If you’re looking for a side of Shakespeare to go with that Thanksgiving turkey, check out the plays that the Folger’s theater partners have cooking! There’s Beatlemania at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a “Binge Fest” at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, and much more. What are you planning to see onstage this month? Tell us in the comments!
The Shakespeare Binge Fest continues at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company with a rotating repertory of shows playing throughout November. Catch The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). For two nights only, the students from the company’s Shakespeare Intensive for Teens perform their production of Love’s Labor’s Lost.
At the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, it’s time to “come together” again! The theater’s high-spirited, music-filled adaptation of As You Like It, now extended through December 5, infuses Shakespeare’s romantic comedy with the hit songs of the Beatles, lifting the playwright’s verse in beautiful harmony with the immortal music of the Fab Four. More than 20 musical numbers performed live onstage—including favorites like “She Loves You,” “Let It Be,” and “Here Comes the Sun”—make for an exuberant celebration of love and connection. Check out a 30-minute Pre-Amble talk with Chicago Shakes scholar-in-residence Regina Buccola, PhD, sharing insights on the play and this interpretation on the theater’s website.
There are two more chances to catch The Old Globe’s Globe for All tour of Shakespeare: Call and Response in San Diego. Rooted in the vibrant interplay between performers and audience, the show is an hour-long celebration of verse, music, dance, and audience participation. Built for plazas and outdoor venues, the piece features five virtuosic actors, who transform into a variety of roles based on feedback from the audience. Part Whose Line Is It Anyway? and part The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), the event is anchored by a DJ inviting the crowd in while spinning hits to get people on their feet. See it for free November 13 at 3:30 pm in Lauderbach Park or November 14 at 1 pm at the “Cascades” by the Fleet Science Center fountain in Balboa Park.
That’s not all that’s happening at The Old Globe: In Henry IV, Part 1, onstage through November 19, the actors in training at The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program bring Shakespeare’s epic tale of history, power, honor, and family to thrilling life. Staged in the unique environs of the Globe’s large, open, and raw rehearsal studios, this modern production directed by MFA program director Jesse Perez brings Hal, Hotspur, Quickly, and Falstaff into the 21st century.
Looking for a little modern drama? Check out the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Community Bake-Off on November 13 and 14. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, the Bake-Off is a community playwriting event in which participants are given a list of “ingredients” surrounding a theme to incorporate into their play to inspire creativity. The theme for HVSF’s 2021 Online Bake-Off is Sustainability; ingredients include a carpenter building an ark, a blue sky, and a soliloquy from a fish. Register now to watch the live readings online.
Gnit, playwright Will Eno’s brand-new version of Ibsen’s classic Peer Gynt, is playing through November 21 at Brooklyn’s Theatre for a New Audience. Part horror story, part fairy tale, and part road movie, Gnit is a timely reckoning with or received notions of Rugged Individualism and the self-made person.
You’ll have to hurry if you want to catch Romeo and Juliet at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (final performance November 13) or The Taming of the Shrew at the American Players Theatre (final performance November 14). If you can’t make it to Cincinnati or Spring Green this weekend, both shows are available to stream virtually through their closing dates.
Shakespeare for your ears
Acclaimed actors from Hollywood, Broadway, and London’s West End team up for Shakespeare@’s Shakespeare@ Home radio drama series. Conceived as an homage to the heyday of radio theater from the 1930s and ’40s, Shakespeare@ Home’s serial productions of Richard II, The Tempest, and Julius Caesar are available to listen to for free on their website and streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher. These acclaimed sonic productions feature stars from around the globe, including Tony-nominee Patrick Page (Broadway’s Hadestown), David Hargreaves (Shakespeare’s Globe’s Henry V, Fleabag), and Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor).
Listen to the Seattle Shakespeare Company’s new limited podcast series, Under this Light: A Revelation of Shakespeare and Self, which gathers locally and nationally recognized theater artists of color for a conversations about their relationship with Shakespeare and the classics. Hosted by Lamar Legend, Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Diversity Programming Coordinator, each episode in the biweekly series explores the guest artist’s background and career to uncover personal triumphs, current struggles, future ambitions, while revealing what Shakespeare means to them.
Plus, don’t forget the Folger’s Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Episode #178, with voice coaches Cynthia Santos DeCure and Micha Espinosa, is streaming now. Up next: a conversation about holidays and revelry in Shakespeare’s England with Erika T. Lin of The Graduate Center at the City University of New York.
American Players Theatre, Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Old Globe, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Theatre for a New Audience, Shakespeare@, and Seattle Shakespeare Company are members of the Folger’s Theater Partnership Program.