With the lineup for its 56th annual season the Colorado Shakespeare Festival will return to a classic formula requested by many of its fans.
“We’re really excited to return to a season programming concept would guided our work for decades: we’ll be producing three fully-mounted Shakespeare plays, one from each major category — a comedy, a tragedy, and a history play,” says Philip C. Sneed, producing artistic director for the festival, which has performed Shakespeare and more in Boulder every summer since 1958.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth will play in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. Richard II, the first part of Shakespeare’s Henriad history cycle — which tells the backstory to England’s bloody War of the Roses — will be performed in the University Theatre.
Also on stage will be two Shakespeare-themed works brought back due to popular demand, an exclusive, one-night-only overview of Tina Packer’s 2012 hit Women of Will and the fast-paced, hilarious parody, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
The 2013 season will include a world premiere reading of internationally celebrated playwright Constance Congdon’s new work about Shays’ Rebellion, commissioned by CSF and Shakespeare & Co. (Lenox, Mass.) and funded in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Polis Schutz Family Foundation.
Colorado Shakespeare Festival 2013 Season
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Directed by Philip C. Sneed
Dream a little dream of love and laughter as Shakespeare’s most beloved comedy casts its spell on the enchanting Mary Rippon stage. Moonlight, magic and mirth ensue when four young Athenian lovers and a troupe of actors find themselves subject to the “puckish” wiles and whims of the denizens of the fairy kingdom. It’s an enchanting evening of romance under the stars and a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare for children.
Directed by Jane Page
Shakespeare’s great tragedy explores the darkest corners of the human heart as the infamous Scottish general schemes and murders in his raw, ambitious quest for the throne. The ominous portents of three “weird sisters” and a warning from Banquo’s ghost guide Macbeth’s bloody hand … or do they? It’s a brooding meditation on power and ambition, fate and free will directed by Jane Page, director of CSF’s 2009 smash hit, To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
A hilarious homage for Shakespeare lovers, haters and everyone in between as three actors frantically attempt to perform the entire canon — all 37 plays! — in a couple of hours. That necessitates some … creative editing. Cheer the histories on the gridiron! Get down with Othello through the magic of rap! Pick up culinary tips courtesy of Titus Andronicus!
Directed by James Symons
Richard II opens Shakespeare’s epic four-play Henriad, the backstory to England’s bloody Wars of the Roses — the saga that ends with Richard III. Good-hearted yet weak, Richard II is fated to be challenged by the aggressive, popular Henry Bolingbroke. At a time when image is everything in American politics, Richard’s tragedy poses critical questions about how to govern a divided nation. (Look for the rest of the tetralogy, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, in 2014, and Henry V in 2015*.)
Women of Will
Directed by Eric Tucker
Following critically acclaimed runs in Prague and New York City, Tina Packer brings her fresh, funny, brilliant exploration of Shakespeare’s women back to Boulder for a one-night overview performance with the incomparable Nigel Gore. You won’t want to miss this very special encore.
Making America: A History Play Cycle
World premiere staged reading
Join CSF for a world premiere reading of internationally celebrated playwright Constance Congdon’s new play about Shays’ Rebellion. Daniel Shays’ organizing raised questions about class, idealism and the treatment of war veterans in post-Revolutionary America and influenced the crafting of the Constitution. The play is the first in a cycle commissioned by CSF and Shakespeare & Co. (Lenox, Mass.), funded in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Polis Schutz Family Foundation.
*The University reserves the right to cancel or postpone any future performances in the Henriad cycle.