Star Wars and Shakespeare combine, as Adobe updates the classics

Star Wars and Shakespeare combine, as Adobe updates the classics
(Image credit: Darryll Jones / Adobe / RSC)

Adobe and the Royal Shakespeare Company have collaborated on a digital art series to reimagine The Bard's most beloved and most studied scenes and characters using digital illustration, comic book artistry and photography.

The project, to boost creativity in the classroom, came about after Adobe conducted a study of 2,000 school and college-age people in the UK, following a recent drop of young people studying William Shakespeare at A-Level (roughly equivalent to SAT II). 

The research revealed that 77% of 11-18 year-olds who struggle with Shakespeare find it difficult due to the language – and 29% felt that a modern-day interpretation would help their understanding. 

Conceptual photographer Darryll Jones' interpretation of Romeo & Juliet

Conceptual photographer Darryll Jones' interpretation of Romeo & Juliet (Image credit: Darryll Jones / Adobe / RSC)

With 19% of the students believing that digital technology in the classroom would help them better visualize the plays, Adobe and the RSC partnered with five British artists and photographers to reimagine iconic Shakespearean scenes for the Instagram generation using Creative Cloud tools like Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro.

"Our Reimagine Shakespeare campaign is designed to showcase how Shakespeare can be made much more relatable to young people by taking a more creative approach to how they interact with the texts," said Adobe EMEA's Education Programme Lead, Simon Morris.

"This is just one of the many ways we at Adobe are working with schools to integrate technology into lessons to help students better understand complex topics – from Science, Maths and IT, to History, English, Geography and more.”

The creatives on the project are fantasy photographer Rosie Hardy, comic book illustrator Amrit Birdi, photographer and conceptual artist Darryll Jones, digital artist Jack Teagle, and Adobe Creative Resident and illustrator Octavia Bromell, who interpreted scenes from Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Comic book artist Amrit Birdi gives a graphic novel spin on A Midsummer Night's Dream

Comic book artist Amrit Birdi gives a graphic novel spin on A Midsummer Night's Dream (Image credit: Amrit Birdi / Adobe / RSC)

“The RSC and Adobe believe that creativity and the arts should be an integral part of every child’s education. We know from our extensive research that having access to arts and cultural learning improves empathy, critical and creative thinking in young people as well as developing their social and communication skills," said Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Education.

"We’re thrilled to be working together to inspire young creators to explore Shakespeare’s work in new ways, using digital tools to explore the thing that RSC actors and directors work on every day: how to bring Shakespeare’s best-loved texts to life for contemporary audiences of all ages.” 

You can view the artists' Reimagine Shakespeare (opens in new tab) work or find out more about Adobe's educational partnership with the RSC (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.