What’s onstage in February at Shakespeare theaters across America

Which Shakespeare plays are onstage this month? We check in with our theater partners Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

In 2012, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company staged an outdoor “movable” production of Richard III, with the audience walking beside the actors in a local historic park. For its 15th anniversary season, the company has revived the popular production, taking it indoors to its downtown Baltimore theater. Military equipment in the lobby and walkways evokes a World War I atmosphere. Richard III runs through Mar 5.

Romeo and Juliet
Hayley Platt (Juliet) and Jacobi Hollingshed (Romeo) in Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s 2017 production of Romeo and Juliet

Atlanta Shakespeare Company is staging Romeo and Juliet for the 17th year running, through Feb. 26 at the Shakespeare Tavern. Director Mary Ruth Ralston shares her thoughts about this classic play:

“One of the things I love most about Shakespeare is that his stories carry different meanings for me at different points in my life. What resonates for me about the story of Romeo and Juliet right now is the impact and terrible cost of prejudice and hatred for the people in the play. The Capulets and Montagues are not written as villains. They are ordinary people who go about their business and care for their own. But they have been raised to hate each other and are set in their ways; they stubbornly adhere to their generations-old family feud, refusing to let their old grudges go or to try to find any empathy for each other. Romeo and Juliet themselves, because they meet and connect before they know that they belong to enemy families, find profound empathy and understanding for each other.”

Alabama Shakespeare Festival has just begun performances of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a condensed version of Shakespeare’s comedy that’s touring to schools. The production, conceived and directed by Greta Lambert with design and music inspired by the 1960s, runs through May 13.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens its season Feb 17 with Julius Caesar, followed closely by Henry IV, Part One, which begins performances Feb 22. Both productions play through October.

We follow up on plays that opened in late JanuaryFolger Theatre continues with As You Like It through Mar 5 in Washington, DC. Bring Down the House, a two-part adaptation of the Henry VI trilogy with an all-female cast, continues through Mar 12 at Seattle Shakespeare Company.

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