Soldiers returning home. Armies clashing in a bloody struggle for power. Government officials abusing their authority. These are the Shakespeare characters populating the post-election landscape at our theater partners around the U.S. this month.
Two of the Folger’s theater partners are taking on Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays this month, in which England experiences conflict at home and abroad. (You may have seen these plays in the news recently because of Oxford University Press’s decision to credit Christopher Marlowe as co-author in the New Oxford Shakespeare editions.)
In Georgia, the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is performing Henry VI parts 1, 2, and 3 in repertory Nov. 12-27.
Nebraska Shakespeare is taking Shakespeare’s source material and repackaging the three plays into the two-part A War of Roses: Foreign Flames (part 1) and A Fire Within (part 2). The production is a collaboration between Nebraska Shakespeare and the theater departments at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. (See Nebraska Shakespeare’s website for specific performance dates in November.)
Much Ado About Nothing
Fighting is front-and-center in the Henry VI plays. But in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the fighting has finished and the soldiers are returning home when this play begins. The romance and comedy that ensue take place in the aftermath of victory on the battlefield.
Much Ado About Nothing takes the stage at Ohio’s Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Nov. 18 and runs through Dec. 10. This production takes place in the post-Revolutionary War period – note Benedick’s uniform!
Measure for Measure
The Old Globe’s Globe for All presents free public performances of Measure for Measure at various non-traditional venues around San Diego this month. It’s a play that deals not so much with armies and battles as it does with justice and hypocrisy in government officials.
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Nebraska Shakespeare, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and The Old Globe are theater partners of the Folger Shakespeare Library.