What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in November

Every month, we give our theater partners across the United States a ring to find out more about the Shakespeare plays they have onstage. What’s on in November? Read on to find out.

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’s In the Works program stages contemporary American plays in dialogue with Shakespeare’s works. Onstage now is George Brant’s Into the Breeches! The play tells a story of the American home front in World War II: to save their beloved theater, a group of St. Louis ladies band [-of-brothers -sisters] together to stage an all-female production of Henry V. Into the Breeches! is onstage until November 18.

At Virginia’s Brave Spirits Theatre, the Lunatic Rep, which features Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling and John Webster’s The Duchess of Malficontinues until November 18. These two plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries both “feature prominent female characters battling against the confines of their patriarchal societies. Both plays examine secrecy, sex, violence, abuse, madness, identity, and family—but they do so through very different stories,” writes Production Dramaturg Claire Kimball. Learn more about the history of the plays on Brave Spirits’s website. 

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Twelfth Night kicks off at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company this Friday, November 16. Our pal Austin Tichenor, of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, directs. The production’s Wild West mise en scène takes inspiration from the reclaimed barn wood that features prominently in the company’s new theater: “Those boards suggested to us both a saloon and a wharf, which led us to think of San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush as the perfect place to ground Shakespeare’s comedy.” Check out costume renderings from designer Clara Jean Kelly above.

Pericles is onstage until November 25 at Pennsylvania’s Gamut Theatre Group.  Director Thomas Weaver suggests that his audience “look for the miracles” in this production. Weaver writes:

During the time surrounding his writing of Pericles, Shakespeare’s mother passed away, his daughter married, and he became a grandfather. I don’t think it a coincidence that Shakespeare writes a story about the absurdity of human suffering, the importance of hope, and the prospect of miracles during a time in his life where he is surrounded by death and birth. I cannot prove that Shakespeare was thinking about his granddaughter Elizabeth being born into a plague-ridden world when he wrote the scene in which Pericles tells his new tempest-born daughter Marina “Now mild be thy life…”, but I know it to be true.

Every Sunday throughout the show’s run, tickets for Pericles are Bring-Your-Own-Price, which means that a donation of any size gets you a ticket to the show.

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“The Merchant of Venice” Pop-UpRight #2 at Nashville Shakespeare Festival, 2018. Photo: Carrie Brewer. Actors (L) Morgan Davis as Portia, (R) Brooke Bethel as Nerissa

There’s still time to experience the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Pop-UpRight Shakespeare series. On Sunday, November 17, the Festival stages its final reading of the year: Richard III

⇒ Read more about the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Pop-UpRight Shakespeare series

Here at Folger TheatreKing John is onstage until December 2. Director Aaron Posner writes that the rarely-performed play explores timely questions of leadership and the complicated intersections of the personal and the political.

What theaters will you visit in November? Tell us in the comments!


Brave Spirits Theatre Company, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Gamut Theatre Group, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis are theater partners of the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

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