Performing Arts: Shakespeare Theatre Co’s New Season

by Editorial

Artistic Director Michael Kahn announces the 2012-2013 season of the Shakespeare’s Theater Company.
By Carolina Cornejo

A reconstruction of the theatre where William Shakespeare's playing company was based. (Photo: Kieran Lynam)

Currently midway through The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s celebratory 25th Anniversary Season, Artistic Director Michael Kahn announced the Company’s schedule for the 2012-2013 season.”This exciting season is a lot of firsts for me,” says Artistic Director Michael Kahn. “We have a world premiere adaptation of Schiller’s Wallenstein by Robert Pinsky, the first Russian play to grace our stages and the STC directorial debut of Aaron Posner, who is directing a terrific play, Shaw’s Man and Superman. I’m also thrilled to welcome the return of repertory productions through the generous sponsorship of Clarice Smith. It will be quite the exhilarating season.”

The new season features the return of repertory productions; the Hero/Traitor Repertory will be comprised of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and Friedrich Schiller’s Wallenstein adapted by Robert Pinsky. The lineup also includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale; George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, Nikolai Gogol’s comedy The Government Inspector adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, as well as a remounting of All’s Well That Ends Well, originally directed by Michael Kahn in 2010.

The season opens with Free For All – William Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well original direction by Michael Kahn and currently directed by Jenny Lord will be playing from August 23 – September 9, 2012 in Sidney Harman Hall. The play tells the story of Helena, the daughter of a doctor, who cures the ailing King of France, that promises her the husband of her choice. However, little does the King know, that the husband of Helena’s choice is Count Bertram, who’s love is unrequited. With resourceful deception and ample persistence, our heroine Helena overcomes one obstacle after another in this season’s opener.

Next on the schedule is Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the original by Nikolai Gogol’s directed by Michael Kahn. This will be performed from September 13 – October 28, 2012 in the Lansburgh Theatre. This play consists of a satire of provincial Russian bureaucracy. In this play, the main character, Khlestakov, a civil servant who is running out of money, travels from Saint Petersburg to a small town where the action of the story starts right when bumbling town officials mistake him for an incognito inspector investigating them for corruption, turning this play into an ironic comedy.

Following Gogol’s comedy comes William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Ethan McSweeny, playing from November 15 – December 30, 2012 and presented in Sidney Harman Hall. This play tells the tale of mismatched lovers, Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena, that flee to the forest outside Athens. Once they reach the forest, they run into a supernatural squabble that will alter their destinies forever. This play deals with love, magic and wonder as dreams blend with the reality of the play.

Next comes a play that is presented by the STC for the first time, called George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, directed by Aaron Posner. This will be playing from January 24 – March 10, 2013 and being presented at Lansburgh Theatre. This play presents the question of whether or not man can live without the love of a woman. It talks about the story of John Tanner, a wealthy intellectual who values his freedom, who finds out that Ann Whitefield is seeking him as a husband. He then attempts to escape but is overcome by his attraction towards her.

The Hero/Traitor repertory is first in the Clarice Repertory Series. The Shakespeare Theatre Company chose the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation to sponsor the newly established Clarice Smith Repertory Series, featuring plays in repertory each season for the next three years. “This sponsorship will help the Shakespeare Theatre Company fulfill one of my most vital artistic objectives, to regularly incorporate repertory into our annual main-stage programming, as well as educate and engage our audience in this important work,” said Artistic Director Michael Kahn. The first presentation, Shakespeare’s Coriolanus will play in repertory with Schiller’s Wallenstein.

William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, directed by David Muse, will be playing from March 28 – June 2, 2013 in the Sidney Harman Hall. This play portrays the story of the mighty hero, Caius Martius, who earns the new name of “Coriolanus” for his triumphs in battle. However, he is condemned as a traitor and sent into exile. Desiring revenge against the Romans who banished him, he befriends his blood enemy, Aufidius, in order to launch an assault on his beloved city. Rome, in its terror, pleads with Coriolanus to end his crusade for vengeance.

Friedrich Schiller’s, Wallenstein translated and freely adapted by Robert Pinsky, is directed by Michael Kahn and presented from March 29 – May 31, 2013 in the Sidney Harman Hall.

William Shakespeare. (Photo: tonynetone)

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