Looks like the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is working to bring the work of the Bard a little closer to home for the 2013 season.
The state’s signature Shakespeare tribute announced its coming season this week, and the program includes a nod to American history in addition to the standard selection of comedies, histories and tragedies. Specifically, the season will include a reading of Constance Congdon’s new play about Shay’s Rebellion. The show about the post-Revolutionary War uprising is the first in a series titled “Making America: A History Play Cycle.”
That’s not to say this year’s festival will neglect the Elizabethan classics. Productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Macbeth” and “Richard II” are on tap for next summer, as is Tina Packer’s “Women of Will,” a show that delves into the role of women in Shakespeare’s work. The comedy “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” is also on the roster for 2013.
The CSF’s full press release follows.
Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2013 Season
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Directed by Philip C. Sneed
Dream a little dream of love and laughter as Shakespeare’s most beloved comedy casts its spell on the enchanting Mary Rippon stage. Moonlight, magic and mirth ensue when four young Athenian lovers and a troupe of actors find themselves subject to the “puckish” wiles and whims of the denizens of the fairy kingdom. It’s an enchanting evening of romance under the stars and a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare for children.
Directed by Jane Page
Shakespeare’s great tragedy explores the darkest corners of the human heart as the infamous Scottish general schemes and murders in his raw, ambitious quest for the throne. The ominous portents of three “weird sisters” and a warning from Banquo’s ghost guide Macbeth’s bloody hand … or do they? It’s a brooding meditation on power and ambition, fate and free will directed by Jane Page, director of CSF’s 2009 smash hit, To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
A hilarious homage for Shakespeare lovers, haters and everyone in between as three actors frantically attempt to perform the entire canon — all 37 plays! — in a couple of hours. That necessitates some … creative editing. Cheer the histories on the gridiron! Get down with Othello through the magic of rap! Pick up culinary tips courtesy of Titus Andronicus! “Shakespeare as written by Reader’s Digest, acted by Monty Python, and performed at the speed of the minute waltz.” — Los Angeles Herald
Directed by James Symons
Richard II opens Shakespeare’s epic four-play Henriad, the backstory to England’s bloody Wars of the Roses — the saga that ends with Richard III. Good-hearted yet weak, Richard II is fated to be challenged by the aggressive, popular Henry Bolingbroke. At a time when image is everything in American politics, Richard’s tragedy poses critical questions about how to govern a divided nation. (Look for the rest of the tetralogy, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, in 2014, and Henry V in 2015*.)
Women of Will
Directed by Eric Tucker
Following critically acclaimed runs in Prague and New York City, Tina Packer brings her fresh, funny, brilliant exploration of Shakespeare’s women back to Boulder for a one-night overview performance with the incomparable Nigel Gore.