"King Lear" at Teatr Wspolczesny Szczecin in Poland in 1997.
If you’re a Shakespeare nerd, then you’ve likely seen his plays multiple times, as well as the various film adaptations. So for companies mounting his work, the challenge is to tout the plays audiences know so well in a fresh way. The new book Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from Around the World, by Mirko Ilic and Steven Heller (published by Princeton Architectural Press), showcases how these works have been visually represented around the world. And while each poster has a very particular cultural and period aesthetic, one thing is for sure: You probably don’t need to read the title to know what play the theatre is advertising.
New Yorkers can see some of the posters in person on display at Art Directors Club Gallery May 5–19. For those of us on the interwebs, check out a selection of 10 posters below.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Theatre for a New Audience in New York City in 2013.
“Julius Caesar” at Centar za kulturnu djelatnost Saveza socijalisticke omladine Zagreb in Croatia in 1979.
“King Lear” at Teatr Wspolczesny Szczecin in Poland in 1997.
“Romeo and Juliet” at National Theatre in Belgrade in Serbia in 2006.
“Julius Caesar” at the Belasco Theater on Broadway in 2005.
“Hamlet” at Shakespeare Theater Diever in the Netherlands in 2012.
“Hamlet” at the Acting Company in New York City in 2013.
“Richard III” at Theatre de la Renaissance in France in 2010. (Courtesy of the Budapest Poster Gallery)
“Much Ado About Nothing” at Portland Community College in Oregon in 2014.
“Hamlet” at Habima Theatre in Israel in 1947. (Courtesy of Eliasaf Robinson Tel Aviv Collection)
“Presenting Shakespeare: 1,100 Posters from Around the World” by Mirko Ilic and Steven Heller, published by Princeton Architectural Press.