What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in October

Every month, we share a snapshot of Shakespeare in performance around America. What plays are onstage this month? We check in with our theater partners Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Folger Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Et tu, Brute? Chesapeake Shakespeare Company opens its 15th season with a modern-dress production of Julius Caesar (Sep 29–Oct 29). A few roles have flipped gender; perhaps most notably, Mark Antony becomes Mar Antonia. Earlier this month, at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, curators offered a special tour of the museum’s Roman collection, while actors performed short scenes from the play.

Fast forward several years later from the time of Julius Caesar, and Mark Antony is now an older man, carrying on a passionate affair with the Egyptian queen. Folger Theatre opens its season with Antony and Cleopatra (Oct 10–Nov 19), transforming the historic theater for an arena-style production for only the second time in its history.

Nebraska Shakespeare is on the road this month, bringing Shakespeare’s work into classrooms and communities as part of its Shakespeare On Tour program. This fall’s production is Romeo and Juliet. Check Nebraska Shakespeare’s website for a list of public performances.

Romeo and Juliet is a bit of a play-within-a-play in Shakespeare in Love, which began previews Oct 11 at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and continues onstage through Nov 12. The play, adapted by Lee Hall from the Oscar-winning movie, imagines William Shakespeare struggling with writer’s block and a forbidden romance.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater continues its all-female production of The Taming of the Shrew, with a suffragette twist, through Nov 12.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival nears the season’s end: Henry IV, Part One, closes Oct 28, and Julius Caesar, Henry IV, Part Two, and Shakespeare in Love close Oct 29.

Utah Shakespeare Festival also winds down its season this month: William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (Abridged) and the art deco A Midsummer Night’s Dream close Oct 21.


Learn more about the Folger Shakespeare Library’s theater partnership program.

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