is as relevant today as it was four hundred years ago. Each event will include a live discussion with experts on film and theater, which will take place via Zoom.

Admission for each event in the series is $10.00 and includes a link to the live Zoom discussion (which will run approximately 60 minutes). Please note: the Coolidge and CSC are not able to provide direct links to the films, but patrons can find out where to rent and/or stream them here.

Patrons are urged to register a week or more in advance so they have ample time to view the film before the discussion session. Please be sure to register for each individual event in the series you are interested in attending:

Past events in the series include the following films:

Ran: Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 8:00 p.m. EST

Ran is a 1985 reimagining of the story of King Lear, directed by renowned Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, in which he reimagines Shakespeare’s King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa’s late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.  

The event will feature a discussion with award-winning actor Will Lyman, who starred in CSC’s production of King Lear in 2015, and Peter Grilli, President Emeritus of The Japan Society of Boston and a well-known specialist on Japanese history and culture. The discussion will be moderated by Wellesley Professor and Shakespeare scholar Yu Jin Ko.  

10 Things I Hate About You: Wednesday, February 17, 8:00 p.m. EST 

10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 makeover of The Taming of the Shrew, a sharp-witted romantic comedy directed by Gil Junger, that launched the careers of Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. New kid in school Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is smitten with the beautiful Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). The problem is that Bianca isn’t allowed to date unless her surly older sister Kat (Stiles) does. Cameron’s only hope is to enlist the help of Patrick (Ledger), the school troublemaker with a reputation as nasty as Kat’s. Will Patrick and Kat find true love, or will she find more than ten things she hates about him? 

The discussion will be moderated by journalist and best-selling author Anita Diamant, with panelists: author and playwright Tina Packer, Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company, and author and critic Molly Haskell.    

Maqbool: Wednesday, March 17, 8:00 p.m. EST 

Maqbool, a 2004 Indian crime drama directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The Mumbai criminal underworld stands in for the rugged terrain of Scotland in this critically acclaimed adaptation of Macbeth, starring the internationally renowned actor Irrfan Khan (A Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, The Namesake), with Pankaj Kapur, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah, and Om Puri. This classic tale of greed and ambition premiered at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Panelists include Devika Girish, a film, culture, and political writer; and Tanuj Chopra, a writer/director and showrunner for the Netflix series Delhi Crime. The discussion will be moderated by Wellesley Professor and Shakespeare scholar Yu Jin Ko.

Orlando: Wednesday, April 14,  8:00 p.m. EST 

Orlando a 1992 film based on Virginia Woolf’s classic Orlando: A Biography and directed by English director Sally Potter. The sumptuous fantasy stars Tilda Swinton as the eponymous seventeenth-century nobleman who, commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to never age, voyages through four hundred years of English history, first as a man, then as a woman. The film is a celebration of the Elizabethan age that explores gender issues that remain timely today. The film won multiple awards when it was released and made Tilda Swinton into an international star.

The discussion will be moderated by Executive Director and Cultural Strategist of The Theater Offensive, Harold Steward. Panelists will include David Zinn, acclaimed scenery and costume designer, and Terry Byrne from The Boston Globe.

Events in this series are held on Zoom and speech-to-text captioning will be available.

As with all of our programming, we encourage you to let us know about any disability-related accommodations that you need in order to participate. Please reach out to us at with your requests, or to let us know how we’re doing in our efforts to make all of our work engaging and accessible to all audiences.

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