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,
Oh, God! I Hate Shakespeare! That’s right! I said it! I do! I really hate Shakespeare! I just don’t get it! How a mediocre actor from a measly little town is suddenly the brightest jewel in England’s royal crown! Oh, God, I HATE SHAKESPEARE! His plays are wordy— ooh. Wait. Maybe I shouldn’t sing all about it. Something is rotten in the state of— Essex!? Actually that’s sort of funny (Essex is in Shakespeare somewhere…isn’t it?) No,
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.
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.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a young man named William Shakespeare who was a huge science fiction playwright. No, wait. That’s not right. Let’s try that again. There was once a man named Bob Carlton, who penned a science fiction play called Return to the Forbidden Planet, an homage to the classic works of William Shakespeare – and of course the classic 1956 film,
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,
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.
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.
What ho, Horatio! It is the east— west— Frederick! It is the MET! Alas, poor Shakespeare, I knew him, readers! And you thought you did too, until you ventured to Maryland Ensemble Theatre for the opening of their 2017/2018 season! With preeminence in stage chicanery, the MET invites you to sit back, unplug your brains, and enjoy three ridiculous men attempting to cover 38 plays, 1,122 roles, and 154 sonnets all in about two hours,
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.
“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,
He that loves to be flattered with worthy of the flattery. What if that being flattered is deserving of the flattery? Are they too then still worthy of the flattery? Perhaps even more so! Folger Theatre, in particular Director Robert Richmond, deserves a great deal of flattery for the current production of Timon of Athens, closing out the 2016/2017 season upon the stage inside the great Folger Shakespeare Library. Under Robert Richmond’s judiciously rendered vision and modernization,
With spirits to enforce and arts to enchant, Shakespeare Theatre Company offers up the most whimsically enchanting of the Bard’s theatrical canon with their production of The Tempest. Presented as the 26th Annual ‘Free for All’ performance, and Directed by Ethan McSweeny, Shakespeare’s final play is delivered with radiant justice, mesmerizing theatrical magic, and exquisite emotional endeavors that envelope the audience for a truly fantastical experience. The majesty of Lee Savage’s set juxtaposed against a myriad of miraculous production design elements make this a truly magnificent experience for all who are able to attend.
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,
The truth within a lie. Isn’t that a quaint little sentence that sums up Shakespeare or most of it at any rate? It is if you’re playwright Aaron Posner and you’ve been commissioned to step away from your exceedingly brilliant modern riffs on Chekhov and step into a variation on the Bard’s The Merchant of Venice. Closing out the 2015/2016 season at Folger Theatre, Posner’s latest world premiere District Merchants,
You’re innocent when you dream. And if we are such stuff that dreams are made on than perhaps are all but mere innocent mortals; pawns in the great scheme of a Fairy’s game. The inaugural production of Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s first season in their new home in Baltimore City kicks off with a dreamy bang. A visual delight, an aural treat, an experience to savor; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, now directed by company Artistic Director Ian Gallanar,