Routes and Routers of Interculturalism: Islands, Theatres and Shakespeares

  • Alvin Eng Hui Lim
Part of the Contemporary Performance InterActions book series (CPI)


This chapter explores intercultural Asian Shakespeare productions by island-based theatre companies, individuals, and cultures in Southeast and East Asia, tracing both their performance travels and how this work is archived. These interactions make visible established networks where practitioners, producers, and audiences gather in international festivals to produce intercultural adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. The chapter will argue that recent intercultural productions reiterate established colonial routes of exchange, but that new possibilities may be emerging from the multiplication of pathways for performance to travel through digital means. Digital archives such as Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive (A|S|I|A), Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Global Shakespeares, and the Shakespeare Lives programme in Asia reflect an increasingly entangled cultural environment that mobilises Shakespeare and local performance forms to travel (both physically and digitally) through geographical circuits. On the one hand, the directions (and creative choices) that these productions take echo the old colonial imperatives and responses that go back to the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries, when Western troupes, particularly the George Crichton Miln Company, travelled to Southeast and East Asia. On the other hand, new nodes of exchange facilitated through digital technology better reflect specific cultural engagements and entanglements rooted in shifting geopolitics and hegemonies.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of English Language and LiteratureNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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