Sunday, August 3, 2014

South African Isango Ensemble Comes to the Shakesepare Theatre Company

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

South African Isango Ensemble Brings The Magic Flute and Venus and Adonis to the Shakespeare Theatre Company

2014-2015 Season Single Tickets on Sale August 1

The Shakespeare Theatre Company brings two productions by the Isango Ensemble to Washington, D.C., as part of STC’s 2014-2015 Presentation Series. The Isango Ensemble’s unique performances reset Western theatre classics within a South African township, utilizing music, dance and elements of South African heritage. The Ensemble will perform an adaption of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo and Shakespeare’s epic love poem Venus and Adonis in repertory at the Lansburgh Theatre September 12-21, 2014. Tickets for non-subscribers will be available starting August 1, when individual tickets for the 2014-2015 STC Season go on sale.

“Isango’s repertory takes two pieces from the Western canon and frames them in a very particular time and place—modern South Africa,” says STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn. “We are inspired by the ingenuity with which they make classic work relevant to their audiences, and are honored to bring them to the Lansburgh stage.”

The Isango Ensemble was developed by Director Mark Dornford-May and Music Director Paulien Malefane in Cape Town in 2000, and draws its performers from the townships surrounding the city. Their productions speak to a broad and open-minded multicultural audience and have played to sold-out theatres around the world.

The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo reinterprets the story in contemporary South Africa, performing the play’s score on marimbas, drums and South African percussion. This Olivier Award®-winner for Best Musical Revival has thrilled audiences in London, Dublin, Tokyo and Singapore, and received the Globes de Cristal for Best Opera Production following a sold-out season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare’s epic poem of love and seduction, is reborn with this adaption that takes the heart of the original work and reimagines it with carnival-like theatricality, music and dance, in English and three African languages.

The two productions will play in repertory for 10 days only, September 12 through September 21, at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 Seventh Street NW. On Saturday, September 20, patrons will have the opportunity to see both productions, with Venus and Adonis at 2 p.m. and The Magic Flute at 8 p.m.


Beginning on Friday, August 1, single tickets to the full 2014-2015 Season will go on sale. The season includes: As You Like It, directed by acclaimed British director Michael Attenborough making his American directing debut; The Tempest, brought to life by Ethan McSweeny (2012’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream); David Ives’ translation and adaptation of Alexis Piron’s The Metromaniacs, directed by Michael Kahn; David Greig’s powerful and timely Dunsinane, from the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company; the classically inspired musical Man of La Mancha, directed by STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (2013’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum); and director Dominique Serrand’s impassioned revival of Tartuffe, starring Steven Epp.

Please note: due to the short engagement, single tickets are extremely limited to Dunsinane, and expected to sell out. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged.

Subscriptions and single tickets are available online at, or by calling the Box Office at 202.547.1122.

2014 Free For All
The Winter's Tale
directed by Alan Paul
original direction by Rebecca Taichman
Sidney Harman Hall
August 19–31, 2014

Traveling through time, visiting the austere court at Sicilia and the bright sea shore of Bohemia, two generations rise above torment and obsession in The Winter’s Tale. The Shakespeare Theatre Company brings back its imaginative and critically acclaimed 2013 production for the annual Free For All performance.

STC Presentation Series:
Isango Ensemble Repertory
The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo and Venus and Adonis
Lansburgh Theatre
September 12-21, 2014

The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo
An adaption of Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo performs the play’s score on marimbas, drums and South African percussion, reinterpreting the story through the unique perspective of contemporary South African townships

Venus and Adonis
Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare’s epic poem of love and seduction, is reborn with this adaption that takes the heart of the original work and reimagines it. Performed in English and three African languages, the play transcends borders with carnival-like theatricality, music and dance. The Isango Ensemble is sponsored by Dr. Paul and Mrs. Rose Carter

William Shakespeare’s
As You Like It
Directed by Michael Attenborough
Lansburgh Theatre
October 28 - December 7, 2014

A wise fool and a melancholy malcontent, carnal vows and a cross-dressed gal, a magical forest, a wintry court and...Greco-Roman wrestling? All the world’s a stage in As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s fullest comedies, where poetry, mistaken identities and true love lost and found abound.
As You Like It is sponsored by the HRH Foundation

William Shakespeare’s
The Tempest
Directed by Ethan McSweeny
Sidney Harman Hall
December 2, 2014 - January 11, 2015

Trickery and magic, romance and revenge set the stage for one of Shakespeare’s late masterpieces, The Tempest, in which sprites, goddesses and fools hold court. Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan and a powerful magician, leads his betrayers through a mysterious dream on the course from vengeance to reconciliation. The Tempest is sponsored by Arlene and Robert Kogod. Additional Support from Share Fund and KPMG.

The Metromaniacs
adapted by David Ives
directed by Michael Kahn
Lansburgh Theatre
February 3 - March 8, 2015

Mistaken identity, misplaced ardor and a fight for true love ensues in David Ives’ adaptation of Piron’s classic 1738 French farce. Add to the chaos some scheming servants, pseudonyms and disguises and there is much to untangle before love-plots are resolved and a happy ending found. The Metromaniacs is presented as a part of Comedy Française - The Clarice Smith Series. The ReDiscovery Commission series is sponsored by the Beech Street Foundation.

David Greig’s
directed by Roxana Silbert
Sidney Harman Hall
From the National Theatre of Scotland & Royal Shakespeare Company
February 4-21, 2015

A dramatic sequel to Shakespeare's Macbeth, David Greig’s Dunsinane is a vision of one man's attempt to restore peace in a country ravaged by war. Written from the perspective of a Scot, Dunsinane examines the struggle of a foreign invader to grasp local customs and politics while trying to restore order. Dunsinane is sponsored by Dr. Paul and Mrs. Rose Carter

Man of La Mancha
book by Dale Wasserman
lyrics by Joe Darion
composed by Mitch Leigh
directed by Alan Paul
Sidney Harman Hall
March 17 - April 26, 2015

A story of hope rises from the darkness of a prison cell where Cervantes presents his tale of knight errant Don Quixote, complete with loyal friends, troubled maidens and giant monsters. Quixote’s quest - filled with humor and poignancy in equal measure - dares everyone to dream “The Impossible Dream.” Man of La Mancha is sponsored by Michael R. Klein and Joan I. Fabry and the Artistic Leadership Fund.

directed by Dominique Serrand
Sidney Harman Hall
June 2 - July 5, 2015

Orgon has fallen under the spell of the pious fraud Tartuffe, at great cost to his family, in Molière’s crowning achievement and scathing indictment of religious hypocrisy. Only by conspiring, hiding in closets and climbing under tables (in true French farce fashion) can the family reveal Tartuffe's fake divinity in director Dominique Serrand’s impassioned revival. Tartuffe is presented as a part of Comedy Française - The Clarice Smith Series. A co-production with South Coast Repertory and Berkeley Repertory Theatre

* Plays, artists and dates are subject to change.

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation’s leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation’s premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company’s artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC’s most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation’s capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library’s Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.