For fans of Shakespeare’s comedies, Love’s
Labour’s Lost should not be overlooked. Often brushed off as a draft for
Shakespeare’s later hits, there is joy and humor in this play that would be
criminal to dismiss. The performers in the Folger Theatre’s current production,
directed by Vivienne Benesch, rise to the challenge at every turn and carry the
audience along for a raucous and heartfelt ride.
For fans of Shakespeare’s comedies, Love’s
Colonial Players of Annapolis have decided to mount a production of Shakespeare
for the first time in over 20 years and after seeing the production the one
question to ask is why have they waited so long? The Merry Wives of Windsor, running now through March 23rd
at the Colonial Players, is a fresh take on a classic Shakespearian Comedy and
a thrilling joy of a night of theatre!
The real King John of England has a murky reputation. We know him for the Magna Carta. We know him as a villain from the tales of Robin Hood. And, at a stretch, we know him as Shakespeare’s earliest monarch, chronologically. Folger Theatre capitalizes on a chance to tell the rarely-told tale of this questionable king in its current production of Shakespeare’s King John, directed by Aaron Posner.
As the Folger describes,
Raw emotions and a powerhouse of a production on display!
The 2018-2019 World Stages season opens with Measure for Measure, produced by Cheek by Jowl and the Pushkin Theatre Moscow, a production filled with raw emotions and powerful performances. This production is superbly directed by Declan Donnellan and extraordinarily designed by Nick Ormerod. In the politically charged atmosphere that we are currently living in, this timeless piece is presented in such a relatable,
Macbeth at the Folger Theatre is unlike any production you will have seen before. That’s a guarantee the Folger can make as they stage for the first time since its origination Macbeth by William Davenant, a Restoration-era adaptation of Shakespeare’s text. Director Robert Richmond, in a collaboration with scholars and the Folger Consort musicians, presents a production that is the result of years of research and work to present something unseen by a modern audience.
How goes the world? A loaded question if ever there was one to be asked, especially in this day and age. But set yourself back from this day and age, set your dial of existence back to 1978 in order to prepare yourself to digest The Rude Mechanicals’ latest offering: Timon of Athens. Directed by Joshua Engel, this miscreant play of Williams Shakespeare’s is finding a new lens through which to be viewed in the hands of The Rude Mechanicals.
Shakespeare Theatre Company is in its 28th year of presenting the annual Free for All program, offering free productions every summer. This year features Romeo & Juliet, the STC’s most often-produced play, as directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul. STC’s Free for All emphasizes accessible, relatable Shakespeare, and in that goal, this production excels. For those who have never seen Romeo &
If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly. With expedience and precision one can readily say 4615 Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth were done both well and quickly. Directed by Jordan Friend, this intimate production unfolds in the laps of the audience, shaking tremors of terror and raw Shakespearean storytelling into the minds of 30 individuals at a time, ensuring that they shall burn for dreams restlessly and indeed sleep no more.
Quotidian Theatre Company’s An Irish Twist on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Leah Mazade and Stephanie Mumford, and set in 1817 Galway, Ireland, embraced the fun in the original text while putting a uniquely, playfully Irish spin on the setting. This creative re-imagining is a delight to watch, and the talented cast, crew, and musicians create an engaging, uplifting revival of Shakespeare’s classic fairytale.
Midsummer follows the plight of two young women,
I have unclasp’d to thee the book even of my secret soul. Where lies my text? In Storytellers: A Theater Arts Academy’s bosom! In what chapter of their bosom? To answer by the method, in their current production of Twelfth Night. Directed by Terry Sweet Bouma with Assistant Directors Alyssa Bouma and Alex Foley, this true comedy of errors and mistaken identities is a fine showcase of youth digesting and transforming Shakespeare.
All’s fair in love and war. Shakespeare said it. Well, he didn’t actually. In fact, he wrote a whole bunch of plays that seemed to prove the opposite of fairness in war and especially in love. Much Ado About Nothing, one of the less-troubled comedies, is one such that is now making its way to outdoor (and temporarily indoor) stages by way of Gypsy Wagon Theatre Company this summer. Directed by Bill Soucy,
Neither a borrower nor a lender be. While The Rude Mechanicals aren’t currently producing Hamlet, there’s logic in that quote that could and should be readily applied to The Merchant of Venice, which The Rude Mechanicals are currently producing. Said advice would go far for both Antonio and Shylock and save everyone the trouble of their various plights fraught with woe and unfortunate circumstances.
Artistic Synergy of Baltimore (ASoB) presents a splendid rendition of Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s most well-known classic comedies. Most are probably familiar with the material already through literature class, seeing it performed elsewhere, or from the various movie versions (most notably the 1993 version directed by Kenneth Branagh), but for those who are not familiar, it can be summed up briefly as two love stories intertwining with misdirection,
Words, words, words. Not to read, but to hear, and Shakespeare did write so many of them, five act’s worth for arguably his most infamous tragedy, Hamlet. Appearing now as a limited engagement, the Royal Shakespeare Company brings their evocative conflagration of a production to The Eisenhower Theatre inside The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Simon Godwin, this spellbinding, razor’s edge modernity casts new light on the Bard’s most treasured tragedy,
For first-time audience members, it is hard to predict just what you’re getting into with Off the Quill’s new staging of Violent Delights: A Shakespearean Brawl-esque Sideshow. An original production created first for the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival by company members Patrick Mullen, Leanne Dinverno, J. Peter Langsdorf, Katie Wanschura, as well as William Shakespeare, and directed by Mullen, the show bills itself as a blend of stage combat, dance, clowning,
To thine own self be true. Wrong Shakespeare; right concept. Baltimore Shakespeare Factory is being true to their MO and giving Charm City yet another Shakespearean production in Original Pronunciation, or “OP.” Othello is the latest in BSF’s OP series and handles just as well as those before it. For those vastly versed in Shakespeare think of OP as taking it to the next level or unlocking that bonus round of never-before heard jargon that truly acquaints you with the authenticity of The Bard.
For a world turned upside down as 2018, Director Charlene V. Smith has crafted a riveting, provocative, explosive Coriolanus. “Are we even capable of not harming ourselves?” she asks in the director’s notes, echoing Tori Boutin as citizen of Rome: “We willingly consented to his banishment, yet it was against our will.”
Smith’s Rome is not a pinnacle of civilization. It’s violent and dirty, its citizens easily provoked to engage every whim.
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go. By that logic, theatergoers should be rushing out to Shakespeare Theater Company for Michael Kahn’s production of Hamlet starring Michael Urie as the mad Danish prince. Disturbingly dystopian, albeit conceptually undercooked, this production marks the end of an era as Michael Kahn, the show’s director and the company’s long-standing artistic director, makes it his final production before retiring. Not without impressive performances given by the featured player and others,
The Tempest should always open with a bang. It often brings out the high tech and the special effects. Baltimore Shakespeare Factory brings The Tempest back to its roots. Their space, inspired by Elizabethan theaters, holds what it needs to bring a storm inside: the imagination of the actors and the audience. It’s a high-energy opening to a high-energy show. It’s a great workout for the cast… and a bit for the audience.
“Men’s evils manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.” And we shall now ascribe the virtues of The Rude Mechanicals production of Henry VIII in ink. Well, digital ink. Directed and Choreographed by Liana Olear, this ‘lost history’ (the most boring of the boring and banal of banal Shakespearean histories) is revitalized and given a new lease on life. Olear’s strategic placement of the historical recounting of the eighth Henry in the mid 1910’s lends itself to her dancer’s passion,
Final boarding call for all passengers boarding flight STC-2017 to Illyria. All passengers please make their way to Sidney Harman Hall and follow the instructions of the flight attendant.
The setup is astonishing, and at first a peculiar choice, but Director Ethan McSweeny’s conceptualization of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is nothing but gob-smacking by the play’s conclusion. Not unlike a cinematic psychological thriller,
Not a minute of our lives should stretch without some pleasure in it. The Folger Theatre is stretching nearly two and a half very deliberate minutes of theatrical pleasure into their current production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. One of the Bard’s tragic histories, or historical tragedies as it straddles both categories soundly, this alluring and tempting production is an enticing start for the 2017/2018 theatrical season at The Folger. Directed by Robert Richmond,
Suit the action to the word and the word to the action! The word is shows without intermission are the new trend and the action is to apply it Shakespeare. Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble is boldly running an endurance test— for both audience and ensemble— with the Bard’s most renowned tragedy, Hamlet. Directed by company founder and Artistic Head Marshall B. Garrett, this DIY-Fringe style production of the Danish Prince’s woe is surprisingly accurate in both delivery and conceptualization,
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.
Measure for Measure, now presented by Britches and Hose Theater Company, has always been a dark play, and it seems darker still in these dark times. A leader decides to make his country great again, appointing one who is of tremendous hypocrisy and cruelty.
John Moss is that leader, Duke Vincentio, his performance growing stronger through the evening. His appointee is Glen Hochkeppel as Angelo, brilliantly disturbing as he enters with a feckless hand gesture and a sweep of his cape.
Tis the bloody business which informs thus to mine eyes: a theatre company hath sprung up afresh in Reisterstown. But not just any theatre company, nay, but The Gypsy Wagon Theatre Company, whose full intention is to be mobile. At first appearing to be little more than a tin can on wheels, do not be deceived, this collapsible trailer-esque stage is purporting a tall order of theatrical design— when it comes to lighting especially— and currently presenting a mighty solid production of Shakespeare’s very own Macbeth.
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,
Now, thou art what thou art, a production of Romeo and Juliet. Though this production, at The Green Globe Theatre (Baltimore’s only producing eco-friendly theatre) is beyond the simple notion of star-crossed lovers meeting in fair Verona. Of course, one must be full well in all five wits to endure the length of this production, but tis worth the patience and endurance for the cinematic elements and uniquely conceived approach to placing the star-crossed lover’s tragedy in WWII Nazi occupied France circa 1944.
What fire is in my ears? All of Shakespeare’s women in one show? Can it be so? Well, that might be a bit absurd, even for The Rude Mechanicals, but they do come close, featuring a varied assortment of all of the Bard’s leading ladies in just shy of two hours’ stage traffic! Conceived and Directed by Leanne G. Stump, this selection of scenes showcases some of the finer moments of Shakespeare’s female characters,
To beguile the time, look like the time. Ambitiously and bolding tackling the Bard’s Scottish tragedy as their inaugural production, Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble brings Macbeth to the stage in a post-apocalyptic Scotland that exists only in a theatre of the audiences’ imagination. Directed by the company’s Founding Artistic Director, Marshall B. Garrett, the spirited pacing and judicious rendering of the five-act tragedy comes smoldering over the stage in just 90 minutes. Something wicked this way runs!