Why are the classics suddenly cool? Maybe it's back-to-school seriousness, or the way the rep company Soulpepper has shown that the great texts, when done well, can draw a crowd. Whatever the reason, lots of indie artists are tackling the major works, with Shakespeare an obvious choice. Upstart Crow's experimental production of Hamlet continues until Sunday (September 2), and Shakespeare in the Rough's fine outdoor Measure For Measure closes Monday (September 3). Meanwhile, a new company with the Bard-inspired name of HurlyBurly mounts a production of Macbeth, previewing from Tuesday (September 4). Next week sees a new adaptation of The Tempest, which might wipe away the memory of the recent waterlogged CanStage version. Also on the horizon? A music-drama hybrid called Wozzeck/Woyzeck that combines the music of Berg's opera and the text of Buchner's play (opening September 7), and Umrao (opening September 6), an adaptation of the classic Urdu novel Umrao Jan Ada.