Here’s a strange theater project that is coming together via Kickstarter, the same great crowd-sourced funding system that helped gather money to make a statue of RoboCop in Detroit.

The project is Terminator the Second, which is a stage retelling of the story from Terminator 2, but where all dialogue is taken directly from the works of William Shakespeare. How exactly does that work? Watch a teaser video and read the basic approach after the break.

This is the product of the Husky Jackal theatre company in Nashville, TN. From the project’s Kickstarter page comes this explanation of the method behind the project. You can also read a couple pages from the play. I’m not sure how convinced I am that this is really a good idea, but the Terminator explaining to John Connor that “I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, and deliver a plain message bluntly” as he cocks a shotgun does have a certain simple, effective poetry.

We adhered to strict guidelines regarding the usage of Shakespeare’s works. Each line and phrase is taken directly from folios printed by or before 1685, and many extended sections of dialogue are composed of individual lines from separate works. Only proper nouns and pronouns were subject to change, as dictated by the plot. In these instances, all proper nouns are supplanted only by pronouns or other proper nouns, and all pronouns by other pronouns. In some cases, corresponding verb tenses are modified. These practices enabled us to accurately retell the story of Terminator 2: Judgment Day while remaining true to the words of Shakespeare in form (if less so in intent).

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