Every month, we take a look at the Shakespeare plays that our theater partners are staging all across the United States. Here’s what’s on in September.
Our friends from Bedlam Theatre are in residence at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival this month: see their rapid-fire, four-actor productions of Hamlet and George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan in repertory through October 6. “The hope is that people will forget that they’re watching these classics and see something with a fresh eye,” actor Mike Labbadia told the Montgomery Advertiser.
At the Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Hamlet opens September 27. “Bringing Shakespeare’s greatest play into a modern context, ASC’s boldly visual and physical production explores the central energies of the text,” writes director Sally Boyett.
Here at Folger Theatre, the 2019/20 season kicks off with 1 Henry IV, starring beloved DC actor Edward Gero as Falstaff. “Shakespeare’s histories are the ultimate examination of how the personal and the political are intertwined,” Rosa Joshi writes in her director’s notes. “This intensely personal story about growing up plays out against a political backdrop of civil discord and questions of rightful rule… They are stories about powerful families in conflict, making political decisions that affect ordinary people.” 1 Henry IV runs through October 13.
Nebraska Shakespeare’s Othello, on tour through October 23, switches the genders of some of the play’s central characters: Othello, Iago, and “Roderiga” are played by Roshni Desai, Katie Becker Colón, and Anna Jordan respectively, while “Desdemonan” is played Henry Ragan.
There are just two more chances to see the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of As You Like It. The final performance is September 22.
In Shakespeare Dallas’s Macbeth (through October 13), Shakespeare’s story takes place in an alternative near-future Silicon Valley where tech companies bid for ultimate control in a dynamic and changing industry.
At the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, see As You Like It through September 29.
There’s still time to see Hamlet and more at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. This is actor and Southwest Shakespeare Company Co-Artistic Director Quinn Mattfeld’s third time playing Hamlet, so he’s had plenty of chances to explore the Melancholy Dane. In a blog post, Mattfeld writes:
The flaw in many of the underlying assumptions about Hamlet have nothing to do with the accuracy of the psychological projections onto his motivations, but rather the fact that those assumptions are static… The vehicle underlying Hamlet’s character arc is discovery. Throughout the course of the play Hamlet discovers the nature of his own humanity and the spiritual agency he generates in that process comes in the form of change.
At Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Twelfth Night continues through September 28.
Next month: October 3 – 5, catch a very special performance of Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder produced by the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Nine Network of Public Media, Jazz St. Louis, and The Big Muddy Dance Company. Ellington’s 1956 jazz suite is made up of twelve songs inspired by Shakespeare’s plays and characters; In St. Louis’s performance, Ellington’s music scores a love story brought to life by 18 dancers, two actors, and a 15-piece jazz band.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theatre, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nebraska Shakespeare, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Dallas, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Theatre for a New Audience, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum are part of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare Theater Partnership Program.