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William Shakespeare’s
As You Like It
directed by Michael Attenborough
Lansburgh Theatre
October 28 – December 7

William Shakespeare’s
The Tempest
directed by Ethan McSweeny
Sidney Harman Hall
December 2 – January 11

David Ives’
The Metromaniacs
adapted by David Ives
directed by Michael Kahn
Lansburgh Theatre
February 3 – March 8
David Greig’s
directed by Roxana Silbert
from the National Theatre of Scotland
& Royal Shakespeare Company
Sidney Harman Hall
February 4 – February 21

Man of La Mancha
directed by Alan Paul
Sidney Harman Hall
March 17 – April 26

directed by Dominique Serrand
Sidney Harman Hall
June 2 – July 5

STC Presentation Series

Isango Ensemble Repertory
The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo and Venus and Adonis
Lansburgh Theatre
September 12–21, 2014

The Magic Flute - Impempe Yomlingo
Lansburgh Theatre
September 13–21, 2014

An adaption of Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo performs the play’s score on marimbas, drums and South African percussion, and reinterprets the story in contemporary South Africa through the unique perspective of its townships. This Olivier Award-winner for Best Musical Revival has thrilled audiences in London, Dublin, South Africa, Tokyo and Singapore, and received the Globes de Cristal for Best Opera Production following a sold-out season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Venus and Adonis
Lansburgh Theatre
September 12-17, 2014

Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare’s epic poem of love and seduction, is reborn with this adaption that takes the heart of the original work and reimagines it as only this South African troupe can. Venus, Goddess of love, finds herself enchanted by the power of beauty in the form of Adonis, after her rebellious son, Cupid, wounds her. Performed in three African languages and in English, the play transcends borders with carnival-like theatricality, music and dance.

A letter from Michael Kahn announcing the season.

Dear Friends,

This coming season at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, we welcome internationally renowned directors Michael Attenborough and Dominique Serrand, who respectively share between them a Commander of the British Empire and a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government. Also returning are beloved familiar faces such as David Ives—the most produced playwright in America, sharing with us the world premiere of his newest adaptation—as well as past and present STC Associate Directors Ethan McSweeny and Alan Paul.

From vivid reimaginings of timeless classics to brand new adaptations of plays almost lost to history, our 2014–2015 Season has a little bit of something for everyone.

Put simply, I have been trying to bring Michael Attenborough to Washington for a very long time. He has been the Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre in London for the past 10 years, and before that he was Principal Associate Director at the RSC. When discussing projects with me, Michael suggested that he direct As You Like It in the Lansburgh. He sees it as a very personal and intimate play, and I’m looking forward to what is sure to be a beautiful production of one of Shakespeare’s most warm-spirited and light-hearted comedies.

For the holiday season of 2012, Ethan McSweeny mounted a truly magical production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It seems perfectly fitting, then, that he is returning to direct Shakespeare’s most explicitly magical and final play, The Tempest. It will be our first Tempest in many years, and I am very excited for Ethan to be at the helm. Ethan’s signature wizardry is sure to be at hand in this production. Saying anything more would only be spoiling the magic.

We are devoting two shows to the unimaginable wealth of the French comic tradition as our third offering in the Clarice Smith Series. First off, we are taking a fresh look at Molière’s masterpiece of religious hypocrisy, Tartuffe. The legendary Dominique Serrand, co-founder of the Tony Award-winning Théâtre de la Jeune Lune, will be directing. Steven Epp, who was an outstanding, Helen Hayes Award-winning Truffaldino in The Servant of Two Masters two seasons ago, also happily returns to play the title role, a perfect part for his brand of inspired comic genius.

In concert with Tartuffe, we are thrilled to round out David Ives’ trilogy of French verse comedies with Alexis Piron’s The Metromaniacs. After David’s tremendous success with The Liar and The Heir Apparent, two works from the mid and late 17th century, we enter the 18th with this play, never before translated into English. A huge success in 1738, Piron’s play is an uproarious lampoon of his famous real-life rival Voltaire’s infatuation with an anonymous poetess. Like David’s other adaptations of Corneille and Regnard, this one will be a compact marvel of rhymed couplets, mistaken identities and theatrical ingenuity. I will be directing, and David and I are planning on having a lot of fun together. All three of our commissions for David Ives, including The Metromaniacs, have been funded by the Beech Street Foundation, and we are most grateful to them for allowing us to bring important new adaptations of the classics to our stage.

One of the great joys of this season was seeing STC Associate Director Alan Paul’s success with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It was one of the most purely entertaining productions we have ever done, and an exciting glimpse of how classically-inspired musicals can function in Sidney Harman Hall. Next season, Alan will be directing Man of La Mancha, one of the best musicals ever adapted from a great classic, and by my reckoning, the best adaptation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote in any medium. By the way, Miguel de Cervantes was a near exact contemporary of Shakespeare’s, and they died one day apart, in April of 1616. We honor them both this coming season.

We have been honored with the opportunity to bring into our mainstage season David Greig’s Dunsinane from the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The National Theatre of Scotland, which previously brought to STC special engagements of Black Watch and Greig’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, has built an international reputation on presenting world-class theatre that excites and challenges audiences. This lauded production has already toured Scotland, the U.K., Russia and China, and it is a great privilege to be able to share it with you.

Dunsinane, a dramatic sequel to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, tells the story of one man’s attempt to restore peace in a country ravaged by war, and examines the struggle of an alien invader to grasp local customs and politics while trying to establish order. It is a production that serves our mission to produce works inspired by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, delivered in a modern voice—and a play that will resonate with today’s audiences.

In order to act on this opportunity, we have decided to replace the previously announced production of Enrico IV, which I was slated to direct in spring 2015, with Dunsinane. The limited availability of this production restricts us to that slot, but it was important to me to be able to bring this powerful and timely work to our stage.  Rest assured, our Box Office staff can address any concerns or changes to our renewing subscribers’ tickets that this limited engagement may cause.

I also want to announce that our selection for the STC Presentation Series for 2014-2015 will include two productions by the Isango Ensemble from South Africa. Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute and Shakespeare’s epic love poem Venus and Adonis will play in repertory at the Lansburgh Theatre September 12-21, 2014. The Isango Ensemble’s unique performances reset Western theatre classics within a South African township, utilizing music, dance and elements of South African heritage. Their productions speak to a broad and open-minded multicultural audience and have played to sold-out audiences around the world.

See you at the theatres,
Michael Kahn
Artistic Director