Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces 2015-16 Season

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

Artistic Director Michael Kahn Announces the Shakespeare Theatre Company's 2015-16 Season

With the third and fourth shows of the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s current season underway, Artistic Director Michael Kahn announced today the Company’s 2015-16 Season. Kahn has put together a season of contrasts and striking new voices, with international directors and adaptors bringing provocative approaches to the classics to Washington, D.C.

The season begins with Salomé, infusing evocative sound and physicality into the New Testament tale with its legendary Dance of the Seven Veils, and drawing on ancient texts as well as Oscar Wilde’s landmark play in this new adaptation by acclaimed adaptor/director Yaël Farber. “We are honored to have Yaël return, after her compelling production of Mies Julie last season, to stage this premiere production for Washington audiences as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival,” says Michael Kahn. “We are thrilled to be part of the Theater Festival, where we join with more than 50 of the Washington, D.C. region’s theatres to present world premiere works by female playwrights.” Salomé was commissioned through a grant from the Beech Street Foundation.

Next, STC Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul brings American musical theatre’s greatest tribute to the Bard, Kiss Me, Kate, to our stages for the holidays. “Alan has a great flair with beloved musicals, from the Helen Hayes Award-winning production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum to this spring’s upcoming Man of La Mancha with Anthony Warlow, and I am excited to see his take on Cole Porter.”

“In the winter I will be directing a double bill of one-acts about life in the theatre with two classic behind-the-scenes comedies. One cast will take on both shows in a night of theatrical antics, featuring Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic in a new adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher - who was a delight to work with on The Government Inspector - and Tom Stoppard’s play-within-a-play whodunit, The Real Inspector Hound.” The Critic was commissioned through a grant from the Beech Street Foundation.

Internationally acclaimed director Ron Daniels joins STC to helm the first of the season’s two dramatically different productions of the Bard with Othello, an exploration of the manipulation of a hero-turned-murderer as his imagination is slowly poisoned. “Ron brings to us a lifetime of extraordinary experience in theatre. His many credits include serving as the artistic director of The Other Place Theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as an RSC honorary associate director, and as the associate artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre and director of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University,” says Kahn. “It is an honor to have him here, and I look forward to his version of this great tragedy of jealousy and duplicity.”

“This year we moved the international presentation of Dunsinane into our mainstage season, and will continue to do so with the Headlong’s adaptation of George Orwell’s chilling dystopian vision, 1984. This multimedia production exploring surveillance and identity was hailed by critics and audiences in the U.K. and we feel it is a story that is still relevant - particularly to our Washington audiences.” This new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan was originally produced as a co-production by Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse, and Almeida Theatre.

“We end the season with a return to Shakespeare with The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Ed brings his edgy alternative style to D.C. with this provocative, all-male production led by Tony Award-winning Broadway star Billy Porter (Kinky Boots) as Kate,” says Kahn. “It is my goal to give fresh voices in directing an opportunity to tackle STC productions, and to bring the talent of those emerging artists to our stage. Ed is known for his epic, immersive performance-style productions, which I am pleased to share with our audiences with his examination of identity and gender roles.”

“Of course, the season will kick off with the Free For All in August, and I am delighted after this season’s stunning production of The Tempest to bring Ethan McSweeny’s beautiful A Midsummer Night’s Dream back to Sidney Harman Hall for the 25th Anniversary of this annual Washington tradition.”

Salomé was commissioned through the generous support of  The Beech Street Foundation as part of a five-play commissioning grant, which began with The Liar and covers commissioning fees, literary management and play readings as a part of the development process. Based on the success of these plays, The Beech Street Foundation has committed to another five-play series, beginning with the 2015-2016 Season’s adaptation of The Critic. The Beech Street Foundation is one of STC’s most generous donors and has supported the Shakespeare Theatre Company for more than 20 years, and was presented with the 2014 Sidney Harman Award for Philanthropy in the Arts.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ethan McSweeny 

Adapted and directed by Yaël Farber

Kiss Me, Kate
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Samuel and Bella Spewack
Directed by Alan Paul

The Critic
By Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher

The Real Inspector Hound
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Michael Kahn

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ron Daniels

By George Orwell
A new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

The Taming of the Shrew
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

* Plays, artists and dates are subject to change.

About the Shakespeare Theatre Company:
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.