Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Shakespeare Theatre Company Presents 1984

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

Headlong's Production of George Orwell's 1984, a New Adaptation of Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, Comes to the Shakespeare Theatre Company

Next up in the 2015-16 season the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) presents 1984 as part of an ongoing initiative to include productions by international companies on its mainstage. Created and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, 1984 was originally produced by Headlong - an acclaimed U.K. theatre ensemble - with the support of the Nottingham Playhouse and the Almeida Theatre. Hailed by The Guardian as a “superbly handled multimedia exploration,” 1984 will play at the Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street, NW) from March 11 - April 10, 2016.

Headlong’s version of George Orwell’s 1984 is a striking multimedia production that explores surveillance and identity, and it is an important, relevant show to bring to Washington,” says STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn. “Following such critical success in the U.K., I am pleased to present 1984 here in D.C. Hopefully, it will inspire not only a national but an international dialogue about this work and what it means to us.”

“For 1984, we were interested in looking at important canonical texts whilst asking the questions: Why are these texts important? Are these texts still important? What have they got to say?” adaptors and directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan explain. “Our responsibility is to whoever is in the room and who wrote the text originally, and we’re trying to connect the audience and the world of now with what the text is. And with tours, we get to connect with more audiences, more ‘world-of-nows.’”

Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s 1984 is an intense, true-to-the-book, re-imagining of Orwellian totalitarianism. It is April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is watching him - and the door to Room 101 can swing open in the blink of an eye. George Orwell’s chilling vision of a dystopian future is brought to life in a radical multimedia production. Called “a brilliant retelling” by The Guardian, Headlong’s production of 1984 explores surveillance, identity, and the security state.

Headlong’s production first premiered at Nottingham Playhouse in 2013, before embarking on successful U.K. tours and West End runs. Following a recent run at Boston’s American Repertory Theater, the production will continue its U.S. tour at the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

The company features Matthew Spencer as Winston Smith and Hara Yannas as Julia. Other cast members include Simon Coates (Parsons), Tim Dutton (O’Brien), Stephen Fewell (Charrington), Christopher Patrick Nolan (Martin), Ben Porter (Syme), Mandi Symonds (Mrs. Parsons), Koral Kent (Child), and Anaïs Killian (Child.)

The creative team are Robert Icke (Adaptor/Director), Duncan Macmillan (Adaptor/Director), Chloe Lamford (Designer), Natasha Chivers (Lighting Designer), Tom Gibbons (Sound Designer), Tim Reid (Video Designer), and Daniel Raggett (Associate Director.)

Opening Night for 1984 is Monday, March 14. The production runs from Friday, March 11 through Sunday, April 10. To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the box office at (202) 547-1122 or visit

1984 is supported by Dr. Paul and Mrs. Rose Carter and the British Council. Restaurant Partner, Jaleo.

Please Note: True to the novel, this intense dystopian drama contains graphic depictions of violence, loud noises, and flashing lights. Recommended for mature audiences.

On 1984:
“A chilling, ingenious 101 minutes. I urge you to see this stunning show.” - The Times *****

“Remarkable, radical, blazing with spine-tingling finesse.” - The Telegraph *****

“A superbly handled multimedia exploration that never lets the audience off the hook.” - The Guardian ******

Matthew Spencer (Winston.) Spencer’s previous work includes, among others, Romeo and Juliet (Headlong), Tartuffe (The Watermill Theatre, Newbury, Tour), Bent (Trafalgar Studios), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Tour, Gielgud Theatre, Toronto), War Horse (New London Theatre), and many more.

Hara Yannas (Julia.) Yannas’ previous work includes, among others, The House of Bernarda Alba, Oresteia (Almeida), Mare Rider (Arcola, International Tour), Britannicus (Wilton’s Music Hall), Pericles (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Arcola, Belgrade Theatre Coventry), and many more. 

Simon Coates
(Parsons.) Coates’ previous work includes, among others, Romeo and Juliet (Headlong); Translations, Arcadia, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pygmalion, Murmuring Judges, Arturo Ui, Black Snow (National Theatre), and many more.

Tim Dutton
(O'Brien.) Dutton’s previous work includes, among others, Dangerous Corner, Insufficiency, A Handful of Dust, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Cider with Rosie, She’s in Your Hands, London Assurance, War and Pieces, The Lucky Ones, Victory (West End), and many more. 

Stephen Fewell
(Charrington.) Fewell’s previous work includes, among others, ENRON, The Long and the Short and the Tall (West End), Romeo and Juliet, Paradise Lost (Headlong Theatre), The Iliad, The Odyssey (Almeida Theatre), and many more.

Christopher Patrick Nolan
(Martin.) Nolan’s previous work includes, among others, The Seagull (Broadway), Macbeth, War Horse, Stones in His Pockets (West End), and many more. 

Ben Porter
(Syme.) Porter’s previous work includes, among others, Woman in Black, Beckett, What the Butler Saw (West End), An Enemy of the People, The Heiress (National Theatre), and many more. 

Mandi Symonds
(Mrs. Parsons.) Symonds’ previous work includes, among others, Carrie’s War (West End), The Knitting Circle (Soho Theatre), Amazonia, Midnight Hour (Young Vic), Menopause The Musical (The George Bernard Shaw Theatre), and many more.

Koral Kent (Child.) Kent's previous work includes, among others, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Babes in Toyland, and A Christmas Carol (Twin Beach Players.)

Anaïs Killian (Child.) Killian's previous work includes, among others, Animal (Studio Theatre); New Musical Workshop: Snow Child (Arena Stage.)

Robert Icke (Adaptor/Director) is the associate director of the Almeida Theatre. Robert was associate director of Headlong from 2010-13, artistic director of the Arden Theatre Company in Stockton-on-Tees from 2003-07 and of the Swan Theatre Company in Cambridge from 2005-08, where he was awarded the Susie Gautier-Smith Prize for his contribution to theatre. His production of 1984 (which he co-adapted and directed with Duncan Macmillan) won Best Director at the U.K. Theatre Awards and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. Robert was selected as one of the Hospital Club’s 100 most influential people working across Britain’s creative industries in 2014. Other theatre credits include: Uncle Vanya, The Fever, Mr. Burns at Almeida Theatre, Oresteia at Almeida Theatre and the West End, Boys and Romeo and Juliet at Headlong Theatre, and The Alchemist at Liverpool Playhouse.

Duncan Macmillan (Adaptor/Director) is an award-winning playwright and director. His other credits for Headlong include People, Places and Things and 1984. Other credits include Every Brilliant Thing, Lungs, 2071, co-written with Chris Rapley, Atmen, The Forbidden Zone, Reise Durch Die Nacht, adapt. Friederike Mayröcker created with Katie Mitchell and Lyndsey Turner, Wunschloses Unglück, adapt. Peter Handke, Monster. His awards include the Best New Play at the Off West End Awards, 2013 for Lungs, and the Nestroy Preis for Best German Language Production, 2013. His work with director Katie Mitchell has been selected for Theatertreffen and Festival d’Avignon. Macmillan was also the recipient of two awards in the inaugural Bruntwood Playwriting Competition, 2006; and his work with Robert Icke, 1984, was nominated as Best New Play at the Olivier Awards, 2014 and won the U.K. Theatre Award for Best Director (Duncan Macmillan and Robert Icke).

Joining Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan to round out the creative team are Chloe Lamford (Designer), Natasha Chivers (Lighting Designer), Tom Gibbons (Sound Designer), Tim Reid (Video Designer), and Daniel Raggett (Associate Director.)

Chloe Lamford’s (Designer) previous work includes, among others, Boys (Headlong Theatre), Cannibals (The Royal Exchange Theatre), Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales), The Events (ATC/Young Vic), The History Boys (Crucible), and many more.

Natasha Chivers’ (Lighting Designer) previous work includes, among others, Macbeth (Broadway), Oresteia, 1984, That Face (West End), and many more.

Tom Gibbons’ (Sound Designer) previous work includes, among others, A View from the Bridge (Broadway and West End), Oresteia, 1984 (West End), and many more.

Tim Reid’s (Video Designer) previous work includes, among others, Wild Swans (A.R.T./Young Vic), Oresteia (Almeida Theatre), Blood Wedding (Dundee Rep, Graeae, Derby Theatre), 1984 (Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse), Stemmer (Bergen National Opera), and many more.

Daniel Raggett’s (Associate Director) previous work includes, among others, 1984, Bad Jews (West End), The Iliad, The Odyssey (Almeida Theatre), Three Days in the Country, A Small Family Business (National Theatre), and many more.

This production is also supported by Cath Bates (Production Manager), Ian Valkeith (Associate Video Designer), Marc Gough (Re-Lighter), Matthew Russell (Re-Sounder), Ryan Walklett (Wardrobe Manager), Andy Ralph (Company Stage Manager), Ben Marshall (Technical Stage Manager), Amy Griffin (Deputy Stage Manager), Matthew Lambart (Assistant Stage Manager.)

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) is the nation’s leading premier classical theatre company. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible to audiences in and around the nation’s capital.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Executive Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative productions inspire dialogue that connects classic works to the modern human experience. The Company focuses on works with profound themes, complex characters, and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and the playwrights he influenced in order to preserve and promote classic theatre - ambitious, enduring plays with universal themes - for all audiences.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and adult acting classes to accessible community programming like play-relevant discussion series and the Free For All. For the past 25 years the Free For All program has offered an annual remount of a popular production completely free of charge to all audience members.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., STC performs in two theatres, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre and the 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall. In addition to STC productions appearing year-round, these spaces also accommodate presentations from outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. The Company has been a fixture in the vibrant Penn Quarter neighborhood since 1992.

Headlong Theatre is a touring company that makes exhilarating theatre for audiences across the U.K. Through a program of fearless new writing, re-imagined classics, and potent 20th-century plays, Headlong interrogates the contemporary world. Via a combination of bold artistic leadership and the championing of visionary artists, Headlong is able to create spectacular work with the highest possible production values. By positioning the next generation of theatremakers alongside artists of international standing, Headlong ensures it consistently creates bold and original work. Through creative partnerships and the development of innovative online content, Headlong continues to establish itself as a company for the digital age.

The Almeida Theatre exists to launch the next generation of British artists onto the world stage. A small room with an international reputation, the Almeida began life as a literary and scientific society - complete with library, lecture theatre, and laboratory. From the beginning, their building existed to investigate the world. Today, Almeida makes brave new work that asks big questions: of plays, of theatre, and of the world around us. They bring together the most exciting artists to take risks; to provoke, inspire, and surprise audiences; to interrogate the present, dig up the past, and imagine the future. The Almeida makes argument for theatre as an essential force in an increasingly fragmented society.

Nottingham Playhouse is situated in Nottingham city center and puts on a wide variety of drama, music, dance, comedy, and legendary Nottingham Playhouse pantomime. Nottingham Playhouse has been one of the United Kingdom’s leading producing theatres since its foundation in 1948. Touring work nationally and internationally, the Playhouse remains firmly rooted in its vibrant home city, where its spacious modernist building is one of the region’s most popular landmarks. Within the walls of Nottingham Playhouse, they create productions large and small: timeless classics, enthralling family shows, and adventurous new commissions. 

A new adaptation by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

DATES: March 11 - April 10, 2016

LOCATION: Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

TIMES: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 PM (except for Sunday, March 27 and April 10); Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 PM; Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM.

TICKETS: $20-108

ACCESSIBILITYLansburgh Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms, audio enhancement, and Braille and large-print programs.

• An audio-described performance of 1984 will be on Saturday, April 2, at 2 PM.
• An open-captioned performance of 1984 will be on Thursday, March 24, at 8 PM.
• A sign-interpreted performance of 1984 will be on Tuesday, April 5, at 7:30 PM.
• Seating in the audio description section can be reserved by calling the Box Office (202) 547-1122.

PARKING: The LAZ garage is located directly beneath Sidney Harman Hall; enter from E or F Streets between Sixth and Seventh Streets. (The E Street entry is recommended to avoid Verizon Center event traffic.) In the garage, follow signs directing you to 620 F Street and take the elevator to the Winter Garden lobby next door to Sidney Harman Hall on F Street.

METROGallery Pl-Chinatown station on the Red/Green/Yellow lines.

Box Office: (202) 547-1122; Toll-Free: (877) 487-8849;