Where does a military leader turn when the government he fought for becomes the enemy itself? This question drives the plot of both William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and Friedrich Schiller’s Wallenstein. Performing these plays in repertory enables us to examine the draw of power from the playwrights’ times to our own and discuss how leaders can cut and be cut with this double-edged sword.
The pairing of these two plays quickly became self-evident. I’ve wanted to direct Wallenstein for many years, ever since staging Schiller’s Don Carlos in 2001, and Coriolanus hasn’t appeared on our stage since 2000, so this was the perfect time to bring it back. I’m excited to collaborate on Coriolanus with David Muse, former Associate Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the current Artistic Director of The Studio Theatre. David and I have worked on two other repertories: Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar in 2008, and Richard II and Henry V in 2010. Wallenstein has never before been produced in the U.S. We’re fortunate to have the amazing Robert Pinsky to adapt this epic work in free iambic verse and a modern medium for its American premiere.
I am also pleased to welcome both Patrick Page and Steve Pickering back to STC. Patrick has had terrific turns as Macbeth and Iago for STC and recently finished a great run as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway. And Steve was wonderful in our production of King Lear with Stacy Keach. I look forward to working with both actors again on the Hero/Traitor Repertory.
I am also very grateful to Clarice Smith for her significant contribution which is valuable to both the theatre and the audience. Because of her gift, STC will produce plays in repertory for three seasons. We hope you enjoy our first offering, Coriolanus and Wallenstein.