Looking for something to do with family and friends visiting for Thanksgiving weekend? Skip the Black Friday shopping and take them to the theater. The Folger’s Theater Partners have plenty onstage this month, from Shakespearean tragedies to holiday crowd-pleasers. Here’s a look at some of the Shakespeare plays onstage in November.
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s King Lear continues through November 24. In playing Lear, beloved Atlanta actor Chris Kayser achieves a lifelong goal.
Looking for a laugh? The Atlanta Shakespeare Company ends November with a special three-performance run of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), starring Kirstin Calvert, Danielle Hopkins, and Mary Ruth Ralston.
At the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, The Knight of the Burning Pestle is onstage through November 24. Penned by Shakespeare’s contemporary Francis Beaumont and first performed in 1607, the play is a bawdy, meta-theatrical parody of chivalric romances. In the middle of a performance, a grocer and his wife hop out of the audience to reshape the play around their dim-witted apprentice Rafe.
Romeo and Juliet continues at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater through December 22. If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit, the Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol kicks off November 29. We interviewed the Q Brothers about their rap remix of Shakespeare’s Othello on our podcast, Shakespeare Unlimited, in 2017:
At the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Merry Wives of Windsor plays through December 7. In 2019 – 2020, arts organizations across the Queen City are celebrating the centennial of the passing and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips’ production of The Merry Wives of Windsor is set in 1919, during the era of Women’s Suffrage. During this production, Cincy Shakes has partnered with several organizations to celebrate this milestone. Ohio History Connection’s traveling exhibit “Ohio Women Vote: 100 Years of Change” is on display in company’s lobby, and the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area will be registering voters on select nights during Merry Wives’s run.
A tidbit from Cincinnati that made us smile: Billy Chace, who plays Falstaff in the production, grew up in the DC Metropolitan area and participated in the Folger’s High School Fellows Program (now the Lily McKee High School Fellows Program). Twenty years later, he’s acted in productions of 34 of Shakespeare’s 38 plays.
There’s still time to see the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Romeo and Juliet, onstage through November 17.
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey are part of the Folger’s Shakespeare Theater Partnership Program.