A Different Romeo and Juliet, a 75-minute theatre production, is presented by the British Council in partnership with Graeae Theatre Company, UK, and Dhaka Theatre, Bangladesh. This play forms part of the British Council’s Shakespeare Lives global programme for 2016, spanning 130 countries across the globe, celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s life and works.
This is a truly unique project in a way that, it will be performed in its entirety by 14 highly talented artists with disability. The project is jointly led by Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company, UK and Dhaka Theatre’s Nasiruddin Yousuff as the Producer.
The cast is drawn from across Bangladesh and Bangladeshi society, with participants from Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP-Bangladesh), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh Reform Initiatives for Development, Governance and Empowerment, (the BRIDGE Foundation) and Gram Theatre. Some of the production management team roles are drawn from company members from the Dhaka Theatre Company.
The play will be premiered for a targeted audience of policy makers, organisations and other stakeholders working with people with disabilities and special needs schools on 28 March 2016. It will be performed for theatre lovers and general public on 29 March 2016. The venue is National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
The project was initiated in 2013 with an aim to empower people with disabilities by facilitating social inclusion through theatre workshops that helped them explore their identity and infuse an enriched sense of self-worth. This has now led to a new Shakespeare production of Romeo and Juliet to mark 400th anniversary of Shakespeare in 2016.
This ambitious project is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh.