What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in July

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“Love’s Labor’s Lost” at Annapolis Shakespeare Company, 2018. Photo by Joshua McKerrow.

Each month, we take a look at what’s onstage at our theater partners across the country. Find your region and see what shakin’ (like, Shake-speare—get it?) near you.

South

At the Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is on through Sunday, July 29. We asked Samantha Smith, the company’s Education and Development Coordinator, what she looks for in a production of Midsummer. Check out her answer in our recent post, “Six things to look for when you watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Houston Shakespeare Festival kicks off soon with productions of Hamlet (starting July 27) and The Comedy of Errors (starting July 28). This summer, the festival welcomes its first female Hamlet: Samantha Hill, pictured above, who brings extensive stage combat experience to the role. With a both a farce and a fencing match included in the season, you might ask: “Aren’t the actors hot out there?” Houstonia asked the same question. Check out their article, “How Do Shakespeare Festival Actors Survive the Houston Heat?”

Saturday, July 21, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival stages Titus Andronicus as part of its Pop-UpRight Shakespeare series. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the festival is putting on six staged readings in surprise locations around Nashville. June’s reading of The Tempest took its audience to the Zeitgeist Art Gallery, capitalizing on “several references to Prospero’s ‘art,’ as in his magic, in the play,” says NSF’s Carrie Brewer. Where will Titus take them? On July 21, keep an eye on the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s social media pages to find out.

West

Catch the African-American Shakespeare Company’s Richard III until Sunday, July 29, with Artistic Director L. Peter Callender in the title role. Director Kirsten Brandt makes the play’s modern resonance clear: “In our current world of fake news and misinformation,” she writes in her director’s note, “Richard III reminds us how language is a weapon to control, confuse and conquer.”

The Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s The Winter’s Tale also runs through July 29. Actor Avanthika Srinivansan, who plays Perdita, used her training to classical Indian singing and dance to help create the music and choreography of an Indian-influenced Bohemia.

Napa Valley Shakespeare’s “Rock the Ground” is on Saturday, July 28. Watch a screening of Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2016 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, followed by a Bollywood Disco Celebration.

At San Diego’s The Old Globe, The Tempest continues through Sunday, July 22.

The Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O returns with productions of King Lear and The Merry Wives of WindsorWooden O, Seattle’s free Shakespeare in the parks series, turns 25 this year. Visit their website to read Artistic Director George Mount’s post about the community that has grown around the beloved institution.

There’s lots to see at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, Henry VI, Part 1, The Merchant of Venice, and more are onstage all summer long. Our pal Wayne T. Carr—who played Pericles in Folger Theatre’s 2015 co-production with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival—plays both Othello and Bassanio. When he was here at the Folger, he told us his Shakespeare Story. 

Midwest

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream kicks off July 25. The production is free and will tour 18 different sites across the Windy City (and one in Peoria, IL), starting with four performances on Navy Pier.

At the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) runs through August 11.

Door Shakespeare stages Much Ado About Nothing and The Comedy of Errors in repertory through August 18. Joe Hanreddy’s production of Much Ado shifts the action to 1865, with a company of Union soldiers stopping off in Door County, WI, for an Independence Day celebration: “My impulse was to shift the Mediterranean setting to something closer to home,” says Hanreddy, “yet distanced enough in time to give sufficient weight to the antiquated attitudes toward sexuality and assumptions of patriarchal privilege that inform the actions of many of the characters.”

At the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, catch The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry Vand Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare at Notre Dame’s production of The Merchant of Venice runs though August 20.

East

The Annapolis Shakespeare Company performs Love’s Labor’s Lost on the front lawn at St. John’s College until July 29.

There are just a few more days to catch the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s production of Macbethwhich closes on July 22. Can’t make Macbeth? BSF’s production of King John follows hard on its heels, opening July 27. It will be—as far as the artists at BSF can tell—the first production of the play in Baltimore since 1781.

If you’re in Boston this month, check out the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Free Shakespeare on the Common. This year, they’re staging Richard III through August 5.

Don’t miss the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s touring production of Hamlet, with three more public performances this month. Richard II and The Taming of the Shrew continue under the festival’s Theater Tent.

At the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Titus Andronicus is onstage through August 5. It’s the first time Titus has appeared on stage at the theater in over thirty years.

It’s not too late to see many of the productions featured in our June round-up, including performances at the American Players Theatre, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Theatricum Botanicum. 


African-American Shakespeare Company, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company,  Door Shakespeare, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Livermore Shakespeare Festival, Napa Valley Shakespeare, Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Seattle Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare at Notre Dame, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and Utah Shakespeare Festival are theater partners of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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