Shakespeare's plays are regularly studied in Australian secondary classrooms as classic pieces of drama, for their cultural history and their narrative and poetic devices. However, modern Australian adaptations of Shakespearean plays are an underutilised resource in the English classroom.
Such adaptations, retellings and appropriations provide teachers and students opportunities to:
- learn about the processes of adaptation, including drama to literature, or to visual text such as graphic novel or film;
- interrogate stereotypical gender roles and their subversion;
- examine what makes such adaptations 'Australian';
- study how Shakespearean plays and culture shape adolescent characters;
- and allow students contemporary and relevant ways to engage in Shakespearean tales.