All theatre companies have tricks in their pockets and things up their sleeves. But Annapolis Shakespeare Company is the opposite of a stage magician. A stage magician gives you the illusion that has the appearance of truth and ASC’s latest production of The Glass Menagerie as directed by Donald Hicken gives you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion. There is a hard truth to Hicken’s approach to this play in memory,
A second marriage to a new wife is perfectly acceptable and almost expected when your first wife dies young. It might even go along swimmingly, even if from time to time your late first wife surfaces in conversation. But things tend to go grievously awry when said dearly departed surfaces in her ghostly fatigues right in the center of your drawing room. In the zany high-brow comedy of wit and repartee, Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit is conjured to the main stage of Annapolis Shakespeare Company to kick-start the back end of their 2017/2018 season.
It is the time of year for joy, love, and holiday traditions. One tradition that many people hold dear is a yearly outing to see A Christmas Carol, they pick from numerous theatres all playing the famous production and get their yearly fix of the British miser who changes his ways. It has been a long time since a new adaptation of the famous tale has come around, however at a small theatre in Annapolis that is exactly what has happened.
Annapolis Shakespeare Company opens its main stage with a lavish, lush, magnificent Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s most genuinely romantic rom-com. Director Sally Boyett has given it a 50’s spin, with a rock-and-roll soundtrack and a spectacular Tuscan villa (by way of California), with a two-story stucco house and terra-cotta dance floor (by scenic designer Jack Golden).
Helena Farhi and Benjamin Russell play Shakespeare’s greatest lovers, Beatrice and Benedick.
Annapolis Shakespeare Company inaugurates its new space with a stunning, lavish play, an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, which shows off the amazing capabilities of their new venue. Written by Sally Boyett (who also directed it) and Donald Hicken, it mixes Carroll’s novel with a frame story about the book Alice in Wonderland itself, given to Alice by Charles Dodgeson (Carroll’s real name) himself. It intersperses this bit of meta-textuality with a few modern references to,
Directors Donald Hicken and Sally Boyett have created a sparkling Tempest under the stars at the Charles Carroll house in Annapolis. With a spreading tree dominating the scene and a shrub hedge covering the back stage, the hill slopes toward the river for Shakespeare’s watery play. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair… and some bug spray and you’re ready for Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest this July.
The early evening and the river bring a hint of cool weather to summer in Annapolis,
It has been 365 days— give or take a day here or there— since last the Courtyard of Reynolds Tavern was opened for their summer seasonal “Comedy in the Courtyard” series. And in those 525,600 minutes— give or take some minutes— William Shakespeare has written exactly zero news plays, absolutely no new sonnets, and penned no new roles of any sort! There are still 1,122 roles, 37 plays, and 154 sonnets to get through and there are still only three dudes to get through it!
“The catastrophe of power in the wrong hands.” An apt tag line for the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s current production of Richard III as it speaks plainly to the Bard’s bloody history-borderline tragedy play and more broadly to situations at hand all around us right up to the currently political regime in the nation’s capital. Directed by Donald Hicken, this sharply rendered and quick-paced rendition of what is arguably the most violent of the history plays in Shakespeare’s canon,
Everybody has a right to their own troubles; some people ain’t made for small town life. The quintessential all-American play about the daily doings of small town life, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, marks the inaugural production of Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s new home at 1804 West Street. Directed by Sally Boyett, this theatrical chestnut settles into the turn of the 20th century in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire with a whole mess of Gibbs’ and Webb’s and other small town folk whose stories are important to no one but themselves.
It’s that time of year when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say, Merry Christmas! And no one’s singing or saying it brighter than the good folks over at WBFR: Playhouse of the Air as they prepare for their annual holiday broadcast, this year featuring It’s a Wonderful Life. Fully settled into the hokey yet happy holiday gimmick that is It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,
I say there is no darkness but ignorance, and to remain ignorant of the truly sensational production of Twelfth Night that is gracing itself upon the stage of the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s studio stage would be to remain steeped in the depths of an aphotic gloom of indescribable proportions. Directed by the company’s Artistic Director— Sally Boyett— this reimagined, innovative approach pays homage to the glistening golden era of Hollywood’s silver screen,
He stands amid the roar of a surf-tormented shore, and all that he sees and seems is but a dream within a dream. Appropriate as the autumnal offering and 2016-2017 season starter at Annapolis Shakespeare Company as they roost in residence at Reynolds Tavern just off the city dock shore on Church Circle for the world premiere of Tony Tsendeas’ POE…and All the Others. Directed by Sally Boyett, this newly imagined take on Baltimore’s master of the macabre is an absurd burlesque of memory,
Lord, what fools these mortals be— thinking that summertime theatre in Annapolis need only involve outdoor musicals! Annapolis Shakespeare Company has set up shop, for a two-weekend limited engagement, in the luxurious Gardens of The Charles Carroll House for their current production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Sally Boyett and Donald Hicken, the performance is a tightly trimmed rendition of the whimsical faerie-laden comedy, which showcases mesmerizing costumes,
1,122 roles. 37 plays. 154 sonnets. 3 guys. 97 minutes. If that doesn’t make for one hell of a singular theatrical experience, I don’t know what does. Nothing short of Shakespearean shenanigans, Bardian buffoonery, and Stratford-Upon-Avon silliness, The Annapolis Shakespeare Company returns for its fourth annual summer venture into the series they call “Comedy in the Courtyard” and this year they’re bringing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare…Abridged along for the ride.
Dreams are the children of idle brain, but let your mind sit still no longer! It is time for your imagination, your mind, your brain, and every other part of one’s thinker that by any other name reasons just as soundly, to engage with the Bard’s most iconic romantic tragedy. Tightened for core efficiency and pared to its essence, Romeo & Juliet is now the two hours’ traffics upon the Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s stage.
You must be serious about something if you wish to have any fun in life at all, and the thing to be serious about this spring is procuring a ticket to the exceptionally well-performed production of Oscar Wilde’s The Important of Being Earnest. The house is intimate and tickets are likely to be snatched up once word is out at just how resplendent and amusing the current Annapolis Shakespeare Company production is,
This time of year there is one story that always puts me in the holiday spirit and that’s It’s a Wonderful Life. The story of George Bailey giving everything for the people of Bedford Falls only to have everything he has done come crashing around him when Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while heading to deposit it in the bank— and on Christmas Eve none-the-less! It is because of this moment that George intends to end his life but when Clarence the angel is assigned to help him;
“One man in his time plays many parts,” declares Melancholy Jacques, and that definitely describes Richard Pilcher’s magnificent performance(s) in Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s production of As You Like It. A mere eight actors pull off four pairs of lovers, two courts of lords, and an array of miscellaneous country bumpkins. Pilcher plays four separate roles, each strong, distinct, and imbued with life. His Jacques is pitch perfect: melancholy without being glum,
There are some secrets that do not permit themselves to be told. Arising from the grave ruins of memory, a world premier work takes to the stage with Annapolis Shakespeare Company this autumn. POE, as written by Gregory Thomas Martin and Directed by Sally Boyett, explores the final moments of Edgar Allan Poe before his untimely descent into the permanence of madness and death. Situated inside the charming historic 1747 Pub in the cellars of Reynolds Tavern,
Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona is, by turns, hilarious and horrifying, and it’s hard to know which of these is more daunting to a director approaching the play. Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s Sally Boyett conquers both with flying colors. Her 1920’s-inspired Two Gents is sharp, incisive, fearless, and polished.
Proteus and Valentine (Patrick Truler and Joel Ottenheimer) are young friends on the verge of manhood. Proteus loves Julia (Amy Pastoor),
Let’s take a moment to have a beer you and I. There. Now we are fully prepared to enjoy one of the finest forms of comedy ever put to stage: Commedia D’elle Arte. Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of Goldoni’s classic The Servant of Two Masters by Timothy Mooney is ready for us. Ensconced, a jewel in the firmament of Reynolds Tavern Courtyard, Director Sally Boyett choreographs a “Commedia D’ell Right Now” that doesn’t just tickle the funny bone it hits it hard and rubs it for you afterwards.