Shakespeare in Klingon??

Talk about combining all of one’s geek and scholarly credentials into one! We know that Shakespeare’s writings are among the most translated work in the world, but now it’s going positively galactic.

How the Washington Shakespeare Company came to offer Shakespeare in Klingon

Yes, you read correctly. On September 25th, the Washington Shakespeare Company in Arlington plans to do an evening of Shakespeare — in Klingon! — for their annual benefit performance.

According to the above linked article in the Washington Post, the chairman of the board of the theater company is Marc Okrand. The significance of this is that he is the man who invented the Klingon language used in the Star Trek films. And it’s not like this company hasn’t done unusual performances before. (Apparently they have also done Macbeth completely in the nude.) So it sounds like this sort of thing is simply made for them.

For those who don’t know Klingon (Which would include me, since I have a Klingon Dictionary but haven’t really studied it. Yet.), the actors will be saying their lines in both English and Klingon. And both of them in iambic pentameter.

I am so envious of those who get to go! And I love the mixing of cultures and sensibilities. For those Shakespeare purists who think their hero’s work shouldn’t be sullied by this sort of treatment by the Trekkie hoipolloi, I should mention that I spent many (many!) years hanging about the SF&F crowd, even working for eight years on the organizing committee of a city-wide SF&F convention. And those crowds had the highest percentage of Shakespeare-lovers of any groups I’ve ever encountered. These people know their Shakespeare, and aren’t “sullying” it at all. Just having a little fun.

I wish I could go! Or maybe someday they’ll bring their work to Toronto. Hm…

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