|The 25th Anniversary Season Announced!
Richmond Shakespeare is proud to announce its 25th Anniversary Season. The season will include three shows at Dominion Energy Center’s Gottwald Playhouse and two shows in the Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall & Gardens. Season memberships may be purchased online at www.richmondshakespeare.org.
“This might be one of the most exciting seasons we’ve ever had,” exclaims artistic director James Ricks. “We’re returning to a full, five-show line up of exceptional classical and contemporary pieces that all revolve around the subject of ‘moral dilemma’. They each explore the blurred lines that often exist within our own moral fortitude and the various forces at work as we try to make those lines clearer for ourselves.” Managing director Jase Sullivan adds, “we are thrilled to be returning to our outstanding venues at Dominion Energy Center and Agecroft Hall. This season will also feature our first musical in over five years. Richmond Shakespeare is back in full force.”
William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe are prominently featured this year as playwrights and as subject matter. Ricks explains, “with all the changes that have taken place in the last year with Richmond Shakes, we are eager to take our work to another level. So much so that we’ve adopted a line from Hamlet as our new credo: ‘The readiness is all’.”
Memberships to Richmond Shakespeare’s 25th Anniversary Season are on sale now. Visit www.richmondshakespeare.org for more information and to purchase online.
Conscience doth make cowards of us all…
The season kicks off in October at Dominion Energy Center’s Gottwald Playhouse with Shakespeare’s most famous work, Hamlet. It is a tragedy set across five acts written around the year 1600. More than just a revenge play, Hamlet deals with questions about life and existence, sanity, love, death, and betrayal. It is one of the most quoted works of literature in the world, and since 1960 it has been translated into 75 languages (including Klingon). Grand in scope, rich in language, this classic story of haunting, both literal and metaphorical, ranks among Shakespeare’s masterpieces.
A quick-witted faceoff…
After a successful run at the Guthrie Theatre, the brand new play Born With Teeth by Liz Duffy Adams receives its East Coast premier at the Gottwald in January. An aging authoritarian ruler, a violent police state and a restless, polarized people seething with paranoia: It’s a dangerous time for poets. Two of them – the great Kit Marlowe and the up-and-comer Will Shakespeare – meet in the back room of a pub to collaborate on a history play cycle, navigate the perils of art under a totalitarian regime and flirt like young men with everything to lose. One of them may well be the death of the other.
This is not over yet…
The Gottwald season closes in April with a musical inspired by historical events and currently enjoying a critically acclaimed Broadway revival. Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry’s Parade follows the Franks –a Jewish couple living in Marietta, Georgia – as they’re pulled apart and drawn together by Leo’s 1913 murder trial, conviction, appeal, and eventual lynching. Brutal legal drama contrasts with haunting pastoral lyricism as an unlikely love story unfolds – a unique blend of tones that won both Brown and Uhry Tony Awards (for Original Score and Book respectively). Almost a quarter of a century later, Parade’s urgent exploration of the bitter roots of American bigotry couldn’t be more timely.
He that loves pleasure must for pleasure fall…
Kicking off the Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall next summer is Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. A brilliant but embittered academic, Faustus is a solitary scholar who has exhausted the confines of human knowledge. Frustrated with the futility of religion, law, and science he is desperate for a deeper understanding of the universe – and for the worldwide fame that it will bring. Risking everything, he conjures the demon Mephistophilis and asks him to strike a deal with Lucifer. Twenty four years of absolute knowledge and infinite power in exchange for his soul. Despite being tormented by doubt, Faustus agrees to the deal and signs in blood. But as he begins to revel in his new powers, the world around him starts to collapse and the clock inexorably counts down to the final moment of reckoning.
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps…
Closing out the season at Agecroft Hall is Shakespeare’s beloved Much Ado About Nothing. Masquerades reveal as much as they hide in this hilarious comedy. There is no comedic couple quite as beguiling as Beatrice and Benedick. Wielding words as both weapon and armor (but always with a charming, effervescent glint), their banter is code for so many things – part longing, part loathing, part love. All of it a threat to their carefully cultivated swag. Their chemistry is a barely restrained force of nature. It may just break its bindings. A perpetual Shakespearean favorite; rich, uplifting and oh-so-funny.
We produce vital works of classical and contemporary theatre, with Shakespeare as our foundation. We approach this work boldly with a resolve to ignite spirits, educate minds, and defy expectation.