This week’s picks are an international group of classic stories
By Candice Norwood
Last year, The Sydney Theatre Company, a top company based in Australia brought Academy Award-winning actress, and Australian native Cate Blanchett to the D.C. stage for a succuessful run of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Blanchett, best know for roles major block busters such as Elizabeth and The Aviator, will return with the company this week to stage Anton Chekhov’s dramatic work Uncle Vanya to The Kennedy Center.
The show follows the hardships and complicated relationships between two brothers and their families on a large Russian estate. Blanchett plays Yelena, the beautiful wife of Professor Serebryakov and the object of her brother-in-law’s obsession. With Chekhov’s characteristic blend of tragedy and comedy, the production has a number of twists as the characters undergo jealousy, love affairs and vengeance.
One of the most popular and most controversial plays staged in the theater world, this classic Shakespearean tragedy has the name that many actors refuse to utter inside a theater to this day. A story of betrayal, greed and prophecies, Macbeth takes place in a Gaelic tribe during the rule of King Duncan of Scotland. The king’s trusted general Macbeth learns of his fate as the future King of Scotland from three witches. Upon hearing this revelation, the headstrong Lady Macbeth quickly devises a deadly plan to ensure her husband’s future. The aftermath of such actions, however, drive Lady Macbeth to insanity and ultimately lead to bloody battle for power.
With romance, passion and adventure, The Ramayana is one of the oldest tales told in Sanskrit history and it holds particular significance as one of two great epics in India. Traditionally the story is divided into several books that tell of the life of prince Rama. The early books describe a young Rama as he grows up, marries his beloved Sita and is banished to the forest by his own family. When Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, the evil king of Lanka, Rama must form an army and journey to recuse his love. Presented by the Constellation Theatre Company, The Ramayana is a captivating tale that touches audiences for generation after generation.