News / Toronto

RUTAS Festival brings Shakespeare with a twist to Toronto

The festival features a Spanish adaption of Hamlet, set in Bolivia, and a unique version of Othello.

RUTAS festival brings alternative versions of Shakespeare to Toronto, such as this adaption of Hamlet, set in Bolivia.

Guy Labadens

RUTAS festival brings alternative versions of Shakespeare to Toronto, such as this adaption of Hamlet, set in Bolivia.

It’s about as far as you can get from the Shakespeare you studied in your high-school English class.

Aluna theatre’s third annual RUTAS festival, which starts Oct.5, is bringing unique twists on Shakespeare’s classics to Toronto.

solOthello, an adaptation of Othello from a New Zealand theatre production, is preformed in both English and the indigenous Māori language.

Hamlet de los Andes sets the classic play in modern Bolivia and follows characters leaving their rural homes in search of a better life in the city.

“Art for me is universal,” said Aluna Theatre’s artistic director, Beatriz Pizano. “You can take those stories and find them within other cultures.”

Pizano says the festival, which also features six other productions, is about making theatre in Toronto more accessible to cultures and classes that aren’t its typical audience.

Tickets are priced affordably at about $17 each, if you buy a pack of four.

 Hamlet de los Andes is performed in Spanish with English subtitles, with some characters breaking out into Quechua, an indigenous language of the central Andes.

It’s a chance for Toronto’s Spanish speaking population to experience the play without the “barrier” that the Old English dialogue can be, Pizano said.