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October 9, 2020, Washington, D.C.: Yesterday, in a virtual townhall meeting for staff, season subscribers, and donors, Artistic Director Simon Godwin and Executive Director Chris Jennings shared the lineup for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s revised 2020/21 season.
“We are so excited to announce that we are moving ahead with our revised season, and we are working to responsibly invite audiences, actors, and staff back into our theatres,” Jennings states. “We have a dedicated Safety Committee who has been working for months on every detail to conform to regional and national guidelines. We are planning for online and immersive productions for Phase 2 of ReOpen DC in accordance with the Mayor’s office, and returning to live theatre events when we reach Phase 3.”
“Since April, we have been connecting in meaningful ways with our patrons through different streaming content and channels, such as our weekly Shakespeare Hour LIVE! discussions with internationally acclaimed actors, directors, and scholars, our virtual Camp Shakespeare for student thespians, and recent benefit events such as Will on the Hill and our annual Gala, which brought in international audiences,” explains Godwin. “What we have been learning is that theatre is here—in Harman Hall, but it is also here—at your home, and here—on your laptop. STC is Here. Anyplace where you can connect with your favorite artists, with significant plays, that is theatre. That is where STC will be.”
The first show of the season All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villainis a study in Shakespearean villainy, written by and starring STC Affiliated Artist Patrick Page who has played many of theatre’s most reviled bad guys. “We are very lucky to have Patrick share his one-man play with us in a format that can be viewed online. All the Devils Are Here will launch STC Digital, our new online platform that we will use throughout the season to reach a wider audience,” Jennings states. “After the cinematic caliber of our annual gala, we are looking forward to making our online productions as beautiful and as fully realized as possible.”
After a sold-out run this summer at the Donmar Warehouse in London, the immersive sound installation Blindness invites audiences back into Sidney Harman Hall for an engrossing and thrilling story of a pandemic that causes blindness. Hailed as a “triumph” by The New York Times, this remarkable piece of art for our times adapted by Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and directed by Walter Meierjohann (former Artistic Director of HOME in Manchester, England), features a haunting recorded performance by Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply) that patrons experience through headphones. Touring also to the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto and the off-Broadway Daryl Roth Theatre in New York City, Blindness is limited to 40 guests per showing, and is offered as a special add-on event.
“We want you to come back to Sidney Harman Hall and just focus on the performance, to enjoy your night out at the theatre again,” Godwin states. “And, we also realize that some of even our most dedicated patrons may not be ready to return to the theatre this season, so we are offering the rest of the season’s shows—The Crucible, The Chairs, Red Velvet, and As You Like It—as both online or in socially-distanced theatrical options when we reach Phase 3.”
STC’s new Associate Director Whitney White (The Amen Corner, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) returns to direct Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Godwin says, “She has an ambitious plan for this production. Whitney is going to revitalize Miller’s political drama for our times.”
STC’s Associate Artistic Director Alan Paul (Camelot, Peter Pan and Wendy) will direct Eugène Ionesco’s classic of absurdist theatre The Chairs. “This play is about isolation, loneliness, the end of life–and yet it’s very funny,” Godwin offers. “It’s sweet and sardonic, exactly what we need right now.”
“We are excited to present Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet, the history of the great Black American actor Ira Aldridge who famously played Shakespearean heroes across Europe when slavery was still legal in the United States. Jade King Carroll, a director I really admire and have wanted to work with, will direct,” Godwin states. “This is a season of works that confront our moment, our anxieties, our hopes.”
“Finally, I am excited to direct As You Like It, one of my favorite Shakespearean comedies, an escape from the politics of the court into a green world of wonder, love, and family reunions. This is a play we had planned for the original 2020/21 season, and I’m pleased we will be able to retain the production for this season.”
Subscriptions are on sale now: https://www.shakespearetheatre.org/events/2020-21-season-subscriptions/ . Single tickets for All the Devils Are Here and Blindness will be available for purchase November 16th.
Performance dates for the season will be released later. All artists and titles are subject to change.
All the Devils are Here is sponsored by KPMG. As You like It is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
CoStar Group is the streaming sponsor of the 2020/21 season.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
LOLITA CHAKRABARTI is an award-winning actress and writer. She has worked extensively as an actress on stage and screen. As a writer Red Velvet is her debut play (Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright 2012; Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright 2012; AWA Award for Arts and Culture 2013; WhatsonStage nominations for London Newcomer of the Year and Best New Play 2012; Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre 2012). Red Velvet premiered at the Tricycle Theatre, London in 2012 where it returned in 2014 before transferring to St Anne’s Warehouse, New York. Lolita also wrote Last Seen – Joy for The Almeida Theatre and a five-part adaptation of The Goddess for BBC Radio 4. Lolita runs Lesata Productions with Rosa Maggiora and Adrian Lester.
THE DONMAR WAREHOUSE is a 251-seat, not-for-profit theatre in Covent Garden, London, led by Artistic Director Michael Longhurst and Executive Director Henny Finch. Their mission is to bring together a wide variety of people in their intimate warehouse space and elsewhere to create, witness, and participate in thrilling, world-class theatre. The Donmar has won more than 100 awards in its 28-year history, with highlights of the program including founder artistic director Sam Mendes’ productions of Cabaret (with Alan Cumming) and The Blue Room (with Nicole Kidman). Michael Grandage (Artistic Director 2002-2012) brought notable productions of Othello with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ewan McGregor, and Red with Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne. Josie Rourke (AD 2012-2019) brought Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus, and a trilogy of all-female Shakespeare plays directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Current Artistic Director Michael Longhurst’s inaugural 2019-20 season focused on important stories, thrillingly told, and included new play by leading writers including Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Alice Birch, and Mike Lew.
SIMON GODWIN joined Shakespeare Theatre Company as Artistic Director in September 2019. He also serves as Associate Director of the National Theatre of London, and previously as Associate Director at the Royal Court Theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, and the Royal and Derngate Theatres (Northampton). While at the Royal Court, Simon directed seven world premieres, including Routes, If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, NSFW, The Witness, Goodbye to All That, The Acid Test and Wanderlust. He made his debut at the National Theatre with Strange Interlude followed by Man and Superman, and went on to direct The Beaux’ Stratagem, Twelfth Night, a celebrated production of Antony and Cleopatra with Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, and most recently, the world premiere of Simon Wood’s Hansard. Simon has also directed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, including productions of Timon of Athens with Kathryn Hunter in the titular role, which will be reimagined in early 2020 for Theatre for a New Audience in New York City and Shakespeare Theatre Company, an acclaimed Hamlet, which toured to the Kennedy Center, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Simon recently made his Tokyo debut, directing a Japanese cast in Hamlet for Theatre Cocoon. Other productions include The Little Mermaid, Krapp’s Last Tape/A Kind of Alaska, Faith Healer, Far Away, Everyman, Habeas Corpus and Relatively Speaking. In 2012 Simon was awarded the inaugural Evening Standard/Burberry Award for an Emerging Director.
JADE KING CARROLL: Proof of Love (Audible/NYTW) Detroit ’67 (McCarter Theatre/Hartford Stage); Intimate Apparel, The Piano Lesson (McCarter Theatre); The Piano Lesson (Hartford Stage); Having Our Say (Hartford Stage/Long Wharf Theatre); Autumn’s Harvest (Lincoln Center Institute); A Trouble in Mind (Two River Theater & Playmaker’s Rep); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Whipping Man, Native Gardens (Portland Stage); The Revolutionists, Sunset Baby (City Theatre); A Raisin In The Sun (Juilliard & Perseverance); The Tempest (Chatauqua Theater Company); Seven Guitars, The Persians (People’s Light and Theatre & Point Park University); King Hedley II (Portland Playhouse); Mr Chickee’s Funny Money (Atlantic Theater); Skeleton Crew (Dorset Theater Festival, Portland Stage & Theatreworks- Palo Alto/Marin Theatre); From the Author of (Delaware Rep); A Member of the Wedding (Tennessee Williams Theater Festival); Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (Playwright’s Realm); Associate Director for A Streetcar Named Desire and The Gin Game (Broadway),The Children’s Monologues (Carnegie Hall). Jade has developed works with playwrights Chisa Hutchinson, Dael Orlandersmith, Candrice Jones, Sofia Alvarez, Aurin Squire, Jonathan Payne, Kia Corthron, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Joshua Allen, Dominique Morriseau, Sam Chanse, Kara Lee Corthron, Betty Shamieh, Keith Joseph Adkins, Janine Nabers, Kelli Goff, Kristen Greenidge, C.A Johnson and many others, culminating with readings and workshops at Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizon, New York Theatre Workshop, The O’Neill Theater Center, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre, Two River Theatre, New Dramatists, Second Stage Theatre, The Lark, Primary Stages, Time Warner New Play Festival, LABryinth, PlayPenn, Joe’s Pub, Goethe Institute, Lincoln Center Institute, and many others. Jade has taught, guest lectured and directed at Juilliard, Princeton, New York University, Rutgers, Penn State, WVU, SUNY, Adelphi, Kean University, NYCDA, Point Park University, Iowa University. Jade was presented with the Paul Green Award from the National Theatre Conference and The Estate of August Wilson. Past Fellowships & Awards: TCG New Generations Future Leader, New York Theatre Workshop, Van Lier, Second Stage Theatre, Women’s Project, McCarter Theatre, SUNY 40 under 40, Gates Millennium Scholar.
WALTER MEIERJOHANN was Artistic Director of HOME from 2013 to 2018 and International Associate Director at the Young Vic in London. At the Young Vic, his productions included the European premiere of In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell McCraney and Kafka’s Monkey, which toured to Sydney, Melbourne, Athens, Paris, Tokyo, Istanbul, Taipei, and New York. The production, which starred Kathryn Hunter, also showed in HOME’s 2015 opening season, with Hunter reprising her lead role. Walter has worked extensively in Germany and the UK at theatres including: the Barbican; Liverpool Playhouse; Nottingham Playhouse; The Curve, Leicester; Residenztheater, Munich; Staatsschauspiel, Dresden; Schauspiel, Graz; and Arena, Berlin, for Peter Stein’s Faust Ensemble and Impulse Theatre Festival. Prior to joining the Young Vic, Walter was Artistic Director of Neubau at the State Theatre of Dresden. In opera, he has assisted the late Klaus-Michael Grueber in his productions of Aida (Nederlands Opera, Amsterdam) and Don Giovanni (Ruhrfestspiele).
PATRICK PAGE received a Tony Award nomination for his work in Hadestown on Broadway after starring as Hades in the off-Broadway, Citadel Theatre, and National Theatre productions. Other Broadway: The Inquisitor in Saint Joan, Valentina in Casa Valentina, Buckley in Time to Kill, Adult Men in Spring Awakening, DeGuiche in Cyrano de Bergerac, Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons, Decius Brutus in Julius Caesar, Scar in The Lion King, The Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and Mackie in The Kentucky Cycle. Other New York: Cymbeline in Cymbeline (New York Shakespeare Festival/Delacort), Max in The Sound of Music (Carnegie Hall). Regional: Page recently created the roles of Dom Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse and Papermill Playhouse, and Captain Dragutin Dimitrijevic in Rajiiv Joseph’s Archduke at the Mark Taper Forum. He is an Associate Artist of The Old Globe in San Diego (Cyrano, Malvolio), and the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, D.C. (Coriolanus, Prospero, Macbeth, Iago, Claudius). Television: recurring roles on Elementary, Madam Secretary, Flesh and Bone, and guest starring roles on Evil, NCIS: New Orleans, The Good Wife, The Blacklist, Chicago P.D., and Law and Order: S.V.U.
ALAN PAUL is the Associate Artistic Director of Shakespeare
Theatre Company. His STC credits include the world premiere of
Lauren Gunderson’s Peter Pan and Wendy, The Comedy of Errors (Helen
Hayes Nomination, Best Director), Camelot, Romeo and Juliet, Kiss Me,
Kate, Man of La Mancha (Helen Hayes Nomination, Best Director), A
Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Helen Hayes Award, Best
Director), The Boys From Syracuse, The Winter’s Tale, and Twelfth
Night. Recent highlights include Cabaret at Olney
Theatre Center (Helen Hayes Nomination, Best Director), Spring
Awakening at Round House Theatre, The Pajama Game at
Arena Stage, Kiss Me, Kate at 5thAvenue
Theatre (Seattle), Silence! The Musical (Helen Hayes
Nomination, Best Director) and The Rocky Horror Show at Studio
Theatre, and I Am My Own Wife at Signature
Theatre. Classical credits include the world premiere of Penny at
Washington National Opera (Kennedy Center), Butterfly / Saigon (Strathmore), Fire
and Air (Kennedy Center), The Pirates of Penzance at
Palm Beach Opera, and numerous collaborations with The National Symphony
Orchestra. In 2013, Alan was the only American finalist
for the European Opera Directing Prize in Vienna,
Austria. Alan has taught at UMD’s Opera Studio and Washington
National Opera’s Young Artist Program.
SIMON STEPHENS is an Olivier and Tony award-winning playwright. His theatre credits include Fortune (Metropolitan, Tokyo), Maria, Rage (Thalia, Hamburg), The Threepenny Opera (NT), Fatherland (MIF 2017/Lyric Hammersmith/LIFT Festival 2018), Heisenberg (West End), Obsession (Barbican/Toneelgroep, Amsterdam), The Seagull, Herons, Morning, Three Kingdoms, A Thousand Stars that Explode in the Sky, Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith); Carmen Disruption (Deutsches Schauspielhaus/Almeida); Nuclear War, Birdland, Country Music, Bluebird (Royal Court); The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time (Olivier and Tony Awards for Best New Play) (NT/West End/Broadway), A Doll’s House (Young Vic/West End); Sea Wall (Bush), Harper Regan, Port (Royal Exchange, Manchester/NT), and On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange, Manchester). He has also written for film, television, and radio. Simon is a professor at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University and Artistic Associate at the Lyric Hammersmith.
JULIET STEVENSON is one of Britain’s leading actors. Her most recent theatre credits include The Doctor, for which she won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress and is currently nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress, Mary Stuart, Hamlet (Almeida/West End); Wings, and Happy Days (Young Vic). Juliet won the 1991 Olivier Award for Best Actress for her performance in Death and the Maiden, and has been nominated a further five times. Juliet has received five BAFTA nominations for her work on screen. Her films include Truly, Madly, Deeply (Evening Standard Film Award for Best Actress), Bend it like Beckham, When did you last see your Father?, and Being Julia. Juliet’s latest television work includes Riviera and Out of her Mind, a comedy series with Sara Pascoe which will air in September 2020. Her other credits include One of Us and The Enfield Haunting, and she appeared as a series regular in Atlantis and The Village. She was awarded the CBE in 1999.
WHITNEY WHITE is an Obie-Award and Lily-Award winning director, writer, and musician originally from Chicago. She is an Associate Director at STC. She is a believer of alternative forms of performance, multi-disciplinary work, and collaborative processes. She is the current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing award, is part of the Rolex Protegé and Mentorship Arts Initiative and is an Associate Artist at The Roundabout. Recent directing: The Amen Corner (STC), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (WP Theatre and Second Stage, NYT Critic’s Pick), Aleshea Harris’ What to Send Up When it Goes Down (The Movement Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth, American Repertory Theater, The Public, NYT Critic’s Pick), An Iliad (Long Wharf), Canyon by Jonathan Caren (LA Times Critic’s Choice and recipient of the CTG Block Party Grant, IAMA), Jump by Charly Evon Simpson (National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, PlayMakers Rep). Digital projects include: Finish the Fight by Ming Peiffer (The New York Times, 24K+ viewers), Animals by Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Williamstown Theatre and Audible) and Soft Light by Aleshea Harris (The Movement Theatre). Her original musical Definition will debut at the Bushwick Starr in 2021 and her five-part cycle deconstructing Shakespeare’s women and female ambition is currently in development with American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, MA). Past residencies and fellowships: Sundance Theatre Lab, Colt Coeur, The Drama League, the Roundabout and the 2050 Fellowship at the New York Theatre Workshop. MFA Acting: Brown University/Trinity Rep, BA: Northwestern University.